All Natural Health and Home · DIY · Thrifty Tips

Swamp Yankee Plumbing 101

We have had a few plumbing issues over the past two weeks. My husband works a lot and is not exactly Mr. fix it, so normally we would just call a plumber to come fix the toilet that is leaking into the basement, the kitchen sink that sprays all over and the bathroom sink that won’t drain. (Seriously all this in two weeks.) But since we are embracing the whole Swamp Yankee lifestyle (frugal, self reliant) we decided to try our hand at a little youtube handy man plumbing.

So first the toilet. Mike youtubed how to take the toilet apart and off the floor to assess the problem. Turns out the wax seal that seals the toilet to the drain in the floor was all deteriorated.  Reapplying a wax seal is not exactly an amateur plumbing job because you need to get the toilet back on in the correct spot before the wax dries. So after a little bit of a mess and a few hours of trying to figure it out, we were ready to call a plumber.  But a swamp yankee is nothing if not stubborn. Mike and my son went down to the local hardware store to ask for advice. They came home with this amazing little gadget…..Seal waxless toilet sealer. (check it out here)

The toilet was fixed in like 10 minutes. No messy wax and no big plumber bill. Here’s the easy to use instructions:

  1. Scrape off the old wax seal
  2. Install the sani seal gasket over the hole in the floor
  3. Set bowl in place, apply downward pressure as you alternate tightening the bolts.

Boom. Done. Toilet fixed. Thank you guy at true value for saving us a huge plumbing bill.

Ok. Next problem is the bathroom drain that won’t drain. I hate liquid plummer products because of all the harsh chemicals. So we tried a more natural approach. We removed the stopper from the sink and pulled out any visible hair/gunk/stuff we could see with tweezers. Them we poured two tablespoons of baking soda and a splash of white vinegar. (The kids thought it was great fun because it bubbled and made all kinds of gurgling noises). We let it sit for 5 minutes, rinsed with hot water and repeated the process two more times until the drain drained at a normal rate.

No chemicals, no plumber bills and a smooth draining sink.

If you are going to be trying to tackle some DIY home improvement projects or fixes there are two great book to have handy. Both have great pictures and easy to follow instructions.

  1. Black and Decker’s The book of home how to HERE
  2. Dare to Repair: Do it yourself guide HERE





6 thoughts on “Swamp Yankee Plumbing 101

  1. We call it “bombing” the sink. (I even did it to the toilet once.) I use half a box of baking soda and then pour white vinegar in until it quits fizzing. Then turning on the hot water finishes it all up. (My cousin is a plumber, and he told me that sometimes just pouring boiling water down the sink will do the trick.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. O yay! I have a bathroom sink that has been draining reeeaalllyy slow for a week or two. My stepfather does this type of work for a living. However, I am the master procrastinator so I have not called him yet. I am am going to try this today! Thank you for the post!


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