AMA about DIY (not punk but that might come up too)

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Burning
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Re: AMA about DIY (not punk but that might come up too)

Postby Burning » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:19 pm

What's the basic kit required for home plumbing? Also, for plumbing can you get a bit more specific on where your "call a professional" threshold is?

(I don't have any specific projects I'm looking at. I'm just identifying the particular area of home projects that, rationally or not, doesn't scare the bejabbers out of me.)
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Re: AMA about DIY (not punk but that might come up too)

Postby BadMrMojo » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:47 pm

Burning wrote:What's the basic kit required for home plumbing? Also, for plumbing can you get a bit more specific on where your "call a professional" threshold is?

(I don't have any specific projects I'm looking at. I'm just identifying the particular area of home projects that, rationally or not, doesn't scare the bejabbers out of me.)

BV's going to be way better at this than I, but even as an absolute layman, I don't think anyone should have pay a plumber to swap out exposed/accessible faucets, handles, traps or garbage disposals. It will involve some trial and error getting things to fit and will very likely need require a second trip to home depot to get the 1 5/8 instead of the 1 3/8 or something, but that's part of the process and sets you back all of $5 most of the time.

In addition to the fittings themselves and an appropriate wrench or two, the only other things to remember before you get started are some plumber's tape (just wrap a bit around the threads, just in case), a flashlight, and a bucket for when things go wrong.


Edit:
BadMrMojo wrote:BV's going to be way better at this than I, ...

Nailed it.
Last edited by BadMrMojo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: AMA about DIY (not punk but that might come up too)

Postby BottledViolence » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:57 pm

My #1 required tool to plumbing is gloves. :puke: I hate plumbing! On the bright side, it is easy.

Changing out a faucet requires very little. An adjustable, open end, or line wrench for the fittings, and a basin wrench may be needed to remove the old one. You will need to turn off the water first, and if there aren't valves to do that under the sink, you will want to add them. If the supply lines are plastic replace them with braided stainless. You will also need some Teflon tape for the joints. This depends on the type of connection, some dont need it. Check your specific application, Google will set you right.

A screwdriver to remove handles and a pipe wrench to replace or tighter the pipes that come out of the wall might be needed too. The rest depends on what kind of pipes you have. Check that before digging in. Galvanized is what I have and it kind of sucks. There is also copper and different kinds of plastic but I'm no familiar with them beyond knowing that you better prime the plastic before cementing.

Also, avoid mixing different metals without a dielectric between them. Going galvanized to copper causes galvanic corrosion and clogs your galvanized pipe with rust. The previous owner of my home obviously didn't know that. :facepalm:

I've replaced all my faucets, a toilet, two garbage disposals, tore apart too many clogged drains to count, and am currently replacing a sink. I dont like plumbing, but its pretty simple. If you have specific questions later, fire away.

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Re: AMA about DIY (not punk but that might come up too)

Postby Lord Foul » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:05 pm

Imagine you are a new homeowner and have no equipment of any kind. You have no great expertise and will doubtless pay a tradesman to do anything requiring real skill. But you'd like to be able to handle a range of relatively simple jobs around the house.

What are the top ten items you would buy to stock your beginner's DIY toolkit?
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Re: AMA about DIY (not punk but that might come up too)

Postby BottledViolence » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:12 pm

BadMrMojo wrote:
Burning wrote:What's the basic kit required for home plumbing? Also, for plumbing can you get a bit more specific on where your "call a professional" threshold is?

(I don't have any specific projects I'm looking at. I'm just identifying the particular area of home projects that, rationally or not, doesn't scare the bejabbers out of me.)

BV's going to be way better at this than I, but even as an absolute layman, I don't think anyone should have pay a plumber to swap out exposed/accessible faucets, handles, traps or garbage disposals. It will involve some trial and error getting things to fit and will very likely need require a second trip to home depot to get the 1 5/8 instead of the 1 3/8 or something, but that's part of the process and sets you back all of $5 most of the time.

In addition to the fittings themselves and an appropriate wrench or two, the only other things to remember before you get started are some plumber's tape (just wrap a bit around the threads, just in case), a flashlight, and a bucket for when things go wrong.


Edit:
BadMrMojo wrote:BV's going to be way better at this than I, ...

Nailed it.


Good point about the bucket and flashlight! Even with the water off there is still some in the line and your drain has all sorts of nasty stuff you dont want to lay in while wrestling with a rotted out fitting.

