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I’ve been a master plumber since 1981. I’ve always loved doing plumbing because it’s a very interesting three-dimensional challenge to install drain, waste and vent (DWV) piping in a new home or a large remodeling job. Because I was also the lead carpenter and builder on my jobs, I was able to think ahead to ensure that all the framing and rough lumber was installed so it would not have to be butchered to get the pipes in.

A nice upgrade to a bathtub with an old stationary showerhead is replacing it with a movable hand shower on a bar. It’ s a popular improvement and convenient addition that extends the use of the bathtub. With a movable head, it can become a soothing spray of warm water to massage sore joints, back pain and muscles.

Unblocking a clogged sink drain is one of life’ s little lessons that everyone should know how to handle. In the kitchen, a clog is caused by grease or food scraps lodged in the drain; in the bathroom, it’ s hair and a buildup of soap scum. Wherever it happens, a clog in a drain stops the water from flowing through the pipe.

Q: Tim, I’ve got several plumbing repairs to make, and I just don’t have the money to hire a plumber. The water in my bathroom vanity sink drains slower than molasses. Just a year ago it drained really fast. Sometimes my toilet gets clogged, and I think it’s disgusting to use a plunger. Is there another way to unclog a toilet? Lastly, my shower head used to have a nice spray pattern, but now water doesn’t come out evenly and the pressure is reduced. Is there an easy repair for this? —Carol F., Spokane, Wash.

1. Waters Plumbing and Heating, Shane Waters

Once you’ve decided on the kind of shower you want, narrowing down a location is easier. For simple rinsing stations, the requirements are minimal: access to a water line and basic drainage. But for a full shower setup, you’ll need to find a place that has good drainage (often a drain will need to be installed) and hot and cold water lines.

The toilet turned into the hardest plumbing project because it needed the largest pipes. The plumber eventually figured out a way to make it work. After that, this corner only required a toilet paper holder and a few pieces of decor.

To make better use of the triangle space, they divided it between the bathroom and the master bedroom on the other side of the wall. This gave the bathroom and the bedroom each a 3-foot-deep storage space.

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Bathtub and shower problems range from minor inconveniences to costly damage from leaks. Some issues are fixed with a little drain cleaner, while others require the help of a professional plumber. Here are three common tub and shower problems that a professional should solve.

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