A List of Things to Do to Improve Your Plumbing Skills
Plumbing is just like anything else if you're willing to put a little time and effort in you can learn how to do that DIY and save on plumber's bills. But how do you go about improving your plumbing skills? We've got some ideas for you below, check them out and you'll be ready to tackle that leaking tap in no time!
1. Take Classes!
If you're an absolute beginner and don't know where to start, your best bet is to enrol in a basic plumbing class. You'll find plenty of night classes at local colleges or schools, and this is a great way to get the basic skills down. Learning the essentials from an expert will give you a good foundation for studying more by yourself. Classes don't have to be expensive, and they don't have to be long either- many places will offer a month or two of classes once a week at an affordable price.
2. Invest in the Right Tools
For those that want to do the job properly, getting the right tools is essential. Okay, you might not need the very specialised pieces, but you should certainly have some good quality basic tools. Using the wrong tool or cheap tools can mean messing-up a job and even getting injured, so it's definitely worth the initial investment to get yourself a solid, basic plumbing tool kit. You can always add more specialised things later if you end up needing them. As a side note, don't forget that many DIY stores will rent more expensive equipment if you need it, so you don't need to spend a lot, just make sure that you've got the basics.
3. Get Help
There's nothing more valuable than getting the advice of someone who has been there and done that. Luckily, these days you can easily sign up for online forums devoted to amateur plumbers. Joining these forums will give you access to hundreds of other people who are all trying to learn the same things that you are. Got a problem? Post it on the forum and see how others have solved it. Other people's experiences can be a great teaching tool, and joining these forums is usually free.
Like any other skill, you'll need to practise what you learn in order to get better at it. That doesn't necessarily mean ripping out your bathroom though! It's a better idea to practise something before you do it for real, so pick up some cheap pipe ends from your local DIY shop and try soldering them together or connecting them compression joints. That way, when you come to connect those pipes under the sink, you'll already know what it is that you're supposed to be doing. One of the most difficult things about plumbing is working in tight or uncomfortable spaces (like under the sink), so practising something at your workbench before needing to do it in a less convenient location will definitely help.
5. Don't Be Afraid
Don't be afraid to kick things up a notch. Connecting pipes with specially made connectors is one thing, but what about when it comes to the more difficult things like soldering? You can do this yourself, but you'll need to practise. If in doubt, find someone who knows how to do it and watch them. You'll find that many skills that you think are difficult or technical aren't that bad once you know how to do them.
6. Know Your Limitations
While you shouldn't be afraid to try or practise new things, you should be aware that you do have limitations. Particularly in areas that require more than plumbing skills, such as fitting electric showers, for example, it's probably best to consult a professional. There's no point endangering yourself or your house because you're too proud to ask for help.
8. Learn the Vocab
Just like most other professions, there's a certain vocabulary that goes along with plumbing. By reading trade magazines and joining websites about plumbing, you'll soon pick up the lingo. This will make it easier for you to read more technical how-to texts as well as to discuss or explain a problem. It's worth taking a little time to learn how to talk about your new skill! Now as you know about plumbing skills, it's also important to know about Electrical skills.
A List of Things to Do to Improve Your Electricity Skills
Home electronics can be a little daunting. But if you know where your fuse box is, you've already made a good start. Working with your home electrical system might seem a little overwhelming at first, but with some practice and a little time, you can master the basic skills that you need to save on electricians’ bills.
1. Safety First
Electricity is dangerous, we all know that. That's why it's extremely important that you master the safety rules of electricity before you attempt to do anything else. If you're not sure how to safely handle your home electrical system, then you're going to need to do some reading first. Only when you understand how to safely perform maintenance and deal with your electrical system should you move on to anything else: Electricity can, and does, kill, so it's safety first every time.
2. Do The Research
Before learning any new skill, it's a good idea to put the time into learning a little bit about the basics. You can pick up some elementary books on the subject from your local library, or invest in a few trade magazines to get you up to speed. You'll learn some new vocabulary as well as get an overview of what kinds of skills you're going to need to learn, so it's worth putting in a little reading time before doing anything more.
3. Get The Basics
For those who have never had dealings with electricity at all signing up for a short night, class might be to your advantage. Most local colleges, schools or community centres will offer affordable classes that meet once a week or so for a couple of months. Doing things this way will mean that you get a solid foundation of basic skills that you can then build on. Learning the essentials from an expert is a good use of both your time and your money.
4. Get the Equipment
There is another investment that you're going to need to make, however, and that's equipment. Having the right tools for the right job can make the difference between doing something well and botching it, as well as helping you stay safe and not get injured. You won't need too much specialist equipment at first, but you will need a basic, good quality tool box. You can add to this over time, and many of the more expensive tools can be rented from DIY stores, but you'll want your own set of tools before you get started.
5. Get Some Practise
There's no point trying out a big project before you've got the essentials down pat. And if you don't have any experience at all, then practising might seem difficult. However, spending a little time with some off cuts of wire to practise your soldering skills before you get to the real thing can be very beneficial. Before attempting something for the first time, see if you can practise the job, or parts of the job, first. Refining your soldering skills on those wire offcuts will mean that you'll be able to do a professional job once you start soldering wires for real!
6. Get Some Advice
One of the most valuable things that you can do is to learn from other people and their mistakes. Whatever it is that you need to do, someone else has done it before and can provide you with hints to get the job done better or faster. Have a look around online and find yourself a forum for people interested in home electrics and DIY and you'll have a whole host of valuable experiences and information at your fingertips. These forums are usually free to join and provide invaluable help not only for beginners but also for more advanced students. It's worth your time to become a member.
7. Get Working
Once you are comfortable and well equipped with the necessary skills, you can quickly get to work. Make sure to start small and as you gain confidence get to the bigger tasks.