Plumbing How To & DIY

Improve the value of your home by discovering our plumbing step-by-step tips & ideas.

S22 E3: Richard Trethewey repairs a leaking shower valve

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How To Repair a Leaking Shower Valve

When a shower valve in a perfectly preserved original bathroom started leaking, a homeowner reached out to Richard Trethewey for help fixing it.

How to Get Hot Water with a Recirculating Pump

This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains how a recirculation line can save energy, money, and time.
How to Clean a Clogged Faucet Aerator

How to Clean a Faucet Aerator

This Old House plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey shows how to go with the flow by replacing a plugged-up aerator

How to Plunge a Toilet  

With so many plungers in the market, which one is right for your toilet? Learn how to pick out the best plunger and use it properly when disaster strikes in the bathroom.

How to Replace a Tub Drain

In this edition of DIY Smarts, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner with an old 1950s bathtub replace the tub drain assembly when the current one stops plugging the tub.

How to Maintain Your Dishwasher

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey breaks down all the connections on a dishwasher, how they work, and how to troubleshoot them when they aren’t draining or drying correctly.

How to Fit Copper Pipes

Plumbing & Heating Expert Richard Tretheway shows host Kevin O’Connor several methods for making solid, watertight connections, both with solder and without.

How to Remove a Bathtub Drain

If you’re looking to replace an old bathtub drain, it’s not difficult to do the job yourself. Read these steps to learn more.

How To Pump Water Out Of Your Basement 

Whether it’s caused by a hundred-year flood or a plumbing malfunction, no one wants a swimming pool in their basement. Here are some ways to get rid of that standing water in your basement. 

How to Snake a Toilet 

It’s always disheartening to realize you’ve got a clogged toilet that can’t be fixed with a plunger, but the good news is that another simple tool can help you address the problem—a snake or drain auger.

How to Install a Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are a helpful tool to help prevent pesky kitchen odors, as well as stop food from going down the pipes and causing plumbing issues. Watch as Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey demonstrates how to install a garbage disposal in your kitchen.

How to Replace a Bathroom Faucet

Need to update your bathroom sink faucet? Watch this DIY Smarts as Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey demonstrates how to replace a bathroom faucet.

How to Bleed a Radiator

If you have hot-water heat, have you ever found that one or more of your radiators isn’t warming up? Or that only the bottom of a radiator gets hot? Before you spend the money on a plumber, try an easy fix.

How to Remove Air in Water Pipes

If air is coming out of your water pipes, don’t worry, you may be able to easily fix it yourself. Read on to learn how to tell if air is in your water pipes, and how to get rid of it.

How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Got a toilet clog, with no plunger in sight? Read this guide to learn how to unclog a toilet using only simple household items you probably have at hand.

How to Clean a Dryer Vent

Excessive dryer lint buildup can pose a fire hazard, so it’s important to clean it at least once a year. Read this guide to learn how to clean your dryer vent in five easy steps.

How to Install a French Drain

French drains serve to collect and remove groundwater that would otherwise cause a problem. They’re often used along driveways, in damp areas of a lawn, and around house foundations to help keep the basement or crawlspace dry. Read this guide to learn more about how to install a french drain in your yard.

How to Fix a Dishwasher That Won’t Drain

Dishwasher not draining? Repair can be an easy DIY project. Read our guide to diagnose and fix your dishwasher on your own.

How to Connect Steel Gas Pipes

Looking to connect gas pipes in your home? This Old House Plumbing & Heating Expert Richard Trethewey explains a new method for connecting gas pipes, known as "press-connect."

How to Fix a Slow Draining Tub

A slow-draining tub is a common problem, and an irritating one, too. Nobody wants to stand in a deepening pool of murky water while taking a shower. Read our guide to fixing a clogged tub.

How to Replace Pedestal Sink Parts

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner replace all the plumbing components in his pedestal sink.

How to Increase Water Pressure on City Water

Here’s how to fix your water pressure if you’re on city water.

How to Get Rid of Rust in Well Water

This Old House plumbing expert Richard Trethewey has some solutions for a homeowner experiencing iron and rust in their well water.

How to Unclog Any Drain

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows us every common household drain, and how to unclog them like a pro.

How to Upgrade to a Pressure Balanced Shower Valve

Richard Trethewey travels to Salt Lake City to replace a shower valve he has never seen before in his career with a conventional pressure balanced one.

How to Repair Toilet Tank Components

Ask This Old House plumbing and HVAC expert Richard Trethewey explains the failure points in toilet tanks and how to repair them

How to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Learn about 4 types of faucets, what causes a faucet to drip, and how to repair them.

How to Deal with Common Kitchen Plumbing Problems

Here’s how to fix leaks and clear clogs in your kitchen sink.

How to Replace Polybutylene Piping with PEX

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey travels to Richmond, Virginia to help a homeowner replace her polybutylene piping with conventional PEX.

How to Shorten a Gas Pipe to Fit an Oven

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shortens a gas pipe for a homeowner whose new stove does not fit against the wall because it is getting stuck on the pipe

How to Install a Water Filter Under the Sink

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey travels to Los Angeles to update a water filter to preserve the look of a retro faucet

New Solutions to Unclog Sinks

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey discusses some innovations that can make clearing a clogged sink easier

How Plumbing Technology is Advancing

During a visit to IBS 2019, Richard Trethewey gave our Pro2Pro editor a lesson in connecting pex tubing, then explored a new water-monitoring device and high-tech training tool