How to Easily Install a New Shower Head

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Raise your hand if you have a sad excuse for a shower head! Is it drippy, rusty or clogged? If you answered yes to any of those questions, I’m about to show you why there is no excuse for you being able to install a new shower head yourself! It’s super easy.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

  • New shower head
  • Vise Grip Pliers (or other wide mouth pliers)
  • Plumber’s tape

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Optional: Shower arm & flange, rag to protect new shower arm

Instructions:

1. Remove the old shower head by unscrewing it from the pipe arm. Use pliers to help get it started.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

2. Unscrew the old shower arm if it is rusty or won’t match the new shower head. Remove that rusty flange (now is the time to do it! Don’t put it off any longer.)

unscreEasy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girlw-old-shower-arm

3. Replace the old shower arm with new one by screwing it into the plumbing pipe in the wall. Then slide the new flange over the arm.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Wrap the end of the shower arm with plumber’s tape (wrap it clockwise to keep it from bunching up when you attach the new shower head.)

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

4. Screw the new shower head onto the end of the shower arm. Hand tighten the head. Then put the rag over the spot base of the shower head and use the pliers to tighten it 1/4 turn.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

5. If your shower head has an extension hose, attach that at this time by screwing it onto the shower head and attaching the other end to the body sprayer.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn on the water and test the spray! Beautiful! No drips or clogs? If you have some leaks anywhere, give an extra 1/4 to 1/2 turn to tighten it the shower head or hose.

I installed the Delta In2ition shower head in the Topsail Beach Condo we renovated. I’ve been intrigued by this shower head and after trying it out, I love it!!!

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl

Because who wouldn’t love a shower head that sprays from the top even when you want a body spray too?

The interior head is fully removable and nests back into the outer ring when done body spraying.

Easy! How to Install a New Showerhead | Pretty Handy Girl        

The only initial drawback I found was getting used to setting the body sprayer back into the ring. Once I realized you have to push it in and down firmly, there was no problem.

Wasn’t that easy? Go on and replace your shower head today if you’ve been putting it off!

***Don’t forget to enter the Savvy Rest Latex Pillow Giveaway! It ends tonight, so hop on over.***

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Disclosure: No disclosure necessary. I wasn’t paid or provided with the Delta In2ition shower head. My stepmom paid for it to be installed in the beach condo. I chose this shower head because I wanted to try it out.  

Plumb Crazy over these Christmas Ornaments (from Plumbing Parts) #LowesCreator

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You must think I have plumbing on the brain. After all our leaks, I’ve spent some time in the plumbing aisle. While there I came across these three things:

They are beautiful, don’t you think?! Can’t you see them hanging from your Christmas tree or on your door? What? No?

Okey dokey, come along I’ll break it down for you, this is going to be fun. [Read more...]

How to Repair a Leaky Shower or Tub Faucet

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You know that saying, when it rains it pours? That statement has become an actuality in our home. While we are trying to build back from the plumbing leak, one of our tub faucets developed a leak. When I tried to tighten the handles to stop the dripping, this is what happened:

Oops. Luckily, I knew the fix was an easy one, if you can screw in a light bulb, you are qualified to fix a leaky faucet!

I’ve solved this problem in a few tubs and showers (including one on the day I went into labor with my youngest.) Yup, you could say that the faucet wasn’t the only thing that sprung a leak. LOL.

[Read more...]

I’m Going to Rock Your World (While Mine is Upended)

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Thank you all for your comments about my post on polybutylene pipes. Since that post my life has been squished into a duffle bag and rolled down a big hill. I'm not sure whether we are coming or going. On Wednesday night we all slept in the house, but we were getting headaches (either from the mold or the gigantic HEPA filters running full blast all over our house. It must be what it's like to live in the turbine engine of a plane. “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”)

By Thursday morning we were anxious to get the mold remediation on it's way. But, then we got some bad news. Under our linoleum kitchen floor was another layer of vinyl flooring…a suspiciously older layer of flooring. The disaster team had to send a sample to the lab for asbestos. I seriously never would have thought it would come back positive, but guess what?! …it did. :-(

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At that point we packed all our bags and got the heck of out the house. Lucky for us, we have family that lives close by, so we're hunkering down with the in laws. (I don't know what we'd do without them.) I'm a little concerned about how long we'll be staying here. My mother-in-law better be prepared for when I get stir crazy and start going a little “pretty handy girl” on her home ;-D.

