Are you a DIY expert or do you leave things to the professionals to sort out? Many property owners don’t want to call for a plumber, especially if they think they can fix the problem themselves. When your toilet springs a leak, or you want to upgrade your taps, do you buy the tools and watch YouTube how-to videos? Or do you contact a professional commercial plumbing service?
Most common plumbing problems can be sorted out with a few special tools and a little bit of know-how, but there are some tasks that you shouldn’t DIY. In this article, we will look at the top 10 DIY plumbing mistakes, so you don’t fall into the same trap.
This is the most common problem. Yes, you want to make sure that the connection is tight and won’t leak but overtightening can lead to the pipe cracking. This will cause a slow leak that you may not even notice until weeks later! By that time, you could see terrible damage or if the fitting breaks completely it could lead to a flood.
Using Thread Tape Incorrectly
Thread tape must be wrapped correctly in order to work efficiently. One of the most common mistakes people make is wrapping the thread tape in the wrong direction. If it isn’t wrapped clockwise the tape will unwind. This will break the seal and the tape will be pointless.
Overusing Drain Cleaners
If you have a clogged sink or bathtub most people rely on drain cleaners to fix the problem. Drain cleaner should only be used as a last resort. Instead, use a snake or drain cleaning tool to remove the blockage. Drain cleaner causes the metal pipes to corrode.
If you can’t clear the blockage and you need to call a plumber, they will be exposed to the drain cleaner and that can be hazardous.
Not Replacing All the Parts
You may think you have purchased everything you need in a handy kit to pull off the perfect DIY repair, but often the kits are missing essential parts. If one part of the system is worn out and need replacing, chances are all the other parts need replacing as well.
Ask the plumbing supply store what you require to replace all the parts that need to be fixed. Rather replace everything at once than mixing old and new.
Generally, the parts are inexpensive and buying them will save you a trip to the hardware store once the older parts start leaking.
Forgetting to Shut Off the Water
Before you start you must turn off the main water supply. You might think you can do the repair with the water turned on, but this is a silly risk. If you make an error the room will be flooded and it could end up costing you thousands to replace the wet flooring.
Working Too Roughly
That stubborn valve just won’t turn, so your solution is to use force. This is a terrible mistake as you can cause serious damage. Use an adjustable wrench and slowly, and carefully, break the bond. Once it’s broken, continue gently by hand until the component comes loose.
Sweating Copper Pipes Before They are Dry
Before sweating copper pipes, you must make sure they are completely dry. If there is still water left inside the pipe it could cause the joint to leak. The steam caused by sweating the pipe will cause the joint to leak if there is even a drop of water left in the pipe.
The only way to remove all the water is by using a special plug known as white bread.
Using the Wrong Tools for the Job
Plumbers have a wide range of tools in their toolkits, because you need the correct tool to get the job done. When you’re carrying out the repair yourself, you tend to use what you have available.
Using the incorrect tools can damage the pipes, break thread tape and cause all kinds of other problems. If you plan to DIY you need to invest in the correct equipment.
Mixing up Parts
Each part has a specific function. Using the incorrect part could lead to coding violations. Knowing the difference between when to use parts like tees and elbows is crucial. If you have no knowledge of which part should be placed where then rather leave it to the experts.
Installing a Saddle Valve
Although a saddle valve is still included with appliance purchases such as ice makers or furnace humidifier kits, these valves no longer pass plumbing code inspections. This is due to the fact that they are notorious for leaking.
As these valves are out of sight the leak can go undetected and can cause mould and other problems. Always rather install a ball-style shutoff valve.
It may seem like you are saving money with DIY but if you don’t do it correctly, the project could end up costing you way more than you bargained for. Hopefully, these tips can help you not to make the same mistakes.
If in doubt rather call a professional.