You can fix most household plumbing repairs and even update plumbing fixtures with just a few special tools and a little elbow grease. The work isn’t physically challenging. But you do have to know the differences between the many types of pipes, fittings, glue and solder because that’s one big area where people often mess up. In addition to not using the right parts, people also make these other common mistakes.
Here’s how to avoid the most common plumbing mistakes and get the job done right.
- If a pipe bursts, a toilet overflows or some other plumbing emergency emerges, turn off the water. Your primary water sources, like the sink or toilet, will have a shut-off valve. As soon as you notice the problem, turn the valve until it stops the water from flowing.
- Next, call for help from a professional plumbing expert like the plumber Sydney. Many people don’t instinctively try to stop water first. Instead, they try to clean the mess while more water pours out. Turn off the water, take a deep breath and call your plumber before commencing cleaning. Making use of the professional help will avoid the appearance of another unwanted plumbing problem.
- Overtightening supply tubes, pipe and fittings and toilet bolts – If you crank too hard on a galvanized or black pipe, coupling, tee or elbow, you risk cracking the fitting. The crack may not happen right away, but the excessive force can break the fitting weeks later, causing a flood.
Tips to Avoid Mistakes
- Overtightening the plastic fittings on toilet and faucet supply tubes is even more common. It just doesn’t take that much torque to seal a supply tube. If you tighten the hex nuts too much, they’ll eventually break and leak. Plus, overtightening toilet closet bolts at the floor or between the bowl and tank can crack the porcelain and destroy the toilet.
- Another mistake is, people often make the mistake of buying just a cartridge or washer for a faucet repair. But if the washer or cartridge is worn, chances are other faucet parts are worn as well. If you don’t replace the stem seal and gasket and O-rings when replacing the washer or cartridge, you’ll probably wind up with a leaky faucet. That’ll mean a second trip to the hardware store and another faucet disassembly/reassembly. Those peripheral parts are cheap, so make it a rule to buy them all upfront and “rebuild the faucet” rather than replacing just a single part.
- The same rule applies when working on drain lines. If you’ll be disassembling a metal p-trap and arm, make sure you have enough rubber compression gaskets to replace the gasket in every joint you disassemble. The beveled poly washers used on PVC traps and arms can be reused, but you should still have a few spares on hand in case you lose one or discover the old one is cracked.
Taking on a home improvement project that’s over your head could result in damage to your home. Doing DIY work without knowledge of the process can also cost more money in the future if you’re required to pay a contractor to redo your work later.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell when a project is beyond your skill level. The best way to find out is to consult with plumbers before beginning a project. Ask questions like, “how would you do this?” and “what is involved in completing this project?” Talking to experts can help you gauge how complex a project is and whether you have the skills and tools to do the job.
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