The unending benefits of DIY at home



DIY as a hobby is so much fun. Being able to build things around the house by itself is a testament to the joy it brings. But what it also brings in with it is the eventual feeling of wanting to try everything yourself before really turning to a professional. And no. Am not talking about building a lampshade, or a center table, or a wall hanging. Am referring to leaking sinks, broken pipelines, overflowing flush, a flat tyre, a busted electrical fitting and more.
Home repair is largely never spoken about in Woodooz, but I wanted to mention how much it is part of everyday DIY activities and how much of trouble and money it can save us. These are things that I would have never tried if not for the love that I had developed for doing things myself.

Fixing a drain pipe

Take our kitchen drain pipe for instance. I moved my kitchen sink during installation to the corner of the counter. As a result the pipe outlet on the wall and the drain outlet were not aligned. The builder refused to move the wall outlet and hence the usual stainless steel pipeline could not be laid. What he installed was the plastic flexible pipe that required replacement every 4 months. Losing much of our patience we decided to do it ourselves. What transpired was a combination of PVC, plastic pipe and some M-Seal and a no replacement guarantee for a long time.
Fixing kitchen drain pipe
DIY Plumbing

Covering the pipeline duct

Rat menace was something that we could not live with. After a damaged sofa, catching 6 rats in 6 days and finding newly born pinky rats in the service area cabinet, we decided to block the pipeline duct (in the service area) from the terrace through which the rats were gaining access. We approached an aluminium window vendor who gave a quote for Rs.14,000 and a carpenter who gave a proposal for Rs.4000. Not wanting to spend so much, we decided to do it ourselves. With aluminium sheets and some duct tapes, we covered the opening for a mere  Rs.200. Not a pretty picture but never a rat ever after.
Closing the rat entry
Stopping access for rats to enter

Fixing a leaking sink

Have you ever felt the smell of damp wood hitting you on your face ? It happened every time we opened the kitchen cabinet below the sink. The grouting around the sink had caved in resulting in water leaking into the wood below. Despite having an in house plumber, we decided to fix it ourselves. All it took us was Rs.25 of white cement and about 20 minutes of work. Problem solved.
Kitchen sink leaking
Grouting around kitchen sink
Building things is fun, but I have come to realize fixing things is so much more fun. Being able to remedy an issue without having to go around looking for a professional is also much appreciated at home. Am sure many of you do it too and so might think what is the big deal. The fact is not many do it which  makes it really a big deal. That said it is also important to understand when to give up and really seek expert help.

Are you the kinds that changes his / her own flat tyres ? Fixes leaking sinks ? Rectifies a broken cabinet hinge ? Leave me a comment. Let me know your thoughts about how DIY home repair has saved you trouble, time and won you appreciation.



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33 comments:

  1. Nice post Somu. Yes one of the best benefits of DIY is being able to fix things at home when really needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vinay, thanks... Am sure you would appreciate it because I guess you would have been involved in quite a bit of home repair yourself. Sometimes we do it because it is difficult to get the right guy on time and sometimes we do it for the sheer fun of it. Either way, as you mentioned, it comes in handy at a time when it is needed the most.

      Delete
  2. Hi Somu,
    Indeed, making things from the ground up might be the more satisfying act creatively since you can control all aspects of developing the thing, at the same time, it is the repair/make-it-work-again/jugaad activities which are the things that a DIY'er can expect to encounter more often.
    It definitely makes financial sense to try and repair something. Also, the approach of a normal handyman in India is to correct something just enough to make it work without any thoughts on quality or appearance or longevity. Simple examples like putting only 3 screws around the electrical switch board. or putting dirty hands on the wall while taking the bulb out are commonly available. When you DIY, you do it to your satisfaction rather then finish-and-scoot approach they follow.
    regds
    MS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right MS... Infact workarounds are what is provided at times. Some of the fixes are either to solve the problem for the moment or provide a permanent fix at an exorbitant price. Both never works our in our favor. True that sometimes DIYing may not really yield the results we want on a long term basis and professional help may be needed. But there is so much fun in trying before we go to experts.. DIY truly results in a feel good factor irrespective of the look and feel of your work. In the examples I have cited above, the idea was to leave behind the problem and since the drain pipe and the pipe duct were not in visible areas, I was happy to leave it the way it looks now :) But I doubt if I would do anything of that sort anywhere else.

      Delete
  3. I have had a similar issue in my sisters recently built house. First off this is not a proper way to drain a sink. Im sure there are building codes which list how a sink needs to be drained. Look up in the Muncipal codes(yes they exist even in India).