In the midst of our adventures living out of suitcases, the Southern Bloggers Conference started here in Raleigh. I don't think the timing could have been more perfect to help take my mind off of this musty mess. I've been enjoying being surrounded by other creative bloggers. I have more pictures, but can't download them off my camera until I can get a little time back home.

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Rhoda from Southern Hospitality Blog

AND NOW….I've been dying to Rock Your World!!!!! A bunch of my DIY friends and I decided we wanted to put together a HUGE giveaway! One that will truly rock your socks off. Get ready for three days of amazing prizes! Each day will have almost $5K worth of goodies from our favorite companies.

Are you ready? Limber up your mouse and your index finger….because you are going to want to enter to win every single day!!!

Coming up on Monday:

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Seriously, we tried to fill everything plus a kitchen sink into this giveaway!

Followed by:

The Pin-acle of all Giveaways

And Finally:

Shut the Front Door {To Keep the Goodness In} Giveaway

 

I'm really excited and truly hope that you win! So be sure to be here Monday morning when I can reveal all the prizes!

 

Water Leaks, Polybutylene Pipes, and Mold – What to Do

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Photo courtesy of Grotuk via Creative Commons

Today’s regularly scheduled post has been interrupted by a leak in our laundry room.

I hope my misfortune is your gain. These are the things I’ve learned about burst pipes, polybutylene pipes and mold. If you are a homeowner, soon-to-be a homeowner or even if you rent, this post is for you! [Read more...]

Outdoor Patio Table Planter, Vase and Serving Station – a #LowesCreator Idea

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three in one patio table centerpiece vase and planter

 

Wanted: A better name for this invention I created!

What is it? I consider it a multi-purpose centerpiece for your umbrella-shaded patio table. But, it can also be a serving station for utensils and napkins. Add some water and it becomes a vase for the table. When the flowers wilt, plant some shade loving flowers into it and you have a living centerpiece! So, my working title was: Plant-a-ma-bo-a-ma-holdey-flowers-n-stuffin-vase. But, I don’t think that anyone would be able to pronounce that. (Nor would that be very SEO friendly.)

Whatever the name, I’d love to share how easy it is to make this outdoor living table centerpiece. [Read more...]

Installing Your Own Sprinkler System

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Last week I shared with you how to grow a better lawn based on what I learned from my education at Pennington Seed. Part of growing a more beautiful lawn is learning how to water it properly. Did you know that the majority of homeowners overwater their lawn and plants? Typically your yard only needs 1 inch of water per week (1/2 inch waterings two times a week) If you install your own sprinkler system with a timer and a rain gauge, you can insure that your lawn and/or landscaping gets just the right amount of water.

When we lived in our old house, Pretty Handsome Guy and I received a quick tutorial on installing a sprinkler system in our yard. Our neighbor — the previous owner of our current home (Yes, it’s complicated like that.) — showed us how to piece together pvc pipes, add spray heads and set up a timer to water our lawn. Now I’m passing this information on to you.

Here is the Pretty Frugal Girl’s method for installing your own sprinkler system! [Read more...]

Irwin Tools Giveaway

Irwin_tools

Irwin Tools has graciously donated a pair of groove lock pliers and a Universal saw to my readers. They have sent me various tools over the past few months to try, and I can honestly say that they have all been top notch and many have exceeded my expectations!

I have been using my own pair of groove lock pliers around the house. You saw them in action in these posts:

Replacing a Flush Lever:

Retrieving Dropped Objects from the Drain:

Removing Door Knobs and Latches:

I think it is fair to say that my groove lock pliers have become my right hand assistant. I may have even used them to undo a stuck mod podge jar lid (shhhhh, don’t tell Irwin.)

And the Universal Saw crushed my hand saw in a sawing competition:

I know you will really like these tools. They have ergonomically designed handles and are very comfortable to use. They make a great addition to any DIYer’s workshop.

Here is how you can enter to win!   Sorry this giveaway has ended.

 

 

Toilet Repairs – Part 3 – Replacing the Overflow Tube and Flapper

accordian_plnger

I’ve received a few emails and comments letting me know that some of you are going to try to repair your toilets! I just wanted to say, way to go! Plus, some of you had a few questions for me as well.

