DO - Run very hot water into your kitchen sink drain either by
boiling water on stove or from your faucet, then fill one side
of your sink and plunge.
DO - When plunging your sink, plug up one side with a cloth and
DO - When using your garbage disposal, run hot and cold water at
DO - Fill up sink after using your disposal and drain.
DO - If you have a dishwasher, use after using your garbage
DO - Remove the aerator on your kitchen faucet when pressure is
slow and clean, unscrew by hand or use channel pliers.
DO - Remove the screws from your kitchen wash bowl and bath tub
faucet, and put a few drops of household oil in each screw hole
or under handle if removable.
DO - At least twice a year clean out the inside of your toilet
tank. When cleaning tank, turn off the water, flush toilet once,
add small amount of cleaning detergent inside tank to water
remaining, use a cloth or brush to clean.
DO - Clean out holes under toilet seat and rim of the bowl - can
use small end of a pocket knife.
DO - Clean out 3/4" hole in the bottom of toilet bowl.
DO - Replace rubber tank ball at this time if needed.
DO - Adjust water level in toilet tank, 1" below top of 3/4"
overflow pipe. To adjust type with 1/4" rod and metal or plastic
float ball, put both hands on rod and bend end of rod towards
float ball down, this lowers water level. To raise water level,
bend rod up .
DO - When plunging your bathroom sink or bath tub use a cloth
and plug up the overflow and hold tight. It's a good idea to
plunge your drains before they stop up.
DO - Remove the stoppers and clean down pipe where stopper
DO - When finished plunging, fill wash bowl until it runs into
overflow. If you have a small type spring brush, use to clean
DO - Spray disinfectant cleaner into overflow.
DO - If bath tub is slow draining and has the lever at overflow
for stopper, remove bolts, and pull wire, lift lever out and
clean hair from wire.
DO - Oil parts in toilet tank that are above the water level,
handle and ballcock valve.
DO - If you have trouble with tree roots in your sanitary sewer,
purchase some copper sulphate in blue chunk form, put a sizable
amount on your basement floor drain strainer, let cold water run
over it until it dissolves.
DON'T - Put coffee grounds in your sink drains.
DON'T - Use drain cleaners containing lye.
DON'T - Poke any wire or rod from your sink into drain.
DON'T - Have a shelf above your china sinks with heavy objects
that could fall into sink. Will crack china sink or chip cast
DON'T - Use your toilet tank lid for a shelf.
DON'T - Have a knick-knack shelf above your toilet.
DON'T - Pour a bucket of dirty water into your toilet; may
contain scrub rag.
DON'T - Pour hot water into toilet; temperature change will
crack the bowl.
DON'T - Put any type cleaning device into your toilet tank.
DO - Just clean by hand.
DON'T - Hang wire type odor tablet in toilet bowl.
DON'T - Put a brick in your toilet tank to save water
DO - Adjust water level.
DON'T - Use the toilet bowl for a scrub tub.
DON'T - Leave diapers soaking in bowl.
DON'T - Throw disposable diapers in toilet, burn them.
DON'T - Keep your waste basket in kitchen and bathroom under the
sink. Keeps bumping pipes and causing leaks.
DON'T - Throw sanitary napkins into toilet; burn them.
DON'T - When painting around the house, paint any of your copper
DON'T - Forget at least twice a year to put a garden hose on the
boiler drain at the bottom of your hot water tank and run until
the water clears up. Spray this valve with a little oil also.
I use WD-40.
DON'T - Forget to check your flu pipe from your hot water tank
to the chimney for leakage of fumes.
DON'T - Leave your water valves rust shut. Put some oil on the
stem and open and close them a few times. If it leaks at the
stem use a crescent wrench and tighten bonnet nut at the handle.
Spray a little oil on the whole valve. Keeps from rusting.
Here are some of the things I have removed years of home
Small bottles yo-yo ' s
tooth brushes toys of all kinds
wire odor tablets cigarette lighters
golf balls lids and caps
car keys hair curlers
false teeth cream jars
knick-knacks pens and pencils
DO - Keep these items away from the toilet.
DON'T - Let the children play in the bathroom with toys small
enough to go down your toilet trap.
DO - Get in the habit of putting the back of the toilet seat
down before flushing.
But if you haven't put into affect my DO's and DON'Ts, and you
flush the toilet and the water in the bowl starts coming up and
not down, quickly remove the tank lid, reach into the middle
bottom of tank and push the rubber ball or flapper back down
over the outlet. Then shut off the water supply.
Now if you are sure you haven't let something like the above
listed objects fall into the toilet, you can usually use a
plunger to open the toilet. But if you are missing something
from the toilet area that could be in the bowl, you will have to
use a toilet auger to try and retrieve the object. If you
can't remove it with the auger, the toilet will have to be
DO - If you have a water leak from below your bathroom directly
below Your bath tub shower, and it only leaks when YOU take a
shower, here's what to look for:
DO - Check the entire tile wall on the inside area of the bath
tub for cracks, etc. To repair, use a tube of tub & tile
DO - Check the wall, especially around the handles and the spout
of the faucet, seal all openings with caulking.
