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Installing and Testing Fixtures and Valves

Installing and Testing Fixtures: Chapter 1

After completing this module, you will be able to describe: Tools used in plumbing, How to install a toilet, How to install a flush tank and toilet seat . Skip to quiz!


These are the common tools used in the plumbing industry.

  • Pipe Wrench

  • Adjustable Wrench

  • Basin Wrench

  • Pliers

  • Hacksaw

  • Pipe Cutters

  • Plumber’s Torch

  • Plunger

  • Hand Auger

Let's learn more about how the different plumbing tools are used.

As the name implies, a pipe wrench is a heavy tool used to loosen or tighten fittings on a pipe. There are several different lengths of pipe wrenches. A professional plumber should carry a whole set to be prepared for any situation.

Adjustable wrenches are designed to loosen and tighten fittings and nuts with a hexagonal shape. Adjustable wrenches come in many sizes, but plumbing fixtures are standardized such that plumbers typically need to carry only 6-inch and 10-inch wrenches for most jobs.

These T-shaped wrenches with a clamp at one end help plumbers gain access to the narrow spaces around faucet fixtures, allowing them to tighten the retaining nuts securely to keep the faucet running smoothly.

Pliers are another tool frequently used by plumbers. Their small size enables plumbers to tighten or loosen nuts that are too small for a typical wrench. They can often reach into tight spaces where a wrench does not fit.

Plumbers often must cut hardware in order to complete a job. Cutting of bolts, nuts, and pipes is easier with a hacksaw in the kit. Plumbers often carry a hacksaw and extra blades.

Many installation and repair jobs require much cutting and resizing of pipes. A range of different pipe materials may be involved, from copper to plastic. Pipe cutters are designed to hold and cut pipe more safely and accurately than a hacksaw.

Copper pipes must be soldered to create a proper connection. A plumber’s torch is a must for working with copper pipe. The torch is a compact, handheld tool that creates intense heat in a targeted area to create an effective joint seal.

Plumbers often use heavy-duty flange and cup plungers that generate more suction than the average home plunger. They make quick work of unblocking a toilet.

A hand auger is a handheld plumbing tool used to run a cable deep inside a blocked drain. This tool used to break open stubborn blockages and clear any clogs. Motorized hand augers are known as “snake machines”.

Toilet Installation

If a toilet is broken or cracked, it should be replaced. To install a toilet, we will need some specific tools and materials.

These are the materials used for the installation of a toilet.

  • Brass toilet bolts,

  • Caulk,

  • Flexible water supply,

  • Plastic shims,

  • Toilet flange,

  • Wax ring, and

  • Toilet bowl.

Step 1.

  • Ensure that the hole in the floor is large enough to accommodate the closet flange up to its collar.

Step 2.

  • Apply PVC cement to those surfaces and immediately twist the soil pipe into the closet bend.

  • Prime and apply cement to the soil pipe's free end and inside the closet flange.

  • Rotate the collar until its slots are positioned to the right and left of the hole.

Step 3.

  • Insert the long brass closet bolts, threaded end up, into the flange collar's slots. Slip a brass washer over each.

  • Lift the toilet bowl over the flange, align the holes in its base with the closet bolts, and lower the base onto the ring.

Step 4.

  • Press the bowl down onto the wax ring without twisting or rocking until the bowl's base rests on the floor. If the floor is uneven, shim the bowl with stainless steel washers.

  • Tighten the nuts with a wrench one-quarter turn at a time, alternating between the two. Stop when the wrench meets firm resistance; overtightening will crack the bowl.

Step 5.

  • Fit the small-diameter rubber tank washers into the small tank holes from the inside of the tank, then insert the tank bolts.

  • Slip a nylon washer onto each bolt, then hand-thread the nuts.

  • Connect the tank's handle to the flapper chain.

Step 6.

  • Hand-tighten the supply line's plastic nut under the tank.

  • Tighten the compression nut with a wrench.

Step 7.

  • Position the seat assembly over the bowl, then insert the plastic bolts and tighten the nuts by hand.

  • Turn on the main supply line to check for leaks.

The flush tank comes separately and must be assembled. There are several steps to the assembly process.

Step 1:

  • Remove the replacement kit from its packaging and assemble the parts according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 2:

  • Slide the new kit into place by inserting the fill stem into the hole in the bottom of the tank.

  • Be sure to install the rubber gasket, so the gasket rests on the inside of the tank to seal the fill hole.

  • Place the large plastic nut on the fill stem and hand tighten it into place.

Step 3:

  • Install the pull chain onto the flapper valve and test by pushing the flush lever.

