Changing an electric shower unit.

How to change an electric shower.

A straight swap like for like electric shower unit is relatively easy to do. However if you’re unsure about your abilities to tackle water and electrics then contact someone who can help. First identify what the original unit is rated at i.e. 7.5 Kw or 8.5 Kw Then source a replacement of the same rate. You can upgrade to a higher rating 8.5 kw to 10.5 kw however, this will require checking out the electrical supply, correct cable size and correct rated RCB or old school fuse.

So a straight swap is easier to do. Now, isolate both the electric and water supply to the shower unit, with older installations this may mean turning the water off at the stop tap inside the property, this is usually found under or near the kitchen sink, but not always. Once the electric supply is switch off, you can begin remove the old unit, turn on the cold water tap on the sink to drain off water in the pipes, this will save the water running down your arm when you undo the supply in the shower unit. Remove the front cover of the unit, normally held by two screws one on top and one on the bottom. You should then be able to see both the electric and water supplies coming in. Use a meter to test that the electric is off i.e. zero volts on the terminals. Remove the wires from the terminal block and move them out of the way so you can loosen the nut on the inlet pipe. Once the pipe work is loose, locate the fixing screws for the shower and remove these. Again there’s normally two, the one at the bottom of the unit which may need to come out all together, the one at the top usually what maybe in a slotted hole. (Technical term coming up) jiggle the unit about to help release the water supply pipe. Once this is done it should come away from the wall easily. Dispose of at will. Fit the new unit in accordance with the manufacturers fitting instruction.

If there isn’t an isolation valve fitted shower supply, find a suitable place and fit one in, this will aid you if there are any issues when commissioning the new shower.

Until the next time, Happy Doings, from us at Mr Fixing It to you.



How to avoid those flat pack pit falls.

Here we go, our first blog in a long time. Few people relish the challenge of tackling the flat pack, some, we would say even dread it. We have four tips that will help relieve some of the stress of the assembly, however we can’t guarantee it.

  1. A place to build. Small items can be assembled almost anywhere. Larger items may need assembling where they’re going to be used. Clear enough space so you can work safely around the item and room. To avoid damage to parts try to assemble the item on a carpeted floor or use a large folded dust sheet on hard floors.

  1. Check that everything you need is in the pack. When you purchase your flat pack it should come with a check list of items used in the assembly of your item. Remove everything from the box/boxes. For the moment leave fixings (screws and dowels etc.) in their bags. With the check list at hand and the items in front of you check that all bits and parts are correct and the right quantity. If the instructions say that it requires two people for the job, then recruit the required help.

  1. Right tools for the right job. Gather all the tools required before you start. We’ve always find a carpenters bradawl very useful when building items. Sometimes the points where screws go are not very evident and the bradawl can make them easier to screw in to. Also gather several bowls or dishes to use as fixing holders, sort all the fixings in to separate dishes by size, eg screw length, dowel size and tacks etc.

  1. Follow the instructions from the start to finish, don’t try to second guess how the item is built. Even hardened flat pack assemblers like us, always follow the map, it will save you time believe it or not. If the item requires glue on joints don’t be to heavy handed, a small amount of glue will spread a good way especially when compressed in a tight joint.

When you’ve finished, if you have parts or bits leftover, panic! Unless you had extra to start with. If you have nothing leftover and the item stands and looks good, take your right hand over your left shoulder and pat several times, well done!

Till the next time, happy doings, from us at Mr Fixing It to you.

Re-Felting a Shed roof

Re-felting a shed roof.

When your old shed starts to leak, there’s two things you can do.
1. Patch any rips or tears in the current felt, or
2. Replace the felt completely.

Patching is a quick fix, but not a reliable way of looking after your shed, some faults may not be as obvious as a rip or tear in the felt, water finds its own level and way through small cuts or punchers. A complete re-roof is a far more effective way of fixing a leak.

It can appear to be a big task to undertake, however the end result is very satisfying. Begin by removing all the old felt fascia boards, strips and any nails used to hold it down. Inspect and check the roof timbers for rot and or damage, replace any part of the timbers that need changing

Apex Roof or Flat?