Here are the questions:

1. Our 1/2 bath toilet seems to chronically clog. We use enzyme stuff to clear it but it just clogs again the next time someone does anything substantial in it. It’s annoying. Any tips?

A. Adjust the amount of water in the tank so it will give more H20 to flush (as shown at the end of Toilet Repairs Part 2). Or use a good accordian style plunger:

If all else fails, you may have a clog and need to snake your toilet out. I’ve seen some snakes that attach to a drill.

Just be careful you don’t scratch the bottom of your toilet bowl when snaking it.

2. What are the symptoms for needing a new fill valve? On ours, you have to push the flush handle down really hard and hold it… or it won’t flush at all on first flush sometimes. Thanks for the great tutorials!

A. It sounds like you either need a new flapper or you might try tightening the chain between the flapper and the lever rod. If you need to replace the flapper, you should probably replace the entire overflow tube/flapper assembly.

And that leads me to today’s tutorial!

How to replace the overflow tube and flapper:

In review, here is what your toilet tank parts are:

And here is the kit I recommend you purchase (costs about $20):

And here are the tools you will need:

  • Plumber’s Wrench (must have a wide mouth opening. The Irwin pliers shown have just enough of an opening to work)
  • Adjustable Crescent Wrench
  • Handsaw (drywall, coping or hack saw will work. Needs to cut through PVC)
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Level
  • Scissors
  • Bucket or basin
  • Sponge
  • Rags or Towels
  • Rubber Gloves

Disclaimer: This tutorial is a general overview of replacing an overflow tube and flapper in your toilet tank. Be sure to follow the directions that come with your toilet parts as there may be changes or additional steps.

If you haven’t done so already, start by turning off the water. There should be a water shut off valve in the wall behind your toilet. Gently turn the knob clockwise to shut the valve.

Next, flush your toilet to drain the water from the tank. If your tank re-fills the water is not completely shut off.

Remove the lid to your tank. Set it in a safe place where it can’t get dropped and broken.

If there is still a lot of water in the bottom of the tank. Lift the flapper chain to drain the tank to the top of the flapper.

Use a sponge to completely soak up all the water remaining in the tank.

Once the tank is completely empty we can start to remove the overflow tube and flapper. But, first you need to disconnect the water supply tube. Because TODAY we are going to take the entire tank off! Don’t be freaked out, you can do this. It is just like unscrewing the screws and removing a light switch cover (only it weighs a lot more.)

Look underneath the tank to see where the water line feeds into the tank. Using pliers, loosen and then remove the coupling nut from the supply line.

One quick note about supply lines: If your toilet has a plastic or rubber supply line, you should consider replacing it with a braided metal supply line that is less prone to breaking or leaks (in other words they can cause a major flood!) The same advice applies to the water lines under your sink and definitely your clothes washer.

Place the basin or bucket underneath the supply line and gently remove the line from the bottom of the fill valve (gray threaded stem shown below.)

Detach the chain from the lever rod inside the tank.

Remove the rubber gasket by lifting up the sides of the flaps. If your gasket is attached a different way, don’t worry about it, just leave it attached.

Disconnect the water refill hose from the overflow tube by sliding the anchor hook up and off the overflow.

Use your flat head screwdriver to lose the bolts at the bottom of the tank (on either side of the flapper.) You may need to reach underneath and hold the nut (or wing nut) with pliers as the bolt begins to loosen.


Once the nut (or wing nut) has been removed, you can now lift the tank off the toilet (using both hands.) Ask for help if you are concerned about possibly dropping the tank.

I recommend draping a towel over the toilet seat lid to rest the tank onto.

Remove the rubber gasket in the center of the underside of your tank. You may want to wear gloves (not because of germs, but because the rubber may be deteriorating and can leave black on your hands. But, come to think about it, I have two little boys and their aim isn’t exactly spot on. If you know what I mean.)

Now you need to remove the two bolts that held the tank to the toilet base. Loosen the nut with the pliers or crescent wrench.

Remove the nut and washer.

Repeat to remove the other bolt.

Grab the pliers and loosen the large plastic hex nut that was under the gasket. Then remove the nut. (I’m very thankful that the Irwin Adjustable Hex pliers I have worked perfectly. Otherwise, I would have had to buy a pair of plumbing pliers.)