  • Adjust the chain length for proper actuation of the lever to the valve.

  • Install the water supply hose onto the new fill stem and tighten it with pliers.

Step 4:

  • Turn the water supply valve back on and check for any leaks.

  • Test the new kit by flushing the toilet and observe for proper operation of the kit.

  • Replace the ceramic cover on the water tank.

This module covered the following topics:

  • Tools used in plumbing

  • How to install a toilet

  • How to install a flush tank and toilet seat


Faucets, Sinks, and Showers

After completing this module, you will be able to describe: Installation of a faucet, Installation of a drop-in sink, Installation of a shower. Skip to quiz!

Faucet Installation

We all use faucets daily; the faucet is a fixture everyone is familiar with. With the right equipment, anyone can quickly install a faucet. Let’s explore the required equipment for installation.

  • New Faucet

  • Adjustable Wrench

  • Channel-locking Pliers

  • Flexible Supply Lines

  • Basin Wrench

  • Tape Measure

  • Phillips and Regular Screwdrivers

  • Plumber's Putty

  • Thread seal tape

The correct procedure to install a faucet depends upon the situation. Replacing an existing faucet is an easier task, while installing fixtures in new construction can include more steps. Be sure to review the entire procedure before installing any new faucet.

1. Prepare for Installation

Before attempting to install a new kitchen faucet, confirm the number of existing holes in the sink. You may need to check underneath the sink for this. The sink must have enough holes to match the faucet. While a 1-hole faucet can work in a 2-hole sink, the same won’t be true for a 2-hole or 3-hole faucet in a 1-hole sink.

2. Disconnect Water Supply Lines

To remove the old faucet, you’ll need to disconnect the supply lines under the sink. Use an adjustable wrench to remove each nut by turning it counterclockwise.

3. Remove the Old Faucet

The old faucet is attached underneath the cabinet with mounting hardware. With the mounting hardware removed, the faucet should lift out. You may need to apply pressure to break any caulk seal.

4. Install New Faucet

For pull-down faucets, attach the connecting hose to the supply pipe. Pull down on the hose and attach the weight.

5. Connect the lines

Connect the water supply lines. Use plumber’s tape if required.

6. Leak Testing

Turn the water on slowly and check for leaks. Tighten connections if necessary. In most situations, a faucet leak is caused by failed washers or worn-out gaskets. Replacing them is a simple fix.

Drop-in Sinks

If a sink has cracks or it is leaking, it needs to be replaced. For the installation or replacement of a drop-in sink, we need some specific tools and materials.

  • Tubing cutter

  • Jigsaw

  • Drill/driver

  • Screwdriver

  • Mechanic's pliers

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Tape measure

  • Hacksaw

  • Spade bit

Recall that different tools are used for different purposes in sink installation. Sinks need to be assembled before they can be installed. Let's learn more about sink assembly.

Measure and Mark Kitchen Sink Layout

Mark the counter's back edge to center the sink within its cabinet. Adjust the sink to leave 1½ inches between its back edge and the backsplash. Be sure the sink is parallel to the counter's edge.

Mark the Cut Lines onto the Counter

Using a spade slightly wider than the jigsaw blade, drill a hole inside the radius at each corner of the cut-out lines.

Cut a Sink Opening with a Jigsaw

Lower a jigsaw blade into a front hole and saw along the cut line to the back hole. Repeat on the other side. Cut along the front and back cut lines. Remove the cut-out piece.

Install Kitchen Faucet

Set the sink upside down on a padded sawhorse or counter. Feed the faucet's supply tubing and tailpiece through the gasket that seals the faucet to the sink, and then up through the hole in the sink.

Attach Strainer Over Plumber’s Putty

Slip the gasket, washer, and housing onto the strainer and against the underside of the sink. Fit the gasket onto the sink-drain tailpiece and attach it to the strainer with its slip nut. Tighten the nut by hand while holding the strainer.

Set The Sink and Connect Water Supply

With the sink still upside down, squeeze a bead of silicone caulk around the underside of the sink's lip. Connect the faucet to shut-off valves using acorn-head supply tubes or braided stainless steel hoses. Attach the sprayer hose to the faucet's threaded tailpiece.

Connect the Drain Pipes

Take the drain pieces apart. Cut and dry-fit lengths of PVC pipe to connect the trap adapter to the trap and the drain elbow to the waste line. Swivel the trap or slide it on the tailpiece to fine-tune the pipes' lengths and alignment.

Attach Dishwasher Drain and Tidy Up

Attach the dishwasher drain line to the waste nib of the tailpiece. Tighten the hose clamp with a screwdriver. Remove excess putty from the lip of the strainer.

