Plumbing work can be costly, and most homeowners DIY the repairs to save money or keep themselves busy when free. However, most DIYers end up using the wrong pipes, fittings, and glue. If you plan to do plumbing work yourself, here are five common mistakes to avoid.
1. Using Chemical Drain Cleaners
Most homeowners use a chemical drain cleaner because it's usually efficient. A few cups of the liquid unclog the pipes almost instantly. So, your pipes will be up and running within minutes. However, this chemical corrodes the pipes and makes them leaky when used regularly. Alternative ways to unclog your drainage system without releasing corrosive substances include the following:
- Natural products: Baking soda and vinegar clear slow drains without corroding the pipes. Once you add the solution into the drain, let it sit for a few hours, then flush it with hot water.
- Plumbing auger: This is a manually powered tool that cleans and unclogs pipes without using chemicals.
If the two methods do not work, call a plumber immediately. Reputable plumbing services will unclog your pipes through safer means.
2. Overtightening Connections
Overtightening connections such as fittings, supply tubes, and toilet bolts may cause them to crack. The excessive force breaks the fittings, causing leakage. Even if the cracks do not happen immediately, they may eventually break and leak.
3. Not Turning Off the Water
Most DIYers either forget to turn off the water or think they can quickly install a new valve while the water is running. If you fail to attach the new faucet, the room may flood because of the high water pressure. To avoid creating a terrible mess that may damage valuable items, always turn off the main water supply before you start your plumbing project.
4. Connecting Wrong Pipes
Most homeowners are unaware that connecting copper and galvanized pipes is wrong. When these pipes come into contact, they corrode and cause leaks. To prevent corrosion, plumbers use a dielectric union to join copper and galvanized pipes. The dielectric union acts as a bridge and prevents corrosion.
5. Lack of Proper Tools
The reason why plumbing work looks easy is that plumbers have the right tools for the job. However, most DIYers lack the tools and end up improvising. Working without proper tools may damage the plumbing pipes and fittings. For instance, using slip-joint pliers to remove old galvanized nipples may break the pipes. To prevent damage, you can buy an inexpensive repair kit that consists of standard plumbing tools.
With the right skills and tools, you can handle your household plumbing repair. However, you should consult your plumber first to avoid making avoidable plumbing mistakes. Alternatively, you can hire professional plumbing services to do the repairs for you.
Reach out to a local plumbing service to learn more.