If you have an apex roof you’ll need to place a strip of felt along each side of the roof with a 1 ½ to 2 inch overlap around the edges. Using felt nails, nail down the overlap edges in to the side of the shed roof. Take another strip of felt for the apex of the roof and again overlap the edges, using a cold felt adhesive seal the apex felt to the two side pieces again finish off by nailing the edges down and refit fascias or strips.

A Flat roof.

Start by removing all the felt and edging strips. A flat roof as a slope so you need to start at the bottom end of the roof, again overlap the edge of the roof. Place the next piece on top of the first strip by 3 to 4 inches using cold felt adhesive, continue doing this till you reach the top edge of the roof. Again finish of by nailing down the overlapped edges and refit fascias or strips.

From your felt replacement buddies at Mr Fixing It.,

How to fit a shower tray and surroundings

This is going to be a long one this time from MrFixingIt, seen as we haven’t seen any blogging action on here in a while!
First off before attempting to install the shower tray, you must decide which shower tray you have purchased. Be it a solid resin, ceramic or an acrylic shower tray. The reason for this is that acrylic shower trays are the easiest to install and will be described in the second part of this blog!
For your solid resin or ceramic trays begin by lining the shower tray up where it is to reside and draw a pencil line on the floor to mark the position as well as marking the position of the shower trap, below the showers waste outlet. Now proceed to use a jig saw to cut out the area of the floor with enough room to allow for the shower trap and waste pipe, the hole needs to be big enough to incorporate the shower trap.
Once you put the tray in place you won’t be able to move it, so you will need to cut an access hatch into the floor next to the tray, you should be able to reach your hand in so you can comfortably reach the shower trap and outlet pipe. You may want to now make this a permanent access hatch. Simply fit pieces of batten underneath the edges and these will be enough to hold the hatch cover in place.
To fit the waste outlet simply follow the manufacturers instructions. But make sure that there are gaskets and washers on each side of the outlet, this will give you a perfect watertight seal.
Now comes the easy part, fixing the shower tray in place. Place a line of PVA around the line that you previously drew on the floor with your pencil. Now you will need to mix some mortar to a firm consistency whilst the PVA sets. Use four parts sand to one part cement to get the best mixture. Now you can proceed to spread a thin layer of the newly formed mortar where the tray is going to fit, make the layer approximately 3cm deep. Move the tray in to position, allowing it to bed down in to the mortar, using a spirit level to check that it is level from all angles, now you may smooth the mortar to give it that nice neat looking finish.
You can now connect the shower trap to the outlet pipe and use a small bit of silicone around the shower tray to seal it.

An Acryllic tray can be installed simply by following the manufacturers instructions an referencing the above directions to install it fully. If your tray isn’t pre-assembled screw the adjustable feet into position.

Fitting the shower surround, the usual place for a shower surround is in the corner of the room. So for this you need a side panel and a door, you’ll also more than likely need a bit of help for this part of the job. The surround shall come with specially designed panels that fix the shower to the wall, make sure to use a spirit level to position the channels in a perfectly vertical position on the edges of the shower tray. Now you may drill pilot holes where the panels shall be fixed, insert raw plugs into the wall. Once you have decided where to place the door, you may fix the side panel in to the channel where it should be placed. Now you may fit the opening door into the other channel, this is where it would come in handy to have some assistance to make it a bit easier, it is possible on your own; just a little bit tricky. Now follow the manufacturers instructions to fit the two panels together as they should now be resting at the edge of the shower tray. Now screw the fixtures permanently in place, you may also need to attach the shower door handle now if its not already in place. You can apply a single bead of silicone around the outside edges of the surrounding to make it water tight.

I hope you enjoyed this instalment of blogs by MrFixingIt, and we hope to see you next time!

The installation of a sink

Removing and replacing a bathroom sink.

