Plumbing is often assumed to be a subject you can only take as a lengthy apprenticeship in order to start a whole new career. For many people this is the case, but what about if you just want to know how to fix a leaking tap? Or how to unblock a u-bend? These are common plumbing problems in the average household and the sort of things that can be fixed without getting a plumber in.
Our web editor, Jade, wanted to learn these skills and become a bit more handy around the house, so she went off on a basic plumbing course in London at the Goodlife Centre to learn how to master this type of DIY.
Despite the fact that he lives over an hour away from me, I’m ashamed to say that I phone my dad whenever I have any issues round the house. This is fine, but I really felt it was about time I learnt how to do a bit of basic DIY myself. I found the basic plumbing course among the other DIY courses at the Goodlife Centre here on Hotcourses, and after reading the great reviews, decided to book myself a place on it.
I turned up on a dark Tuesday evening to a lovely spacious studio in Southwark and met the teachers, Alison and Scott. They instantly made the other attendees (a mix of men and women) and I feel comfortable and confident enough to ask any questions. We took our seats at wooden work benches and began to learn basic plumbing skills that we might need in our homes.
We started with how to fix a leaking tap – this involves turning off the water, removing the handle and the cover of the tap, taking away the body of it, assessing the damage, adding new washers, and then replacing all the bits you’ve taken off. Our teachers made it really simple by allowing us to try everything out ourselves and giving us clear diagrams to work from.
We then moved on to how to unblock a u-bend, and when you can do it yourself and when you should get someone in. Then there was the run-through of how to reapply sealant to the bath. I was most interested in this as it can be prone to mould in my own bathroom. We were given guns filled with sealant and our own individual tap and surface to work on. After a few failed attempts, I eventually managed it.
We were able to share stories of our own experience with plumbing as well as ask questions and get advice on problems in our kitchens and bathrooms. At the end of the class we were given the opportunity to purchase any tools we wanted and I bought the book Alison had written about DIY for women. A very valuable tool indeed!
It was such a great experience and I certainly learnt a lot of skills I plan to use again. The Goodlife Centre was a fantastic place to learn in and I’m very tempted to go back for another DIY course there. I might have gone in relying on my dad to do everything round the house for me, but on completing the course, I know how to do a number of different small plumbing jobs. If anyone asks what DIY skills I have, I now proudly announce, ‘Well I know how to fix a leaking tap!’
If you want to try your hand at plumbing or just want to learn how to fix a leaking tap, there are a number of different evening classes available to suit whatever level you need. Or, if Jade has inspired you to go even further, there are longer DIY courses that cover a number of different skills you might need in the home – from painting to electrical work.
Hotcourses Editor is the mysterious, faceless force made up of all our different contributors over the years. From masters in their field to top notch journos, take a peek at some of the talent we’ve had the pleasure of working with.