You need not call your local plumber when needing a replacement plumbing fixture or part for a sink, toilet or other plumbed item in your home. Most home improvement centers offer all the necessary parts you need and, in fact, are the source your professional plumber probably uses. Furthermore, toilets, sinks and other fixtures can also be purchased here.
Step 1: Check the Connection
The actual fixture or replacement part you choose will be dictated by the one you replace, especially when connected to piping. The connection threads must match male to female as will the width. If you cannot match diameters or male to female couplings, you might be able to find adapters allowing successful connections. Charts and guides may be available at your local home improvement center or ask a salesperson working there for assistance with making the correct selection.
Step 2: Measurements
When replacing fixtures like a sink, for example, be careful to take the right measurements so the new sink will fit securely in the sink cabinet.
Step 3: Match It
There are certain fixture replacements that need matching such as water faucets. If the faucet being replaced had dual controls (one each for hot or cold water), the replacement faucet must have the same controls to match your sink requirements. If you are not sure, ask either a professional plumber or someone at your local home improvement center.
Step 4: Compare Prices
Make sure to conduct some comparison shopping when seeking fixture replacements, especially for more costly items like toilets. Once you’ve determined the requirements needed for the replacement fixture, check several sources to arrive at the best price possible. You may find special sales on certain items or closeout specials that can save you a good deal of money.
Step 5: Code Compliance
When purchasing and installing a new replacement fixture, make sure you follow all local code requirements. Some areas, for example, mandate the inclusion of a scald-protection device on new shower heads installed. This may be very important when replacing fixtures that predate recent changes to the local code. Make sure you check the codes before buying a replacement fixture that might be out of date, and out of code.
Step 6: Alternate Sources
Many high-traffic, new home construction areas have huge wholesale supply businesses that are open to the public. Occasionally, builders hold public sales on plumbing fixtures and other home items that are left over from their completed projects. Plus, check any auctions that are held in your area.
Often you can find deals that include materials for an entire kitchen or bathroom makeover that may cost little more than what you were planning to spend on just replacing a sink. A find like this can make a larger remodling project affordable.
Be wary of fixtures offered by plumbers. Like any business, plumbers will mark up material costs especially high-end items like whirlpools or saunas. Many of these are available as kits for the do-it-yourself enthusiasts that are considerably less in cost.