Now you can remove the overflow tube and flapper assembly from the tank.

If you are replacing all the parts in your tank at once, when the tank is empty is a great time to give it a good cleaning!

Okay, time to put Frankenstein back together again. Grab the new overflow tube and flapper assembly from your kit. Insert the new overflow tube back into the toilet tank. Make sure it is sitting flush against the bottom of the tank (you may need to tilt the tank for it to feed all the way through.) Then set your level up to the line indicated on the fill valve. Make a mark on the overflow tube one inch lower than the mark on the fill valve..

Cut the top of your overflow tube off using a saw. Sand any rough edges if necessary.

 

Re-insert the flush valve (overflow tube & flapper assembly) into the tank.

Thread the new hex nut onto the bottom of the overflow tube and hand tighten it.

Because I don’t possess the masculine type strength, I use my pliers to turn the hex nut another half a turn until it is snug but not tight enough to crack the tank.

Fit the new rubber gasket over the hex nut as shown below.

Insert two new bolts into the tank with a rubber washer just below the head of the bolt.

Thread a metal washer and a nut onto the bolts from the underside of the tank.

Gently tighten the nut with the crescent wrench. I can’t stress enough how important it is not to overtighten the nut. Or you will crack your toilet tank.

Repeat the same steps to insert the other bolt. The bottom of your tank should look like this:

Carefully replace the tank back onto the toilet base. Being sure to line up the bolts with the holes on the toilet.

Set a level on top of the tank and level it.

Thread the rubber washer, metal washer and then the new wing nut onto the bottom of the bolt. Tighten the wing nuts on both sides. All the while keep an eye on the tank to make sure it stays level.

Attach the flapper chain back onto the lever rod. Make sure there is a slight amount of slack in the chain, but not too much. Trim any excess chain that hangs too close to the flapper.

Attach the water refill hose to the over flow tube by sliding the anchor clip back onto the overflow tube..

Re-attach the water supply line making sure the coupling nut is nice and snug.

Turn on the water supply to refill the tank. Test the toilet by flushing it. Make sure the flapper closes and nothing holds it open. Replace the tank lid and enjoy your fully functioning toilet!

Hey, thanks for sticking with me through this “ugly” but necessary tutorial series. Hopefully I haven’t scared you off (judging from the very few comments I received.) I promise I have some more “attractive” tutorials coming soon. Then you can bring back your wonderfully sweet comments.

Toilet Repairs – Part 2 – Replacing the Fill Valve

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Hey, you came back! So glad you weren’t scared off by my toilet repair post. Well, congratulations to you for sticking with me and wanting to learn how to fix your toilet.

In Part 1 we learned how to replace the flush lever. If you found it easy, I know you won’t find today’s tutorial too difficult. And then, you will certainly be able to replace the overflow tube and flapper in my next post.

In review, here is what your toilet tank parts are:

Here is the kit I recommend you purchase (costs about $20):

And here are the tools you will need:

  • Plumber’s Wrench (must have a wide mouth opening. The Irwin pliers shown have just enough of an opening to work)
  • Adjustable Crescent Wrench
  • Handsaw (drywall, coping or hack saw will work. Needs to cut through PVC)
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Level
  • Scissors
  • Bucket or basin
  • Sponge
  • Rags or Towels
  • Rubber Gloves

Disclaimer: This tutorial is a general overview of replacing a fill valve in your toilet tank. Be sure to follow the directions that come with your toilet parts as there may be changes or additional steps.

If you haven’t done so already, start by turning off the water. There should be a water shut off valve in the wall behind your toilet. Gently turn the knob clockwise to shut the valve.

Next, flush your toilet to drain the water from the tank. If your tank re-fills the water is not completely shut off.

Remove the lid to your tank. Set it in a safe place where it can’t get dropped and broken.

If there is still a lot of water in the bottom of the tank. Lift the flapper chain to drain the tank to the top of the flapper.

Use a sponge to completely soak up all the water remaining in the tank.

Once the tank is completely empty we can start to remove the fill valve. Look underneath the tank to see where the water line feeds into the tank. Using pliers, loosen and then remove the coupling nut from the supply line.

