7 Mistakes No Plumbers Should Make
As simple as fixing plumbing issues sound, there are still mistakes you could make during a DIY repair. You either do the wrong fitting, use the wrong type of glue, or overtighten connections. Poorly made adjustments is not something you want happening to your plumbing system. If care isn’t taken, you may end up spending more on your hands than expected. Worst case scenario? Your plumbing will need some parts replaced.
However, you don’t need rocket science to understand how to fix plumbing errors, you just need to know the common mistakes DIY plumbers make. Once you know about them, you can avoid making them on the next DIY job.
Let’s help you with that, here are 7 mistakes to avoid if you want your DIY repairs to go smoothly.
Using the wrong tape or threading it backwards
Looking to do some DIY repair? If yes, do you have PTFE tape? If you do, then you have no problem but if you don’t, get some! You’d be needing it in due time.
There are always precautions to be taken while using PTFE tape. Don’t follow them and the tapes become useless for the job. First of all;
- Use a gas-rated PTFE tape for dealing with gas line fittings (or the yellow ones).
- Thick pink tapes are best suited for water supply fittings.
- If you’re dealing with compression or flare fixtures, avoid using thread tapes.
Once you’ve got all that covered, follow these precautions when using them:
- DO NOT wrap the tapes anti-clockwise. Doing so renders it useless.
- If you’re going to make a successful wrap, ensure you wound the tape around the threads three times.
- During the final wrap, make sure the tape faces the left while screwing the fixture into place.
Over tightening connections
It’s good to make sure your plumbing connections are correctly tightened to avoid leakage in the nearest future. However, take care not to over tighten those connections. Doing so may cause the fixture to crack.
You might not notice it right away. But it’ll happen. When next you undertake DIY plumbing repairs, make sure you tighten all connections with the appropriate amount of force.
Forgetting to turn off the water supply
If you have to replace a valve, turn off your main water supply. A lot of DIY plumbers Richmond think fixing a new valve is a job they don’t need to turn off the water mains for.
But then, what happens when you can’t fix it up in time? Your home gets flooded! Why rush things when you could take your time and get it fixed properly?
Sweating a copper pipe with water before soldering
Some plumbing problems could have you using a soldering iron during a repair. Take copper fixings and pipes, for example, you’d want any moisture on them to dry up naturally before soldering the fixtures tight.
If you choose to speed up things by heating up the moisture with a torch (make it evaporate), you risk creating pinholes when on the job. Eventually, you’d be forced to start the whole procedure again.
Remedy? Get some white bread (capsule looking plug) and plug it into the pipe you’re working with before picking up the torch.
Getting repairs done without the appropriate spare parts
DIY plumbers are known to make a lot of mistakes in this category. Let’s say you have a faulty faucet that needs some handling, you get your tools and troubleshoot the problem. Only to find out you’d to get a new cartridge or washer to make the thing work. If you go-ahead to the store to get new ones, then you should be fine. Right?
Think about this, if your washer is faulty, doesn’t that mean you should consider replacing the O-rings and the gasket. What if they also need replacing as well? To avoid having to go to the store twice, make sure you figure out other parts that might be causing that particular fault.
Attempting repairs without having the correct tools
DIY plumbing is only fun if you have the right tools for the job. The best thing you can do to prevent frustration over a minor repair is to get the best tools. If you haven’t the slightest idea about the elementary tools every plumber’s toolbox needs, you could try having:
- Basin wrench.
- Tongue and groove pliers.
- Compression sleeve puller.
- Pipe wrench.
- Adjustable wrench.
- Tubing cutter.
- Drain auger.
- PTFE tape (see more above).
- Faucet keys.
To make DIY repairs easier, make sure your toolbox has at least 90% of the tools listed above.
Misusing elbows, tees and wyes
Knowing the right applications for each fitting could be the difference between a job well done and foul stench filling up your entire house.
When making a connection for the drain p-trap, avoid using a wye connector.
If you do, it’s a violation of plumbing codes and may lead to critical problems if care isn’t taken. The reason is; drainage water will obviously flow faster down the slope and may siphon some drainage water from the drain’s p-trap. If this happens, your home would be filled with sewer gases in no time. Making it hard to live in. Try not to let this happen.
When next you’re looking to make some DIY repair for your home plumbing, make sure to avoid these mistakes. Be the DIY plumber Richmond that gets the job done.
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