The internet has opened our eyes to many areas of DIY that we previously shied away from, There are endless blogs, videos and other sources offering great advice on a wide range of household DIY, and many of them are very useful.
Some, however, offer information that is devised by a non-professional and put forward by similar. These are the ones you need to avoid, especially when it comes to plumbing in your home.
There are many plumbing jobs that you can undertake – things like unblocking sinks and other amenities, for example – but when it comes to many jobs that involve your home plumbing, sometimes the worst thing you can do is do it yourself! Some common plumbing mistakes are easy to make but not so easy to know you’ve made them, so let’s have a look at these.
DIY Plumbing Mistakes
If you are doing anything that you have never done before and are taking guidance from a YouTube video, for example, take a step back and think of the problems that may occur. Then, contact a professional such as Schuler Plumbing and ask them for a quote! Each of the following common plumbing mistakes should make your list of what not to do when attempting your own DIY plumbing fixes, so let’s have a look.
Your online video may show the DIY guy tightening those supply tube fittings until they can’t move any more. This is a potential disaster. Most fittings of this type will include a gasket inside that seals against leaks. These fittings are also generally made from a form of plastic. Crank them too tight, and you may cause a crack or weaken the casing. This may not be apparent at first, but once put under use – and under pressure – the result can be a catastrophic leak that damages your flooring and other fitments. This is an expensive mistake, so if you’re not sure, ask a professional.
Thread Tape The Right Way
That tape your online guy is using on the threads; it’s good stuff, but there is a right way to apply it, and that’s clockwise with the thread. The other way and it will simply unravel as you screw the pipe into place. This is another common mistake that can cause leaks and floods. A good tip here is to wrap the tape around three times and ensure your last one faces off to the left where it finishes – this way you will get a secure fit.
Using Drain Cleaner too Soon
You have a blocked sink, so what o you do? You go for that bottle of chemical drain cleaner, of course! But this is actually one of the most troublesome of all home plumbing tips and one that can be avoided quite easily. You see, the simplest method of clearing a blockage is to remove the P-trap (the bit underneath your sink that collects all the debris). This is a simple process – make sure you put a bowl underneath to collect any water or gunge that flows out – that will take a few minutes. The irony is that if you do use drain cleaner and it doesn’t work, you – or your plumber – will have to do this anyway! Make sure the rubber gasket is in good order before putting it back together, and a new one is just a few cents if you need one.
Turn Off the Water!
The easy to do yet often overlooked problem with all plumbing DIY jobs is this: turning off the water at source. You’ll find the mains tap somewhere around the house – ask a plumber if you don’t know where it is – and it’s a simple case of turning the valve control to closed. Now you can do anything you want safely. Remember there will be water in the system between the closed valve and the outlet or inlet you are dealing with, so always have something on hand to collect this. Remember to turn it back on afterwards!
The Right Tools
Our final suggestion is one that many people don’t pay attention to, but really should. The tools needed for a plumbing job are the tools you should use. Don’t try and ‘make do’ with an alternative as you won’t get the job done to your best ability. You wouldn’t expect a professional to use a hammer where a wrench is needed, so why would you? The tools are usually rudimentary and not expensive, so invest in a decent tool kit with plumbing tools included if you intend on carrying out your own DIY plumbing.
There are many simple plumbing jobs you can do around the home, so follow the above tips and if you do find something too difficult, call in the professionals before you cause any more damage!