Apr 3, 2020

5 Common DIY Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

DIY plumbing is a satisfying way to get your handiwork done around the house, and are generally great weekend projects or ones that you can complete in a single afternoon. With DY plumbing, you’ll not only save money but also expand your repair skills and impress your family.
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You usually won’t have to call an external plumber for small jobs, but before you go diving into your pipes, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research. Most jobs call for the right tools and a bit of elbow grease, but you’ll want to know the right tools, valves, and procedures to use to avoid DIY mistakes in the future.

The wrong equipment can lead to further repairs down the road, and it’s always better to do it once correctly and then forget about it. Repeat repairs are expensive, and calling in the professionals can be even more so. Avoiding these five common DIY plumbing mistakes will help you tackle that to-do list with ease.

Common mistake 1: Overusing drain cleaner

A lot of DIY-ers reach for the drain cleaner to remove clogs from their sink pipes. The problem with this is that often, too much product is used which can cause damage to metal and pipes. Liquid drain cleaner can also dissolve rubber fittings resulting in leaks.

For blocked drains, it’s better to use a snake or barbed drain cleaning tool. This will do a lot less damage to your sockets, drains, and pipes. Using these tools means your clogged drain small fix doesn’t turn into a plumbing disaster in the future.

Common mistake 2: Not turning off the water

It might seem like the most obvious thing to do, but it’s one that DIY plumbers often overlook. Not turning off the water to your home is a rookie error, and an important one to remember to do. This adds more stress to the job than is necessary, especially if you’re racing against the clock to change a part whilst battling fountains of water.

This can quickly cause water damage to your home, leading to expensive repairs. 

Turning off the water to your home is a quick way to make sure you’re safely and expertly doing your DIY repairs.

Common mistake 3: Using too much manpower

If taps or knobs won’t turn, you might be tempted to strain harder to open them up and get water flowing. This is a problem for many reasons and could lead to unnecessary injury to your body or cause the knob on the valve to break.

Using an adjustable wrench to loosen a tight valve is the easiest way to make sure you’re working smart - not hard. Save those muscles for the gym and other physical activities, instead of overstressing them on home repairs.

Common mistake 4: Using incorrect tools or inferior pieces

Quality valves are built to withstand the test of time so that fewer repairs or replacements are needed over their lifespan. Choosing to skimp on quality products, pieces and tools might mean you save money now, but you’re certainly going to be spending more down the track.

Do your research to ensure you’re using the right tools for the job. You may find that regular clamps or pliers apply too much pressure on joints and valves, leading to further damage. The right tools will save you time, effort and money; so it’s a winning situation all round to choose the correct equipment for the job.

Common mistake 5: Forgetting how things go back together

DIY usually doesn’t come with a handy manual full of pictorials to follow. Once you’ve taken something apart to clean or fix a section, you might have forgotten how it all goes back together with disastrous results.

A good idea is to take notes or draw your own pictures as you’re taking something apart. This is good practice not just for plumbing, but for your other home DIY projects too. Grab a black Sharpie and label your pieces as you take them apart, as this will be much more helpful to you when it comes time to put everything back together.

Give DIY plumbing a try

It’s fun to get stuck into manual jobs, especially DIY around the house. This enthusiasm has led many a DIYer astray, but with a bit of preparation, your repairs will be built to last first and every time. Whether you’re unclogging a drain or giving your bathroom a makeover; arming yourself with the facts and right equipment will make your weekend projects satisfying ones.

Author bio: Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo! News, Influencive and Tech In Asia. He is a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program.

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