Todd Alperin - Coco, Early & Associates The Olivares, Molina & Alperin Division

Posted by Todd Alperin on 9/20/2020

Photo by House Method on Unsplash

Some home maintenance projects definitely require a professional. But given just how fast homeownership costs can add up, it's nice to know that other home projects are DIY for the average person. 

Replacing your toilet fill valve and the flapper is one such project. 

The toilet is one of the few items in our homes that hasn't changed much in the past couple hundred years. What does that mean for you? 

For the most part, basic mechanical principles make it work. And the great news is, if the toilet looks okay cosmetically, then replacing these mechanisms basically gives you a toilet that will function as if brand new. 

Let's get started.

What you'll need

  • An XL bucket that can hold about three to five gallons. It needs to fit under the back of your toilet.
  • Crescent adjustable wrenches
  • Rags
  • Replacement parts (fill valve, flapper and/or gasket). *Pro tip* Just look inside your toilet to see what kind of valve it uses. 

    Aside from the replacement parts, we'll bet you have most of these things at home. Replace all or some of these parts using this guide. It's up to you.

    Step one: Empty the tank

    Start by turning off the water using the knob behind your toilet. This keeps the tank from re-filling as you empty it.

    Flush the toilet. This will empty the tank partway. Don't miss this step or there will be way more water in the tank than the bucket can hold.

    Now, place your bucket behind the toilet, and carefully remove the hose from the tank but not the wall. Direct the water into the bucket.

    *Pro tip* If you have a larger than average tank, then you might have more water in it than you can fit into the bucket. Don't freak out it if it fills fast. Just place your thumb over the hole to stop the flow. Empty the bucket into one of the following:

  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Sink
  • Toilet bowl
  • Step two: remove the flapper & gasket

    The flapper simply sits on top of the hole in the bottom of the tank. Simply dislodge the hinge of the flapper and pull it out of the tank.

    Now, remove the gasket under the tank. Just unscrew the tank from the bowl. Lift the bowl carefully and set it on the floor. Remove the gasket by hand. You can then remove the valve by unscrewing it.

    *Pro tip*:  If the nut and bolt are on extra tight, you'll need one wrench to hold the nut under the tank while you unscrew from the inside. 

    Step three: replace the gasket & flapper

    Simply screw the new gasket on. Be careful not to over-tighten and strip the grooves or you'll have a more significant repair job on your hands.

    Screw the tank back onto the bowl, and then install your new valve with the lock nut, which will be under the tank. Place the flexible tube into the tanks overflow pipe.

    Now, snap the new flapper in place and that's it. Use the rags to clean up any water that spilled. Fill up your tank and go. 

    For more easy DIY projects, follow our blog.

    Categories: Uncategorized  

    Posted by Todd Alperin on 8/19/2018

    Owning a home is expensive. Aside from your mortgage, you also have to pay for insurance, utilities, property taxes... the list goes on.

    It may seem like there are few ways to cut back on the expenses of owning a home. However, one of the most effective things you can do to save money as a homeowner is to do your own maintenance. The cost of home repairs can add up, especially if you live in an older home or in an area where services like plumbers and electricians arenít accessible or affordable.

    With a little research and some hard work, however, maintaining your home can be a source of pride and of saving yourself money.

    In this article, weíll cover the basic home maintenance and home improvement knowledge that will save you money, and point you in the direction of some resources that will help you attain those skills.

    Maintenance is key

    To increase the longevity of appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers, youíll need to perform some mundane tasks regularly. That includes cleaning filters, fans, and going online to order new ones when necessary. In the same way that failing to change your oil filter will result in a much more expensive issue, so will failing to properly maintain your appliances.

    In a world where companies are making it increasingly difficult for consumers to repair their own devices, itís more important than ever to learn the basic skills needed to make simple repairs.

    What you should do before repairing anything

    There are some precautions you should take before repairing or maintaining things like appliances. First, always be sure the item is turned off and unplugged before working with its components.

    Next, refer to the manual first, but if that fails, search for tutorials online such as on YouTube for your particular model. Always keep in mind that sometimes warranties are void if you attempt repairs yourself,  so make sure the repair youíre attempting is easy enough so that you donít risk losing your warranty.

    The right tools for the job

    It might be tempting to go down to The Home Depot and fill a cart with power tools when you buy your first home. Remember, however, that certain tools are more useful than others. Find out which tools youíll be using most often. Odds are theyíre simple, inexpensive hand tools that will fit in a small toolbox. Some power tools, such as a cordless drill, will probably be worth the investment as long as you take care of the batteries.

    Donít throw out good materials

    Ample storage space is a problem many homeowners face. But if you can spare the space, hold onto materials from previous projects that might come in handy. Some examples include:

    • Paint. You donít want to have to go back to the store and mix a new can of paint just for a touch-up.

    • Nails and screws that come with your purchases. Sometimes the screws are designed specifically for whatever youíre building. Save your backups so you donít have to buy a new bag if one is lost.

    • Wood. Having extra wood around can come in handy for any number of home improvement projects.

    Categories: Uncategorized  

    Posted by Todd Alperin on 3/20/2016

    It is great to have a room renovation every once in a while but painting and changing the look of a room can be costly and time consuming. Here are three quick and simple ways to change the look of your room without busting the budget.

    1. Window Treatments are one of the quickest, simplest and most affordable ways to change the whole look and feel of a room. If you prefer to take the focus away from the windows, choose neutral colors, and a simple style. If you would like to create a dramatic look and emphasize the view, choose more color or a bolder style in the window treatments. A layered look with sheers or a top treatment will also do the trick.
    2. Lighting can definitely add color. A simple solution would be to add colored bulbs to some of your light fixtures. Incandescent lighting can also add more warmth, and accent lighting can highlight an area of the room. Transform a roomís mood with dimmers, uplights, and sheer textile lampshades. Wall sconces, floor lamps and even candles can also change the look of a room.
    3. Artwork can change the look without busting the budget. Artwork can be from a local gallery, childrenís drawings or just what you already have hanging around the house. Choose pieces that showcase intense colors but also work well with the existing pieces in your room. Try moving your current artwork around. Photos, vases, and other collectibles can give new life to a room. Group them in sets of three or five for an instant eye-catching display.
    The possibilities are endless. You can infuse a lot of color into any room without once having to pry open a paint can or spend a fortune. Have fun!