8 Plumbing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Tips and Tricks

8 Plumbing Mistakes You Should Avoid

If you have a problem with any component of your home plumbing system, from leaky pipes to mineral-stained appliances, you may be tempted to take up your tool belt and tackle the problem yourself. And while your dedication and independence are admirable, it’s also risky to DIY plumbing labor. From general oversights to unsafe practices, there are several plumbing mistakes that most amateur plumbers make–8 to be exact.

These are the 8 most common plumbing mistakes that you must avoid to prevent an expensive home plumbing disaster.

1. Using Store-bought Drain Cleaners

A clogged drain seems like the basic DIY plumbing job, the introductory task that initiates you into home handyman status. But this is where most DIY plumbers make their first mistake. Don’t pour drain cleaners into your sink, toilet, or shower drains. They damage pipes with caustic chemicals and are ineffective against pretty much everything but hair and paper in your drains.

2. Over-tightening

Tight connections are essential for leak-proof, healthy plumbing. However, overly tight connections can cause unnecessary internal strain, and actually increase your chances of finding a burst pipe. The instant crack that occurs when you over-tighten can worsen when pipes succumb to the water pressure within. Tighten couplings, fittings, and joints until they’re snug, not until they crack.

3. Forgetting to Turn off the Water

It’s a mistake straight out of a sitcom: working on plumbing without turning off the main water supply valve first. This simple step can save you thousands of dollars in damage, like flooding a floor with pressurized or even hot water.

4. Not Wearing Safety Equipment

Never, ever work on plumbing without the proper hand and body protection. Drain pipes are unsanitary, and certain pipes carry very hot, pressurized water. Always wear gloves, skin protection, and even eye protection, depending on the job at hand.

5. Using the Wrong Tools

There’s no such thing as an all-purpose plumbing tool. If you’re committed to DIY-ing plumbing repairs and installation, then you need an ample cache of pipe cutters, pipe wrenches, various screwdriver sizes and heads, locking pliers, and so much more.

6. Forgetting Assembly Order

plumbing inspection

You may feel confident when you take things apart, but how confident are you when it comes to putting them back? Forgetting the order parts go in, and the order in which they need to be assembled, feels horrifying. This is especially common with sink drains. Sure, all of those exposed parts are easy enough to deconstruct, but don’t DIY this job unless you know where to put the Y-fitting, reducer, slip joint, etc.

7. Skipping Maintenance

Being a good amateur plumber doesn’t just require a fixer’s touch, it also demands hard work to prevent problems in the first place. Check your pipes, drains, and appliances for proper operation, good water pressure, low mineral buildup, healthy gaskets, and much more. Do so at least once a year to prolong the lifespan of your plumbing system.

8. Refusing to Ask for Help

There’s no shame in asking for a professional plumber to help you with your home plumbing needs. In fact, you save time and effort, and get guaranteed great service. Next time you need help with your plumbing needs, from annual maintenance to leak repair, feel free to call a professional home plumber near you.