Removing a sink is one of the easier options when asked to mess with any waterworks in the bathroom. Simply switch off the water supply, this will either be isolation valves on the pipes or the main water supply to the property, if there’s a hot water tank supply you’ll need to shut off the isolation tap from the tank. Have a bowl ready under the sink to catch any water when removing the water trap from the waste and the water pipes under the sink. It may be a bit of trouble removing these pipes as they may have been there for some time. Locate the fixing screw/bolts holding the sink to the wall and remove them, the sink should then lift out without any trouble.
Fitting the sink is the slightly harder part as it will include a few more steps, more steps means more work of course. You may be able to simply fit the sink into position and fit the sink taps and waste as they were. However, when changing a sink most people change taps, some from two to one or mono. In which case you will need to use new flexible tap connectors to get the taps to fit. If there are no isolation valves fitted on the hot and cold pipes fit them. Make sure you use gaskets and washers that are supplied to keep everything water tight. If there is one you will need to connect the overflow with the waste pipe using the parts that were supplied with the sink (most bathroom sinks have built in overflow), place the sink into position and make sure that all of the pipes can be easily connected from the position your are in. Remove the sink and follow the manufacturers instructions for sealing and fastening the sink, now you may fit the sink and tighten plumbing connections. Remember to check the connections. Turn the water back on and check for leaks on new fittings. now fill the sink with the plug in. Release the water and check all connections again tighten any connections that have leaks on them. No leaks job done.

Until the next time, Happy Doings from us at Mr Fixing It to you.

The re-installation of a toilet

Well, what better place to begin than at installation of a Bath, the object to which the Bathroom derives its name. However at Mr Fixing It, we feel that then next important thing you would wish to install into your bathroom would be the toilet. The removal and replace of a toilet is so relatively simple that replacement is exactly as the reverse to removal.

Therefore, as with the bath, the first thing you want to do when fiddling around with waterworks is turn the water supply off. Now you must turn the miniature valve until the slot is cutting across the pipe to isolate the water supply. Remove the toilet cover from the cistern and flush the toilet, making sure it does not refill. Now you can carefully undo the nut from the bottom of the cistern, the thread will likely be plastic so take care not to damage it. Simply slide the nut down the pipe and ease the pipe away from the bottom of the cistern. If you also have an external overflow pipe simply remove the nut and disconnect that pipe from the bottom of the cistern also.
Now you can remove the screws from the base of the toilet, one of the easier jobs of the most to getting the toilet removed. Now you can carefully pull the toiler forward whilst remaining with the waste pipe in position. Once the waste pipe is clear from the toilet you can now completely remove the toilet. However it might be quite heavy so you may need some sort of assistance in removing it to a safer storage position. The U bend will also more than likely still contain water, slope the toilet towards the front so the water is drawn into the pan.

As stated before installation is the exact reverse of removal and overall can prove to be a lot easier, without the water in the pan.
I hope that you found this toilet removal and installation guide useful and remember to turn the mini valve to the correct position when installing the toilet. Valve faces the same way as the pipe. From your Bathroom busting bro’s at Mr Fixing It.

The Bath: How to reinstall one

Well as last weeks theme seemed to be how to redecorate walls, or sizing walls to redecorate them, this week we will begin on the Bathroom and first off how to reinstall a bath. It’s almost as easy as reinstalling an application on a computer (I wish).

The first thing you want to do is turn the main water supply off, you don’t want to fill your house with water like a giant paddling pool now do you! Now you can disconnect the drainage pipe from the bath using a wrench, it may take a bit of work to get it free. You will also need to loosen the slip nut that connects the overflow pipe. Now you can remove both of the taps and work back towards the supply line. Once this is done, remove the wall covering from around the tub, if there is tiling around the closure you will need to remove a row to complete the removal of the wall covering. Now you will have access to the clips that surround the tub. Now comes a little bit more work, as you have to pry away the tub from the wall using a pry bar, or any other likewise tool of your choice. If you meet any resistance then you possibly didn’t remove the whole of the water system far enough. You will need a helper, once you have rechecked all this, to actually remove the bath from the wall. Now you have removed the previous bath from the wall you probably would like to install your new one. Well it is pretty much the same as removal, but backwards.

