Ultimate Guide: Plumbing (3rd Edition)

If you've even thought you might want to undertake a few plumbing projects around the home or cottage, this is the go-to book


Ultimate Guide: Plumbing (3rd Edition)

While I can manage basic plumbing repairs (replacing toilets, faucets, sinks and the like), I have limited knowledge and experience in tackling some of the more intricate plumbing improvements, such as adjusting a pressure-assisted toilet, or installing a whirlpool tub or waste disposal unit. The Ultimate Guide: Plumbing, from Creative Homeowner, provides a wealth of information for both the novice and avid DIYer.
There are 13 chapters in this book, divided into two sections. The first part, which comprises the bulk of the book, covers a wide range of plumbing projects, improvements and repairs. The second part of the book covers plumbing fundamentals, including a primer on plumbing basics, drainage and venting systems, tools of the trade, and how to plan plumbing installations. There is also a short section on building codes, which won't be of much interest to Canadian readers. It's worth noting however, that many jurisdictions require permits for undertaking plumbing renovations other than for replacing fixtures. Before undertaking any work it's a good idea to consult with your local building inspection office.
The first thing I noticed when thumbing through this book is the quantity and quality of photos and illustrations. They're superb quality, and go a long way to amplifying the text. Most of the photos and illustrations are fairly large, making it easy to see small details. Those of us with older eyes appreciate this.

Each project consists of a list of the tools and materials you'll need, along with an icon (1 hammer - easy, to 3 hammers - difficult) that indicates the skill level required for the project. There are quite a few 1 hammer (easy) projects which just about anyone can attempt. Once you've completed a few of these you can, I think, with confidence, tackle any of the 2 hammer (moderate) projects in the book.

Some of the project ratings are a bit odd. The authors rate 'Installing Toilet Flanges on Wood Floors' as an easy project, and 'Taking Up and Resetting a Toilet' as a moderately difficult project. Given that you have to remove the toilet to install the flange, I would consider both to be easy projects. So, don't be afraid to try projects simply because of the rating system. A careful read through the project is the best way to decide if you feel it's something you think you can handle.
I found the project instructions and ancillary articles to be very easy to understand. The author has a good grasp of the subject and knows how to explain both simple and complex projects clearly. I followed the instruction in the 'Installing a Waste Disposal Unit' section and had no difficulty in installing the garbarator my wife has been asking for since well before last Christmas.
If you know next to nothing about plumbing I recommend that you read Part II (plumbing fundamentals) of the book first. It provides a very good overview of the essential components of your homes plumbing system and how they work. There is also a handy glossary at the back of the book.
If you've even thought you might want to undertake a few plumbing projects around the home or cottage, this is the go-to book.



  • Introduction
  • Part I: Projects, Improvements, Repairs
  • Working With Water Piping
  • Working With Waste and Vent Pipes
  • Toilet, Repairs and Installation
  • Installing Sinks and Related Equipment
  • Faucet Repairs
  • Cleaning Drainpipes
  • Repairing and Installing Tubs and Showers
  • Maintaining and Installing Water Heaters
  • Sump Pumps, Filters and Softeners
  • Septic Systems, Well, and Lawn Sprinklers
  • Part II: Fundamentals
  • Plumbing Basics
  • Planning Plumbing Changes
  • Resource Guide
  • Glossary
  • Index
  • Credits
  • Metric Equivalents

PUBLISHER:Creative Homeowner
AVAILABLE FROM:Your local bookseller or online
FORMAT:Softcover, 202 pages
AUTHOR:Creative Homeowner
Carl Duguay
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