I like headlamps for use at home where on my my girlfriend, kid, or dog can see and make fun of me. For a regular flashlight, I got one off of amazon for like $4 shipped. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B006E0QAFY

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Re: AMA about DIY (not punk but that might come up too)

Postby BottledViolence » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:48 pm

Lord Foul wrote:Imagine you are a new homeowner and have no equipment of any kind. You have no great expertise and will doubtless pay a tradesman to do anything requiring real skill. But you'd like to be able to handle a range of relatively simple jobs around the house.

What are the top ten items you would buy to stock your beginner's DIY toolkit?


In order?
Flashlight or headlamp (diy/safety/preparedness crossover, I'm amazed at how many people dont have one)
Claw hammer
Screwdrivers or driver handle and bit set
Medium and small channel locks
Adjustable wrench (crescent wrench)
Needle nosed pliers (usually have a wire cutter so you dont need dikes. I actually use my linesman's pliers more but needle nosed will do stuff linesman's won't.)
A small level. Much more accurate that asking your favorite female if something is level. Sorry, but I firmly believe women are better at detecting level than men. Someone should do a study on that.
A good cordless drill like an 18 Volt dewalt along with a set of driver bits and drill bits. Yes, its expensive and you dont need it right away. It will make life so much easier.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some obvious stuff, and there are a lot of things to add but that's a good start.

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Re: AMA about DIY (not punk but that might come up too)

Postby BadMrMojo » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:24 pm

BottledViolence wrote:I'm sure I'm forgetting some obvious stuff, and there are a lot of things to add but that's a good start.


Agreed. For the bare minimum, I'd also add...

Vice grips. If you don't have the right size wrench, you've always got vice grips.
A collection of small screwdrivers, covering both phillips and regular.
One socketable screwdriver. It'll come in a case with a bunch of bits, most likely.
One nice, big, solid regular screwdriver. It'll get used as a crow bar, a chisel, a tack hammer, and just about everything except a screwdriver.

Power tools are the next step up. A drill / driver is the only one that's really a basic necessity.
I love my dremel and, in a pinch, it can cover for the lack of many other tools.
If you want to work on carpentry, the natural progression is probably a jigsaw (I was just pricing out a replacement on Saturday and the basic model was $25), then a circular saw, and at that point you're on the slippery slope to setting up a workshop.

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Re: AMA about DIY (not punk but that might come up too)

Postby BottledViolence » Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:32 pm

Good point about the screwdrivers. Those bits should also fit the cordless drill you buy later.

I didn't include vice grips since I never use them. An adjustable wrench should take care of all your nuts and bolts unless someone already used pliers or vice grips on them. :lol: A second adjustable wrench will mean you can remove or tighter hex bolts and nuts without resorting to pliers. I have a large and small adjustable in my bag. Regardless, they are definitely handy and I would place them pretty high on the list of tools to have. I just don't use them much personally. There is no wrong answer either way. :thumbup:

Another obvious one I forgot is a tape measure. They're cheap, get a good one. I think I have about a dozen Stanley tape measures around. I'm trying to convince my buddy to get me a Starrett from his work. I'm sure its just rebranded, but Starrett stuff is the shit.

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Re: AMA about DIY (not punk but that might come up too)

Postby sbonner » Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:50 pm

I'm enamored with the idea of being into DIY on computers, electronics, software, programming, etc. But every time I settle in to do a project, it turns out that DIY ends up being more expensive than an equivalent off-the-shelf (or off-the-shelf with light tweaking) option. Since my budget is much tighter than my time, I often end up putting off the DIY ideas. For fixing and upgrading, I go DIY, because, for example, it's cheaper to keep a PC running for 6+ years than it is to buy a new one 4 years in. It's just the initial purchase of a new thing that has never played out to be economically justifiable.

So, the question is, how can I make it economically justifiable? Are there general tricks or approaches that will make the DIY option in electronics, computers, etc less expensive?
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Re: AMA about DIY (not punk but that might come up too)

Postby BottledViolence » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:37 pm

I have the same problem! BadMrMojo probably has a better answer than me, since my electronic projects always cost a bunch and fail to work.

I view electronic projects as a learning experience and a way to get something cool and unique. I rarely view them as a cost saving endeavor unless it is a repair.

As for computers, I'm no expert, but I post here and people tell me what to get so I look like one when my friends come over. :lol:


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