DO - Check the inside edge of the shower door track.
DO - If the water leak is below the toilet, first check the
water pipe where tank and bowl are connected together. If there
is no sign of water on the floor around the pipe, chances are
your toilet needs to be lifted and a new wax ring installed
(refer to toilet installation).
DO - If you go on vacation or are away from home for a few days,
always shut off your water supply to your home.
DO - Keep heat on where water pipes and drain pipes are located
in your home, when temperature is 32 degrees or colder.
DO - If you can't put heat in an area where water pipes are, use
an electric heat tape.
DO - If your kitchen sink is located on an outside wall, leave
cupboard doors open in severe cold weather.
DO - Shut off all outside faucets in cold weather if they are
not of the frost proof type.
DO - If you are closing up a home in the wintertime and there
will be no heat in the home, shut off the water supply at the
street or in the basement.
DO - Open all faucets in the home and leave them open.
DO - Open drain at bottom of hot water tank and drain.
DO - Remove all water from toilet tank and bowl.
DO - Put permanent Anti-freeze in toilet bowl and a small amount
in the bottom of the toilet tank.
DO - Put anti-freeze in all sink drains and bath and shower
drains, enough to fill the traps.
DO - If you wish, remove traps on sinks, but be sure and plug up
open line, to keep out sewer gas fumes.
HOW TO INSTALL A NEW TOILET
If your toilet is old and in need of repairs, it is really
cheaper to install a new one. This is the easiest of all the
plumbing jobs in the home to do and if you follow my simple
instructions you can put yours in yourself.
1. Shut off the water to the toilet, use a bucket and a cloth
or a sponge to remove the water left in tank and bowl after you
flush the toilet.
2. Using a pair of channel pliers, or a small pipe wrench (8"),
remove the nut where the water line fastens to the ballcock
valve under the left side of the bottom of the tank. Next use a
small crescent wrench, remove the two 1/4" nuts holding the bowl
to the floor flange. Remove old toilet. Remove the water line
from the valve or fitting at floor or wall.
3. Now you are ready to install your new toilet. Put the two
1/4" bolts in the side holes of the flange with the bolt head in
the flange. Put some of the old wax at this spot to hold the
bolts straight up and across from each other. Put new wax ring
on flange, flat side up if tapered.
4. Set new bowl only straight down so it centers on wax ring
and both bolts come through holds on each side of bowl. Sit on
bowl facing wall until your weight puts bowl flush with the
floor. Put metal washers and nuts on bolts and tighten until
snug. Do not over-tighten as you can crack the bowl. Tighten
these again after toilet is completely installed and filled with
5. Next put 2" rubber gasket on tank where it sets on the bowl,
put rubber washers on bolts provided under the bolt head so they
will be on the inside of the tank. Pick up tank and set on bowl
over holes in bowl where bolts go through. Sit on bowl facing
wall. Put bolts on from the inside of the tank into holes in
bowl, put on metal washers and nuts and tighten. Hold tank
level and tighten so it brings tank down level. Use a large
screw driver inside tank and a crescent wrench or end wrench to
back up nut under bowl. Tighten with screw driver. Hook water
supply to tank, turn on water, check for leaks, snug up the
bolts holding bowl to floor. If there is a space between the
back of the tank and the wall, put a spacer of sort there to
brace tank. A piece of wood or hard rubber works fine.
Two 1/4" bolts for bowl to flange
20" water supply with fitting at valve or floor connection
Now DO put my DOs and DON'Ts into use, and you new toilet will
never need a plumber!
WATER CONSERVATION BEGINS AT HOME
I believe if we tried we could cut our water use in half. There
are many more ways other than the ones I have in my report. Have
an idea of your own ? write it down. Sometimes some things we
don't think are worthwhile are great ideas.
Like the young man who went into one of the larger toothpaste
companies and told the president of the company if he paid him a
sizable amount of money, he would give him his idea on how he
could double his toothpaste business. The company president
agreed, and the young man said, okay here's what you do, make
the hole in all of your toothpaste tubes twice the size it is
now, this will double the use of your toothpaste, and double
HERE ARE SOME OF MY IDEAS
The first thing to do is to check your entire plumbing system
for leaks - leaking faucets, water pipes, etc. If you don't
think a leaking faucet will waste water, put the stopper in a
sink where one is leaking overnight.
The toilet is the worst water waster of all. Flush the toilet
and wait until it supposedly shuts off, then listen at the tank
for a hissing or trickling sound, if you hear a noise here's
what to do, check the rubber tank ball or flapper in the middle
of the toilet tank at the bottom. If the ball is old and has
lost its shape, replace it. Also using a fine steel wool pad,
clean off the seat under the ball till it is smooth. If the
noise is from the ballcock valve on the left side of the tank
and is the type with the quarter inch rod with a metal or
plastic float ball, lift up on the rod, if the noise stops, then
starts again after you let go, chances are your ballcock valve
is bad and needs replaced. If when you are holding the quarter
inch rod up and the water leaks out of the tank, and you have
already replaced the rubber ball or the flapper, check the lift
wire or the chain from the ball to the handle, and make sure it
is not dropping the ball wrong, or is on a bind.
