There are a number of plumbing tasks you can perform on your own around the house. There are also a number of ways you can accidentally cause or worsen plumbing problems in your home. Sometimes the two are connected. But you don’t have to suffer the consequences of these mistakes if you avoid them altogether!
As a master plumber for more than 30 years, we’ve seen a thing or two in our time here at C & C Slab Leaks and Plumbing. And as a Top Rated Local® Dallas plumber, we’ve repaired a countless number of plumbing problems that could’ve been negated with the proper knowledge or attention to detail.
While we’re more than happy to help and provide the best plumbing services in Dallas, we also care about saving you money and headaches. So, today’s post takes a look at the top 10 plumbing mistakes you should avoid in order to prevent damage to your home or businesses plumbing. And remember, when in doubt, it’s always better to call an expert plumber just to be safe!
Using Drain Cleaners as the First Option
Many homeowners in Dallas and around the country turn to drain cleaners as their first solution for clogged drains and pipes. However, these products are harmful to the inner workings of the pipes and other plumbing. Drain cleaners often cause more problems than they solve.
Instead, use barbed drainage cleaning tools or a snake. For more complicated plumbing problems related to clogging, contact C & C for expert hydro jetting to clean pipes quickly and effectively.
Failing to Turn Off the Water
This is a simple step when resolving plumbing problems and one that many people skip altogether. But, you should always make sure to turn off the water supply to your specific fixture or the main water valve completely, should the job require it. This prevents potentially much more significant damage and plumbing issues in your home. Spending more money on plumbing repairs because you forgot to turn off the water supply is a horrible feeling we don’t recommend you experience.
Over-Tightening Plumbing Connections
While ensuring a tight seal is important, there is a limit to how tightly you should wrench plumbing connections on toilet bolts, pipe fittings, etc. Excessive tightening may crack the fitting, especially on black or galvanized pipes, elbows, tees or couplings.
The crack may not form right away but could develop over a matter of days or weeks, resulting in flooding and much more costly plumbing repairs. So, make sure the seal is tight, but don’t overdo it or you will regret it. Better yet, leave plumbing repairs to the experts and call C & C to affordably and professionally address any plumbing problems.
Using Inappropriate Tape or Wrapping a Thread Tap Backwards
When using special threading tapes, such as PTFE tape or Teflon tape, you must wrap it clockwise around the threads so it may work correctly. Many homeowners wrap the tape backward by accident, which causes the tape to unwind itself while tightening a fixture, effectively making the tape useless. Wrap the tape around the threads three times (clockwise!) and the final wrap should face left.
Handling Plumbing Repairs Without the Necessary Parts
Rarely in plumbing does the job require the one part you’ve identified as the problem. If a washer or cartridge is worn out, there is a strong chance other parts require replacement. However, homeowners don’t just have spare plumbing parts lying around. Failing to replace the O-rings, gasket or stem as well could lead to a leaky faucet. Buy spare parts as well or simply call a master plumber at C & C to provide full-service plumbing repairs quickly and affordably.
Lacking Appropriate Tools
In the same vein as the previous mistake, lacking the appropriate tools for the job is another common mistake people make that you should avoid. Professional plumbers make the job look easy, and that’s because they possess the necessary tools and experience.
If you feel the need to try plumbing repairs on your own, be sure to use the right tools. Regular pliers or wrenches may damage water pipes and lead to worse complications. You can find plumbing wrenches and other specific tools at most hardware stores.
Pouring Grease Down Your Drains
Out of sight, out of mind doesn’t work in plumbing. Just because you technically can pour something down the drain doesn’t mean you should pour it down the drain. Grease is a common example. Grease will line your pipes and clog the drain as it solidifies and catches other debris. Do yourself a favor and keep the grease in another container and throw it in the garbage.
Ignoring Local Codes
If you decide to take on a plumbing project on your own, make sure to study and understand the codes here in Dallas. You must follow regulations or risk hefty fines and trouble with the local government. You’ll also need to obtain a permit before starting any work.
Sweating a Copper Pipe With Water
Copper must be completely dry before any attempt to sweat (solder) them. Water on the area you’re working on will make the joint leak. Also, attempting to heat the water with the torch to make it evaporate while soldering never works. It will cause pinholes as you solder.
Flushing Materials Down the Toilet
Toilets look rather big from the outside, but most toilets have a pipe that only measures about 3 inches. This is the pipe the entire house drains into, so flushing inappropriate materials could clog your entire drain. Plumbing services to fix clogged drains, while extremely effective when performed by experts, are extremely frustrating when you could easily avoid them.
If you pay attention to these 10 things, you only increase your odds of avoiding catastrophic plumbing issues. And if you do experience minor complications, don’t allow those plumbing problems to worsen over time. C & C Slab Leaks and Plumbing is your Top Rated Local® Plumber right here in Dallas, so give us a call today and let us protect your home!