First off, check the backboard of the unit to see if any of the cement back boarder needs to be replaced, normal drywall will not be able to stand the amount of moisture in this area and will degrade at a great rate. You can now align the new unit into position using the adjustment bolts to neutralise any rocking motion caused by uneven surfaces. Once you have fixed levelling issues simply connect the drain and water supply units make sure you can adjusts the draining plug to seal when the stopper is activated so that water will be held in the bath. Now reposition the taps.

Now you must recheck all of the plumbing you refitted and turn back on the main water supply to check for leaks or anything loose and that sort. If you do find leaks, repair them and recheck.

The job will be complete when you finish the wall around the bath. You will have to paint or re-tile, or paper to complete the surrounding area. Don’t forget to seal with a running bead of silicon all around the edges to enclose the bath.

I hope this information has be useful and we will continue with the theme of Bathrooms here next time at Mr. Fixing It, your bathroom building buddies!

This week: The Bathroom

The theme for this week will be the Bathroom and how to remove and replace objects in there. We will be reinstalling the Bath, the Toilet and the sink this week. Stay tuned today, tomorrow and Friday for all the updates. From your Fixing It Friends!

Sizing walls for wallpapering

Yesterday we told you how to prepare your walls if you wish to cover them in paint, well what about if you want to wallpaper your walls? Unfortunately once you have tediously removed all the wallpaper there are still a few more steps that you need to follow before you can get your beautiful wallpaper upon the wall.

Of course the first few steps, up until sizing, can be followed like the painting blog. Simply remove any bumps or lumps with sandpaper or your favoured tool and fill them back in with filler until you have created a much flatter wall to work upon as any bumps or lumps will show indefinitely through the wall paper. You will also need to clean the walls down with a semi-damp rag before sizing the wall up.
Once you have followed these simple steps of cleaning, sanding and filling you can continue unto sizing the wall up. Traditionally this is coating the wall in a thin layer of glue before beginning the whole papering process. It prevents the paste from sucking moister straight out of the wallpaper paste before it even has a chance to fit the paper to the wall. If the paste dries to quickly you will get bubbles, lumps, stretches and creases throughout the wallpaper.

The modern way of sizing a wall for wallpapering is to prepare a runny mix of paste and roll it around the wall area, brushing it into the edges. You’ll see the filler turn a darker colour as the paste is applied, this is good as it means the filler is absorbing the fresh paste and won’t absorb from the paste used to fit the paper to the wall.

I hope you found this blog useful and you now understand why sizing is a necessary step in applying wallpaper to a wall and making it look good. Until next time, from your buddies at Mr Fixing It.

Sizing a wall for painting.

People in the painting and decorating trade may decide to give this the technical name of sizing a wall, but here at Mr Fixing It, we like to keep it simple and let you know that this is simply how to prepare a wall for painting.
There are a few simple steps that should be followed so this will not be a mammoth blog this time, clear up the area that you will be painting in, by removing everything from the area. This also means removing any fixtures and fittings from the wall when possible. If you cannot remove all of them you may cover some of them fully so as they do not get covered in paint.

You should now clean your wall surface with a light damp rag to clean away any dust of dirt, make sure to wait for the wall to dry though! Once you have used your tool to pick out any imperfections or lumps or bumps and have then filled these back in with filler you can start by taping your edges so that the paint does not spread to parts you do not want it to. Use two pieces of tape one thinner than the other to use the thinner as a seam to hold the paint behind the large tape area.

Remember to put plastic or paper or some sort of cover over the floor underneath where you are painting so that drips cannot spread on to the floor and make sure to keep the paint away from your hands or feet. To prepare the wall for actual painting you should use a thinner paint that has been slightly watered down before applying to the wall, this allows the wall to soak in the paint and the colour ready for the next few thicker coats.

I hope you have enjoyed this short blog of how to size walls for painting, from your paint preparing friends at Mr Fixing It.