Follow these quick DIY tips that will help with most plumbing jobs around your home!
Leak – Free Plumbing:
If your outdoor faucet leaks when you turn it on this means that you either have a loose packing nut or a bad packing washer. The first thing you should try and do is tighten the nut with a wrench or some pliers. If it is still leaking after this then shut off the water to the faucet inside the house, remove the faucet handle from the outside faucet and unscrew the nut. After doing this you should be able to pull of the old packing washer, it would be best to take it to a hardware store to find the exact replacement. If you have an older faucet than this might have a wad of string which is called a valve packing. Pick up a new packing at the hardware store, wind on the new packing clockwise and this should compress the packing nut lightly. You might have to wind on one layer, tighten the nut and then repeat the process until the space is full.
If you find leaks in your house, try looking for a leaky valve before calling the plumber. If you find one, then try tightening the packing nut with a wrench. If doing this doesn’t stop the leak then you will have to shut off the main water valve, remove the handle and the nut and add or replace the packing material.
How to Rebuild a Water Softener:
To rebuild a water softener, you will need a 4 in 1 screwdriver and a control valve rebuild kit.
Firstly, you will need to remove the main piston, you can grab the piston by the metal tang and yank it straight up, the seal may come out with the piston. Once you have done this you can throw it away.
Next you will need to remove the valve innards, you will need to put your finger down into the control valve and pull out the four spacers and five seals, you can also throw this away.
You can now replace the brine valve. Pop out the brine valve and check to make sure that the bottom O-ring comes with it. After this you can push the new valve into the bore.
Lastly, you will need to load in the new valve parts. Drop a rubber seal down into the valve body and then alternate spacers and seals. You should finish with a seal at the top.
Replace a Water Softener Resin Bed:
You will need a 4 in 1 screwdriver, resin funnel, gravel, new resin and a riser tube.
First you need to unhook the unit. You will need to remove the fasteners that hold the valve head to the bypass valve, then you can pull the unit away from the plumbing. Make sure you watch for O-rings or seals, so you can reinstall them into the right place.
Next you will need to pour the water, resin and gravel into a self-draining bucket. Rinse out the remaining resin and remove the old riser tube.
Lastly, add the new resin. Tape off the riser tube and position the funnel. You can then pour in the gravel, try and be careful doing this as it makes a huge mess if it spills.
Water Softener Problems
If you have city water and your water pressure has dropped and your showerheads are clogging, then you may be having problems with your water softener.
Firstly, you should check with your city’s water department to see if there’s been a change in water pressure. If your shower heads are clogging, then you might have mineral deposits broken free inside your pipes or the resin in your water softener needs to be replaced. If you have clear water, then it is just the mineral deposits which means you just need to clean the shower head. However, if you see any sand-like particles you will need to replace the resin. You will need to phone a water softener service company to inspect the resins and replace them.
Fixing a Leaky Shut Off Valve:
To do this you will need two adjustable wrenches.
Many shut off valves have a packing material or a packing nut that surrounds the valve stem. This can shrink or get worn over time which causes the water to leak out around the valve stem. This usually happens when someone has opened and closed the valve for repair. You can easily fix this by tightening the packing nut, but if it's still leaking then you will need to replace it.
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