    Every drain that is linked to the house should have a P-trap and a vent(every area is sufficient like one for bath room and one for kitchen, a shower area and toilet pot requires their own separate vent). This is to prevent sewer gases from coming into the home. The P-trap which is a U shaped section of pipe which contains water at all times. This column of water prevents sewer gases from coming into the house. The vent near/ on the same sewage line provides a way for sewer gases to be vented out before the put too much pressure on the water column in the P-trap.

    Apart from that the corrugated pipe is not advisable for any sink as the corrugations trap debris which will be rotting in there and eventually cause blockage. Thus the 6 month replacement being bandied about.

    Use silicone grout in the kitchen which is water proof. It is available in India in a tube. I dont know the brands now a days but GE was popular about a decade back. You must inspect grouting every six months and replace every year.

    All the same a good job with the knowledge available to you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have had a similar issue in my sisters recently built house. First off this is not a proper way to drain a sink. Im sure there are building codes which list how a sink needs to be drained. Look up in the Muncipal codes(yes they exist even in India).

    Every drain that is linked to the house should have a P-trap and a vent(every area is sufficient like one for bath room and one for kitchen, a shower area and toilet pot requires their own separate vent). This is to prevent sewer gases from coming into the home. The P-trap which is a U shaped section of pipe which contains water at all times. This column of water prevents sewer gases from coming into the house. The vent near/ on the same sewage line provides a way for sewer gases to be vented out before the put too much pressure on the water column in the P-trap.

    Apart from that the corrugated pipe is not advisable for any sink as the corrugations trap debris which will be rotting in there and eventually cause blockage. Thus the 6 month replacement being bandied about.

    Use silicone grout in the kitchen which is water proof. It is available in India in a tube. I dont know the brands now a days but GE was popular about a decade back. You must inspect grouting every six months and replace every year.

    All the same a good job with the knowledge available to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kittu, Just read about P-Trap after seeing your comment. That is really a very useful information that you have provided. I have seen P-Traps (Though did not know what it was called) in many installation and did not even know why it was there. I will relook at the whole thing and see if I can make any alterations to install it the proper way.

      You are also right about the corrugated pipe. Though it is only a small section that I have used, it does accumulate debris. Sometimes no job is good job when only done with limited knowledge. Your comment is an eye opener.

      Delete
    2. For such repairs where you need a P-trap to be connected to an outlet in wall (contrary to an outlet in floor), use "Bottle trap". It comes with a stainless steel tube. It has couple of advantages:
      1) provides the functionality of a P-trap
      2) can be used to trap solid particles which eventually clog the drain pipe. the "bottle" can be opened for manually removing the muck.
      3) looks neat
      4) and can be connected at angles, i.e., when the sink drain and the wall outlet are not in-line

      by looking at your installation, you might need a bit of PVC pipe to extend the terminating end of the "bottle trap".

      Delete
    3. Hi Criminal, in fact the P Trap and Bottle trap are completely new things to me. As am typing this comment, am reading up on bottle trap. Thanks really for this valuable information. If am just able to source and plan the relay, I would probably remove the current installation and redo it the right way. Thanks again :)

      Delete
  5. Very useful post. I have a problem with my kitchen sink too and have been planning to do something about it. Problem is to find the precise diameter of the outlet pipe. In India they sell "standard" sizes which invariably do not fit. Kittu is right about corrugated pipes and luckily I read this because I have bought a piece of corrugated pipe just like yours and was planning to attach it. Will get CPVC pipes which are joined by a solvent. Very tough and reliable I am told.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indranil, you are right about the solvent. I have a PVC pipe that goes into the wall pipe and I used the solvent. Now I am not even able to pull it out. Quite reliable. As for the corrugated pipe, I am also now relooking at it. Let me know how your installation goes. Because of the mis-alignment am not able to use PVC / CPVC directly. Will explore more.

      Delete
  6. Hi Somu,
    I have a question , about veneer panelling for wardrobe.
    In our case, the edges of the panels seem to be chipping off. Online i see something called veneer edge banding. Do yu know if these are available in india?
    any help here is greatly appreciated,
    rgds,
    Meera

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Meera,

    Yes, veneer edge banding is available in almost all local plywood stores... Especially those shops that sell veneer, mica or laminates. You will also have color options and you can choose one that closely matches your wardrobe laminate / veneer. Hope this helps. Let me know should you need more information.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi i have read your post and i think it's usefull.Thanks for the sharing this website. it is very useful professional knowledge.

    Plastic Ducting

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very well said. These tips are really amazing. I appreciate it for sharing them.

    Plastic Pipes

    ReplyDelete
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