One quick note about supply lines: If your toilet has a plastic or rubber supply line, you should consider replacing it with a braided metal supply line that is less prone to breaking or leaks (in other words they can cause a major flood!) The same advice applies to the water lines under your sink and definitely your clothes washer.

Place the basin or bucket underneath the supply line and gently remove the line from the bottom of the fill valve (gray threaded stem shown below.)

Remove the washer holding the fill valve to the tank.

Inside the tank, locate the small rubber hose that attaches the fill valve to the overflow tube. Then disconnect the hose as shown below.

Now you should be able to lift the fill valve up and out of the tank.

Place the new fill valve into the tank where the old one was. Notice the sleek new design, No Float Ball!

Side Note: You may need to adjust the height of the fill valve to fit in your tank.  If so, twist the top portion of the valve independent of the bottom half. (After you fill the tank, you can raise or lower the valve the same way if you need to adjust the height of the fill valve.)

Thread the new washer onto the bottom of the fill valve where it extends out the bottom of the tank.


Gently tighten the washer, but be careful not to overtighten, or you might break the tank.


Next thread the coupling nut back onto the bottom of the fill valve to secure the water line.


Add the fill valve water hose onto the side of the fill valve. Then measure the distance to the top of the flush valve. Leave an extra inch, and trim any excess hose.


Find the  anchor clip that attaches the hose to the overflow tube.


Slide the hose onto the clip and attach it with a hose clamp (if included with your kit).


Attach another hose clamp to the end of the hose where it meets the fill valve. Slide the anchor clip onto the top of the overflow tube. The hose should be free of kinks and should arch up as shown.


Before you turn the water back on, you need to flush the fill valve to rid it of any foreign matter. Twist the top of the fill valve counter clockwise and lift up to release it.


Place a bucket or cup directly over the top of the fill valve. This will re-direct the water that is going to spray straight up out of the fill valve.


Gently turn on the water supply while holding the bucket. Let it run for a few seconds, then turn it off again.


Replace the cap of the fill valve by setting the cap back on top and then twist the cap clockwise. Make sure it is on securely. Then turn the water supply back on.

While the tank is filling, press down on the float cup until it is submerged under water for 30 seconds. Then release. Now you can adjust the water level adjustment screw until the water in the tank is about 1″ lower than the top of the overflow tube.

Test your toilet by flushing it a few times. Does it work?! Hooray! You’ve now replaced 2/3 of your toilet tank parts. Next up, how to replace the overflow tube and flapper assembly.

Toilet Repairs – Part 1 – Replacing the Lever

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I hope you enjoyed my photos from Scotland! On our tour of Mary King’s Close we learned about life in Edinburgh before the toilet was invented. It was definitely not a pretty time in the city’s history. People literally dumped their pails of waste into the streets of Edinburgh and the sludge ran down the streets and into the loch (lake). They were only allowed to dump the pails early or late in the day after the street vendors were gone and the streets were less crowded. Then they opened their doors or window and threw out the sludge yelling, “gardyloo” loosely translated as “watch out for the water!” How thoughtful of them. But, people would still slip and fall in the muck coated walkways.

Back then the saying about Edinburgh was that you could smell it before you could see it.

Thank goodness the toilet was invented! Go now and hug your porcelain bowls. Okay, well you don’t have to, but be thankful for your loo.



Did you know that a leaky or malfunctioning toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water per day, that is over 70,000 gallons of water in a year! Yikes!

If you have a leaking toilet or one that doesn’t shut off I encourage you to fix it yourself! Yes, you can do this, no need to hire a plumber.

First, for anyone concerned about putting their hands in “crap water”, let me reassure you that all the repairs I am going to show you are in the tank and the tank holds clean water that is then used to flush the toilet. So, no need to worry about contaminated water. That isn’t to say that the tank won’t have mineral deposits or black residue in it. This is a result of the break down of the rubber gasket or hard water deposits, so you may want to don some rubber gloves.

Over the next few days I will show you how to replace everything in your tank. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing an entire tank repair kit and replace all the parts at once. It will save you time and money, because if one part of your tank is going bad, the others are likely to follow close behind.

Complete Toilet Repair Kits cost about $20

Today we will get your feet wet (no pun intended) by replacing the handle also known as the flush lever. Then I will show you how to replace the fill valve and finally how to replace the overflow tube and flapper assembly.