WHEN YOU FLUSH YOUR TOILET AT ANY TIME, ALWAYS WAIT UNTIL YOU
ARE SURE IT SHUTS OFF, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE LEAVING THE HOUSE.
IF YOU ARE LEAVING YOUR HOUSE FOR A VACATION OR ONLY A COUPLE
DAYS ITS A GOOD IDEA TO SHUT YOUR MAIN WATER VALVE OFF. IT MIGHT
SAVE A GREAT WATER LOSS, AS WELL AS A LOT OF DAMAGE TO YOUR
HOME. HERE'S WHY:
I had a plumbing call to a home where the people had gone on a
vacation for two weeks. The last person to leave the home
flushed the toilet and did not wait to be sure it shut off
HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED:
The toilet stopped up when the last person flushed it. The
rubber ball did not drop back straight and the water ran over
the toilet bowl for two weeks.
HERES WHAT THEY FOUND WHEN THEY RETURNED HOME AFTER TWO WEEKS:
- The bathroom and the kitchen floors had warped.
- The tile and the carpet was ruined.
- The plaster ceiling in the kitchen had fallen.
- The woodwork and the doors were all warped.
- The Formica counter tops in the kitchen had lifted.
- Below the kitchen in the basement, the father and son's very
expensive car and train set were severely damaged.
NOW this was in the winter time, and the furnace was left on to
keep the water pipes from freezing. The water went down from the
first floor and leaked onto the furnace which made steam, the
steam went into every room in the house and caused the wallpaper
to fall off the walls in every room.
LOOK AT THE WATER WASTED HERE AS WELL AS THE $ COST
- When using your bathroom or kitchen sink, don't leave the water
run when you don't need to.
- Take shorter showers.
- Turn off the shower when you are lathering up.
- When using your washing machine, and only washing a small amount
of clothes, set the water level for less water.
Take the quarter inch refill tube that goes from the toilet
ballcock valve into the overflow pipe in the toilet tank, and
fasten it so the water from it goes into the tank and helps to
fill it faster. You can only do this if when your toilet is
flushed and retraps itself.
While the toilet is refilling after being flushed, it doesn't
take as much water as is put into the bowl from the refill tube.
Every little bit helps.
HERE IS A GOOD WATER SAVER
If the water pressure in your home is more than you need. DO
Close your main water valve until your pressure slows down some,
but is still enough for your needs. Or do this to the smaller
valves under your kitchen and bathroom sin. A lot of homes have
a lot more pressure than they need.
UNDERGROUND WATER LEAKS
Sometimes there are water leaks underground between your home,
the street, or your outside water supply.
These go undetected for years. Here's one way you can check your
line for a leak. Put your ear on the water meter in your home
and put your finger in your other ear. If you hear a hissing
sound like pressure releasing you probably have a leak in your
line, be sure no one is running water in the house when doing
this. Most of the time a leak underground will eventually come
to the top of the ground, but I have had some leaks that I found
had worked their way into the sewer line under it, and had been
leaking for years.
To check this, remove the clean out plug on your sewer line to
the street. Put your ear at that point and listen, if you have a
leak you will be able to hear it in the sewer line. Again be
sure no one is running water...
HERE ARE SOME OF THE WAYS A CITY COULD SAVE WATER
In areas where the water pressure is greater than needed, the
city water department could install a pressure regulator valve
at the water meter in these homes to control the amount water
Another good water saver would be to require in new home
construction that a small spring valved wall hung urinal be
installed in all bathrooms .
A TOILET WHEN FLUSHED USES ABOUT SIX GALLONS OF WATER.
A SMALL WALL HUNG SPRING VALVED URINAL USES LESS THAN ONE GALLON.
LOOK AT THE WATER THAT COULD BE SAVED HERE.
HERE IS A TWENTY FIVE YEAR WATER LEAK...
I worked as a maintenance plumber in one of the larger hospitals
in the area. Here's what I found one day.
The kitchen of the hospital had a tile floor, and at one area
the tile floor was always hot, so much so the workers were always
complaining of being too warm.
One day while working on the water piping, we had to turn off
the water for a long time.
I later happened to kneel down on the floor where it was always
hot. It had cooled down. When we turned the water back on we
found a water line leaking under the floor where it was always
hot. We repaired the hot water pipe, turned the water back on,
and the floor stayed cool...
I then began to explain to the kitchen supervisor what we had
found. She said she had worked here for twenty five years and
the tile floor in that are had always been hot...
A twenty five year water leak. Can you believe the water loss
here. I bet if we checked all over the good old U.S.A. we could
find some water being wasted.