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Winter home improvement projects made easy with Total Pipes

With winter just around the corner, we’ll bet you’re looking forward to staying indoors and keeping cosy. But – although it’s tempting to laze around in your pyjamas for most of the day and snuggle up on the sofa – why not work on improving the interior of your home instead?

It could be something as simple as switching dated door handles for new or sealing off cracks and gaps with filler. However, you’d be surprised at the difference a new sink can make to your kitchen or bathroom. And if your toilet has seen better days, maybe now is the time to consider fitting a new one.

In today’s article, we thought we’d share some useful tips on how to install a new sink and toilet. And, whilst we’re on the subject, the importance of choosing the right soil and waste pipes. So, let’s get started.

How to install a new sink

First and foremost, you have to remove the existing sink.

To do so, you will need to:

1. Turn the water off. It’s also worth taking a picture of the valve and pipe configuration to assist you when installing the new sink.
2. Turn the faucet on to drain the water line.
3. Disconnect the disposal and supply lines (using a wrench) and place a bucket to catch any dripping water.
4. Detach the P-trap and allow it to drain completely before removing the disposal motor, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Loosen the clips that hold the sink from below using a screwdriver and use a razor to cut the sealing around the sink.
6. The sink should come away from the countertop.

Now you’re ready to install the new one.

The process of adding a sink is relatively straightforward. Here’s how it works:

1. Before you begin, make sure it fits properly. If it doesn’t, you will need to contact a specialist so they can adjust its size.
2. Attach the clips to the countertop (facing forwards towards the sink bowl).
3. Take some plumber’s putty and roll it into a thin strip. Apply it around the strainers edge and the drain before putting the strainer in the sink drain and pressing inwards.
4. Turn the sink on its side and put the rubber gaskets on the drain and thread the flange.
5. Carefully lower the sink onto the countertop – ensuring it’s aligned squarely – and rotate the clips to tighten it up.
6. Seal the outer part of the sink and wipe away any excess silicone with a damp cloth.
7. Reattach the fixtures (using the photograph you took when removing). We must add that, if you’re unsure about anything, get in touch with an expert as any mistakes could result in leaks, reduced efficiency and other serious problems.
8. Last, and by no means least, reconnect the P-trap and turn the water back on.

Tip: as with most other home improvement projects, you should start early in case there are any hitches along the way. Planning ahead will ensure you have ample time to deal with them without added stress.

How to fit a toilet

There are several reasons why you might consider replacing the toilet in your home this winter – the most obvious being that your existing one went out of style years ago or has developed a fault. Alternatively, you might be renovating your property. In which case, fitting a new toilet is bound to be on your to-do list.

Whatever your reasons, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s not too difficult to do yourself and, typically, all you need is a:

- wrench
- screwdriver
- silicone
- adjustable pliers

Additional plumbing tools, such as pipe cutters, pipe wrenches, box spanners, hammers, spirit levels, drills and tape measures, are beneficial if you’re starting from scratch or if the cistern isn’t connected directly to the pan (e.g. wall hung toilets).

Let’s take a look at how to remove a toilet with as little fuss as possible:

1. Locate the stopcock and turn off the water at the mains.
2. Disconnect the water pipe from the cistern using a wrench.
3. The toilet should be fixed to the floor using a number of bolts. Carefully unscrew these to free the loo.
4. Detach the toilet from the soil pipe (often found at the back of the system).
5. Cover the soil pipe using a bag or cloth to prevent unpleasant smells from entering your bathroom.

Now to installa toilet. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be careful to not overtighten any fixings.

1. Measure up and mark for drill holes to secure your toilet.
2. Insert the toilet pan connector to the soil pipe. Make sure it fits nice and snug and the pipe goes right the way into the connector collar.
3. Check the pan is level using a spirit level.
4. Secure the toilet to the floor using bolts. Try not to over-tighten these as it may crack the toilet pan.
5. Once the toilet is secured, apply silicone sealant around the base.
6. All cisterns come with screws and bolts as standard, as well as a seal but how you install them depends on the type. Be sure to follow your instructions meticulously.
7. Connect the water pipe to the cistern with a wrench and tighten it up.
8. Turn the water back on and check for leaks. It’s worth keeping a couple of towels handy just in case there are any problems.

And, remember, if you’re unsure about anything, you can contact a plumber. They will be able to advise you on how to install a toilet both quickly and correctly or (for a fee) take care of the installation for you – providing you with the assurance that the job is done to a professional standard.

Purchase the right soil and waste pipes today

When shopping for soil and waste pipes, it helps if you can differentiate between the two.

The easiest way to look at it is that soil pipes carry water and solids away from the toilet and have large diameters. These pipes are also vented – allowing harmful gases to escape into the atmosphere.

Waste pipes, on the other hand, drain water away from the sink, washing machine, shower or bath. Because these carry liquids, their diameter is a lot smaller and they don’t need to be vented.

Here at Total Pipes, we have everything from push-fit soil pipes to toilet pan connectors, universal waste pipe fittings and sink and bath waste traps. All our products are manufactured to an exceptional standard and can be purchased for a competitive price.

So, whatever project you’re embarking on this winter, we highly recommend that you take a look at our comprehensive range of soil and waste pipes today and make things easier for yourself. If you have any questions or would like to know more about the products we supply, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01254 382 000.