But, before we begin, you will need a few tools (tools shown are for a full repair job.)

  • Plumber’s Wrench (must have a wide mouth opening)
  • Adjustable Crescent Wrench
  • Handsaw (drywall, coping or hack saw will work. Needs to cut through PVC)
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Level
  • Scissors
  • Bucket or basin
  • Sponge
  • Rags or Towels
  • Rubber Gloves

Ready? Well, let’s begin! Start by turning off the water. There should be a water shut off valve in the wall behind your toilet. Gently turn the knob clockwise to shut the valve.

Next, flush your toilet to drain the water from the tank. If your tank re-fills the water is not completely shut off.

Remove the lid to your tank. Set the lid in a safe place where it can’t be dropped or broken.

Inside the tank, opposite the lever, is a lock nut that holds the lever in place.


Using your pliers, gently loosen the nut and then remove the lock nut by hand. Just a little note: the nut may turn in the opposite direction than you would expect.

Remove the flapper chain from the end of the rod attached to the lever.


Remove the old flush lever and replace it with the new one.

Thread the lock nut back onto the new lever. Gently tighten the lock nut, but not too much. Over tightening could result in a cracked tank.


Replace the flapper chain on the new lever rod (picture below shows two chains, but you may only have one.) Adjust the chain so there is a slight amount of slack in the chain. Remove any excess chain that could get caught in the flapper (but leave an inch or two on the chain for adjustments).


Turn the water back on and let the tank fill.


Test the lever by depressing it. Replace the tank lid and test it again making sure that the flush lever rod doesn’t hit the top of the tank lid before lifting the flapper. Once it flushes properly, you are done!
That wasn’t hard, was it? Stay tuned as I show you how to replace the fill valve and finally how to replace the overflow tube and flapper assembly!

 

The Lettered Cottage

 

How NOT to Replace an Escutcheon

Drain-all-sinks

Our downstair’s bathroom is a little retreat for me from the boys. It is a great place to catch up on my Country Living magazines and if I bring my iPhone with me I can check email. Best of all the boys know to respect my privacy (well, most of the time.)

When we first moved in Pretty Handsome Guy accidentally leaned against the TP holder and pushed it through the wall. I patched it and painted the brush stroke texture on the walls trying to hide the poor condition of the walls.

Unfortunately, spending that much time in that bathroom gave me lots of time to focus on all the imperfections. The uneven paint where the trim meets the wall, the dinged, scratched and pocked wall, the beech veneer vanity, and the NASTY RUSTY ESCUTCHEON.

Es-car-go what? An escutcheon is the metal collar that covers the hole in the wall where a plumbing pipe extends out of the wall.

So, in a spur of the moment decision, I decided to give the whole room a facelift. I know, from one little escutcheon to an entire room refresh, that’s how I roll.

First things first, I told that rusty eyesore that he was coming out TODAY!

I’ve replace the escutcheons on several of our shower heads. They are really easy to replace. Simply unscrew the shower head, slip off the old U-G-L-Y escutcheon and slip on the new one, then screw the shower head back on. Easy peasy!!! So, I figured replacing the toilet’s water supply line escutcheon would be just as easy.

First, I turned off the water to the whole house. Then I drained all the faucets (if you don’t drain the upstairs faucets as well as the downstairs, then you will have a lot of water being pulled down by gravity when you open up your supply line.

When the faucets ran dry, I placed a bucket under the water supply line (some water will still drip out), then removed the braided line going to the toilet.

Next l grabbed my super strength Irwin groove lock plyers. With the long handles and adjustable grip, these are my new “go to” pliers. I began to turn the water supply line, lefty loosey. I turned, and turned, and turned, and turned.

Finally, I realized that it wasn’t unscrewing. Ooops! I guess it wasn’t a threaded nut. (I will be checking that nut for the next few months to make sure that it isn’t leaking now that I loosened it.)

Okay, on to Plan B (because I am good to my word and I promise that escutchen that he was gone, TODAY!) I went back to my tool stash and I grabbed these suckas! That’s right escutcheon, quake in your boots!

These are my tin snips (okay they really need a more macho name like Tin Destroyer!) Escutcheon, say your goodbyes! And within one easy snip, that rusty, nasty ring was HISTORY!

