Plumbing repairs are challenging and can be expensive. Doing some of the work yourself can be a great way to save money but it can also create problems. Unless you’re a plumber, there’s a chance you could be making mistakes that you aren’t even aware of, mistakes you’ll discover when it’s too late and the damage is already done. If you’re taking on a DIY plumbing project, here are some of the issues you need to look out for.
You Are Using the Wrong Materials
Piping materials, fitting materials, gaskets, and connections aren’t necessarily interchangeable. They don’t always work with what’s already in your home and some materials can actually corrode when they come into contact with other materials. Getting this wrong can mean going back to the hardware to get the right item… or it can mean disastrous failure down the road. Do a ton of research before you pick up anything and if you’re not confident, call a professional.
You Are Not Using the Correct Sizing
You’ll know that your pipe or connection size is wrong almost immediately at the point of connection to an existing pipe or fixture. For more extensive replacement, you may be safe replacing with the existing pipe sizes but not necessarily. Building codes have been updated over time and pipe sizes may have changed since your home was built. If you’re adding a fixture, you also need to consider the size of your main piping and how this additional load will affect your whole plumbing system. Unfortunately, getting this wrong will show later on, after you think it’s all done.
Plumbing Connections are Poorly Tightened
You probably know not to make your plumbing connections too loose otherwise they would leak. To prevent this, you might instinctively tighten as much as you can. Unfortunately, this causes damage that can lead to more leakage and even major failure. When making these connections, there’s an ideal tightness that seals the connection but doesn’t damage it. Thus you maintain your plumbing’s integrity so it serves you for a long time.
There Is Poor Plumbing Technique
Here’s a little secret: The people who post information and videos on how to install and repair plumbing are generally professionals who have years of experience doing what they’re doing. It appears easy because they have the knowledge and expertise to carry out the work using the right techniques. You may be able to carry out small maintenance tasks without an issue but it’s important to know your limits. You don’t want to create a more expensive problem due to poor installation.