Like most people, you probably try to do as much work around your house as possible. While this can save money in the short term, it can also lead to disaster if you’re not careful. Unfortunately, when it comes to plumbing, there are some mistakes that DIYers tend to make regularly.
This blog post will discuss 11 common plumbing mistakes and how to avoid them. We’ll also talk about the cost of making these mistakes and what you can do if something goes wrong. So whether you’re a DIYer or want to be better informed, read on for tips from the pros!
When it comes to plumbing, homeowners often think they can do it themselves. And while there are some basic plumbing tasks that you can certainly take on yourself, there are also plenty of mistakes you can make if you’re not careful. In addition, there are tricks and tips of the trade that many homeowners simply can’t learn because of inexperience.
Plumbing isn’t physically demanding, but it has many areas that require practice and prior knowledge to do well. Unfortunately, because of the specialized work involved, this is where many homeowners run into problems. Here are 11 of the most common plumbing mistakes to avoid.
One of the most common mistakes people make is using drain cleaners as a first choice. Unfortunately, these harsh chemicals can do more harm than good, eating away at your pipes and causing long-term damage. If you must use a drain cleaner, always choose a natural option first and reserve the harsh chemicals as a last resort.
For instance, the easiest way to remove a bathroom or kitchen sink clog is to use a snake or a barbed drain cleaning tool. You could remove the P-trap and pour out the clog, but unfortunately, too many homeowners reach for the drain cleaner and pour too much in during the process. Drain cleaner can cause these problems:
- The clog will remain, and the pipes will contain corrosive chemicals.
- Liquid drain cleaner deteriorates rubber gaskets in drain couplings, causing leaks.
- Finally, using too much drain cleaner can damage metal traps and lines, creating more opportunities for leaking.
Believe it or not, overtightening connections is the number one mistake DIYers make when doing plumbing work. Cranking too hard on a pipe can cause it to crack or break, leading to floods and costly repairs. When working with connections, always use two wrenches – one to hold the fitting steady and one to turn the pipe.
This will help you avoid overtightening and cracking your pipes. The worst part of this situation is that the crack may not happen immediately; it could happen weeks later when you aren’t around. Unfortunately, overtightening plastic fittings and faucet supply lines are more common because people mistake the amount of force needed to seal the supply lines properly.
Forgetting to turn off the water is a mistake that can cause severe flooding and damage to your home. It’s essential always to double-check that the water is turned off before starting any plumbing work. Once you’re sure the water is off, double-check by turning on a faucet. If no water comes out, you’re good to go!
If you’re working on a sink, there are usually two valves under the sink – one for hot water and one for cold. Make sure both valves are off before starting any work. The same goes for your toilet – a water supply line comes into the back of the tank. Shut off this valve before doing any work on your bathroom. Turn the water off; you won’t be able to switch a valve or do the work while the water pressure is working against you.
We get it. Plumbers make the job look easy, but this is due to access to the correct tools for each job. DIYers will often try to get by with whatever tools they have lying around the house, but this is where things can go wrong quickly. Here are some things to avoid doing:
- Remove stubborn supply lines and fasteners with an extendable basin wrench.
- Avoid damaging the finish on your faucet with strap wrenches. Instead, you could wrap the jaws of the adjustable wrench with electrician’s tape.
- Use a tube cutter for better, square cuts than a hack saw.
Another mistake people make is pouring grease down the drain; this can cause major
clogs in your pipes and lead to costly repairs. Instead of pouring grease down the drain, pour it into a container and dispose of it properly.
You should also avoid pouring coffee grounds, eggshells, and other food items down the drain. These items can cause clogs in your pipes and costly repairs, often leading to unpleasant odors.
You may be able to find the part you need at a local hardware store, but chances are they won’t have what you’re looking for in stock. This is why it’s crucial to have a few spare parts on hand, just in case. Here are some essential spare parts to keep in your toolbox:
- pipe fittings
- supply lines
If you’re unsure what size or type of part you need, don’t hesitate to ask a professional at your local hardware store. They’ll be able to help you find the right part for the job. Usually, when you replace something, you’ll find other parts that are worn out and need to be replaced.
Many homeowners try to take on plumbing projects beyond their skill level. Unfortunately, this often leads to more costly repairs down the road, and a plumber has to fix the mistakes. To avoid this, know your limits and call a professional when needed. United Plumbing in Springfield, Missouri, is always here to help!
United Plumbing is a family-owned and operated plumbing company filled with Master Plumbers passionate about their trade. United Plumbing has proudly served the Greater Springfield, MO, area for over 10 years. Our customers are our top priority, and we’re dedicated to providing the best possible service. If you have any questions or want to schedule a consultation, give us a call today!