To put the new one on I made a cut through the new ring and then rotated the two edges in opposite directions.

I slipped it over the supply line and bent it back into shape. By positioning the cut section on the bottom, you don’t even notice it!

AND WOW, look at how that new escutcheon just brightens up that little corner under the toilet. It even distracts your eye from the uneven trim paint and the dark purple walls! Ha, ha, yes, this is a true after pictures. I’ll be sharing with you more this week on “How to Prep a Room for Painting”; “How to Paint a Room Like a Professional”; “How to Paint Doors, the Right Way”; and maybe more.

Okay, gotta go, I have a few more finishing touches to put on my retreat half bathroom. Check back soon to see the progress.

Repairing a Pop Up Sink Drain

We just got back from a short trip to Vienna, Virginia to visit my family for the holidays. When we arrived, my mom had left me a note in the bathroom we were using.

Here it is:

My mom, she’s so cute, doesn’t she know that this sign taunted me the whole visit?

Besides, what kind of daughter would I be if I left this minor repair to a plumber? Puh-lease!

So, here was the deal with the hair clip in the sink. It was her way of holding the stopper up because the rod inside the sink had rusted and broken off. (Pretty creative in my opinion.)

But not the real fix for a sink stopper that would not stay up.

Let’s back up before I show you how to repair the stopper. Thank you to Dvorty Girl for the excellent illustration above that she posted on WikiHow.com.

Sink parts:
  1. Drain Down Rod
  2. Joint Clamp Clip
  3. Horizontal Rod
  4. Nut
  5. Ball, Rod, Nut & Gasket
  6. Stopper Notch
  7. Pop Up Drain Stopper

Materials:

Universal Pivot Ball Replacement Kit
Pliers (maybe)

Instructions:

1. Clear out enough room so you can work under the sink. (Okay, my mom is going to kill me for showing you her cluttered sink vanity. But, who’s sink vanity doesn’t look like this?! Please leave a comment and tell her that she’s not the only one!)

2. Lay down some towels to cushion the edge of the vanity (or your back, rib cage or hips will be in screaming pain.)

3. Locate the (3)horizontal rod and (5) nut at the back of your drain that holds the (5) ball, rod & gasket.

4.  Unscrew the (5) nut with your fingers or use pliers if it is really tight. Pull out the ball and gasket.
5. To release the (3) horizontal rod from the (1) down rod, squeeze the (2) joint clamp clip between your fingers and slide it off the end of the horizontal rod.
6. Lay out your old pieces to assess the damage. You may or may not need a new gasket (which is sold separately.) This one was broken and needed replacing.
7. Match the old pivot ball with the new ones in the kit. Be sure to choose the one that is exactly the same size. Thread the (5) new ball onto the new (3) horizontal rod.
8. Next thread the new gasket onto the horizontal rod and then the nut.
9. Next feed one end of the (2) joint clip clamp (the kit I bought contained two white stoppers instead of a joint clip clamp). Only add one side or one stopper at this point.)
10. Feed the (3) horizontal rod into the (1) down rod.
11. Line the other end of the (3) horizontal bar up and slip the ball joint into the hole at the back of the drain. Ideally the horizontal bar will be parallel to the floor, but you may have to make some minor adjustments at the end.
12. Screw the nut back onto the drain making sure the ball joint and gasket are lined up properly.
13. Now add the second stopper or the other end of the (2) joint clamp clip to the back of the (3) horizontal rod.
14. Look inside the drain, and notice the post end of the (5) ball joint inside the drain.
Pull up on the (1) down drain rod and make sure that it moves up and down freely and the post in the drain moves as well.
15. This next step requires a little patience, so put your patience cap on. Feed the drain stopper back into the drain. You want the end of the stopper to be at a 90 degree angle from the ball joint post as show below.
Gently rotate the stopper 90 degrees until the end of the stopper hooks the post.
16. Once the stopper has been properly rotated and hooked onto the ball joint post, test your sink by pulling up and own on the (1) drain down rod.
And you are done!
Pretty Handsome Guy thought it would be funny to re-arrange the letters in the sign.
And just to prove to you that my Mom can also be handy, this is a photo I found of her from the 1970′s when my parents were building my childhood home.
Next time your drain stopper is broken, I hope you will put off calling a plumber and fix it yourself!