Shower Trim

If a shower is not working properly or is leaking, it should be replaced. To install a shower, we will need different tools and materials.

  • Shower controls

  • Showerhead

  • Shower arm and flange

  • Silicone caulk

  • Grout sealer

  • Shower pan

  • Two-by-fours

  • Always turn off the water supply.

  • If you have a separate cutoff valve installed in the bathroom, shut off the water throughout the house.

  • Open up a lower-level faucet in the home to release the pressure in the lines.

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing the cartridge for this faucet.

  • Ensure the shower cartridge's marks line up with the valve's slots before pushing it in. It should fit snugly when properly inserted.

  • Screw on the bonnet nut and tighten it down with pliers.

  • Solder the adapter included with the tub spout to the outlet pipe.

  • The outside of the surface should be coated with flux.

  • Remove the O-ring and other components that can be damaged by heat.

  • Slide the adapter over the pipe.

  • After heating the adapter with a torch, solder a small bead to the outside seam

  • After it cools, place the O-ring back on and screw the tub spout onto the adapter clockwise.

  • Before installing, wrap some Teflon tape clockwise around the arm's threads.

  • Screw the shower head onto the threads until tight.

  • Attach one end of the hose to the hand shower.

This module covered the following topics. Tools, installation and leak testing of:

  • Faucets,

  • Drop-in sinks, and

  • Showers


Question #1: Which of the following tools is NOT used in the plumbing industry?

  1. Adjustable Wrench

  2. Pipe Cutters

  3. Hacksaw

  4. Soldering Gun

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: Soldering Gun

Soldering Gun- The soldering gun is used for connecting wires in the electrical and electronics industry.

Question #2: Which of the following tools is best for manipulating a pipe for repair?

  1. Adjustable Wrench

  2. Pipe Cutters

  3. Hacksaw

  4. Pipe Wrench

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: Pipe Wrench

Pipe Wrench- The pipe wrench has serrated jaws, one of which pivots on the handle for a solid grip on the work. This tool can loosen or tighten a pipe quickly.

Question #3: Which of the following materials is NOT used to install toilets?

  1. Toilet flange

  2. Wax ring

  3. Tubing cutter

  4. Caulk

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: Tubing cutter

Tubing cutter- The tubing cutter cuts copper, brass, plastic, and thin-walled electrical metal tubs. This tool is mainly used in the HVAC industry to cut copper pipes.

Question #4: What is the purpose of leak testing?

  1. To detect leaks only

  2. To detect leaks and fix them with sealant

  3. Both

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: Both

Both- Leak testing determines whether a piping system is functioning within a specific leak limit.

Question #5: To prevent leaks from a toilet, always use a rubber gasket during installation.

  1. True

  2. False

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: True

True- Rubber gaskets can fill surface irregularities to connect two surfaces with a watertight seal.

Question #6: You should always install the tank assembly before you install the toilet bowl.

  1. True

  2. False

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: False

False- Generally, the toilet tank is installed on the toilet bowl. First install the toilet bowl, and then install the tank.

Question #7: Which of the following materials are used to install a faucet? (select all that apply)

  1. Adjustable Wrench

  2. New Faucet

  3. Screwdriver

  4. Tiles

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: Adjustable Wrench

New Faucet


Adjustable wrench, new faucet and screwdriver. Tiles are a material used in building construction, not in plumbing.

Question #8: What is the purpose of faucet leak testing?

  1. To identify the leakage

  2. To fix the leakage

  3. Both

  4. None of the above

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: Both

Both- The primary goal of leak testing is to find and stop leaks by identifying the source of the leak and then fixing it with sealant.

Question #9: If the main valve isn't shut off before installation, what happens?

  1. The water will stop from the faucet

  2. The water will start flowing through the pipe

  3. None of the above

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: The water will start flowing through the pipe

The water will start flowing through the pipe. The main valve controls water flow. If you don't shut off the main valve, the water will continuously flow through the pipe.

Question #10: Which of the following materials is used while installing a sink?

  1. Tubing cutter

  2. Measuring tape

  3. Screwdriver

  4. All of the above

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: All of the above

All of these materials are required for installing a sink.

Question #11: What is the purpose of a gasket?

  1. To fix the pipe

  2. To avoid leakage

  3. Both

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: Both

Both- A gasket is used to seal two or more surfaces in touch with each other. The gasket helps to stop leakage as well.

Question #12: Which of the following materials is used in installing a shower trim?

  1. Shower controls

  2. New shower

  3. Screwdriver

  4. All of the above

Scroll down for the answer...

Answer: All of the above

All of the above: All of these materials are required to install a shower.


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