There are many plumbing issues and updates that you can fix with just some standard tools and elbow grease and do not require heavy physical labor. They can be more comfortable than other problems you need to solve around your building. However, you must know some basic things before you dive into this work. You have to know the types of pipes, glue, fittings,water-resistant materials, and solder as they are easy to misunderstand. There are also other common mistakes that most plumbers and DIYers commit, which you have to avoid.
Here are the common mistakes that you must avoid when working on your plumbing system:
1. Overtightening the connections
There is one thing almost every new plumber experiences, and this is over-tightening the supply tubes, fittings, pipes, and toilet bolts. Ensure that you do not crank too hard on galvanized and black lines, tee, elbow, or coupling; otherwise, you can cause some cracks on them. Even if it does not happen right away, it may develop weeks later, which will be a total disaster.
Some of the common areas that suffer from over-tightening are the toilet and faucet supply tubes’ plastic fittings. You don’t need to twist the supply tube too much to seal it. Overtightening the hex with too much force can cause breaks and leaks. Moreover, exerting too much pressure on your toilet bolts can crack your porcelain and eventually destroy the toilet.
2. Using the wrong tape and wrapping thread tape backward
Ensure that you wrap the Teflon tape or PTFE thread tape clockwise around the threads at all times. It is common knowledge, but many DIYers are still doing it wrong and wrapping the material backward. Doing this unwinds the material from the threads as you tighten the fitting. Instead, wrap it three times around the lines and make sure that the last wrap faces the left before you screw the pipe. If it is pointing to the right, stop right away and re-wrap it.
Moreover, it is essential to use the right type of tape for your application. For fittings that carry water, use some thick pink or thin white thread tape. You can use the yellow gas-rated tape for gas line connections. Meanwhile, it would help if you never used thread tapes on flare or compression fittings.
3. Forgetting to turn off the water before working
Many plumbers are more convenient to leave the water when swapping a new valve, while some forget about it. However, it does not turn out well unless you are fast enough. When you have a problem attaching the new faucet, you’ll indeed have water pressure flooding the entire area and even dripping to the lower floors. You will have to spend dollars for the damages because you are too lazy to shut off the water supply valve. If you want to install the valve in a more convenient place to access it, you can use some water-resistant access doors.
4. You are not equipping yourself with proper tools.
With the right tools, you can solve any plumbing repairs and replacement issues quickly. You can’t just buy three or four devices and make do with what’s available when fixing something. It will only lead you to some awkward situations that may turn your project into a mess. It would be wrong to try to remove an old galvanized nipple by using some ordinary pipe wrench and may even break the pipe. Make sure to use some inexpensive set of internal pipe wrenches and other plumbing tools.
5. Working on a plumbing project without any spare parts
A lot of plumbing newbies often buy a cartridge or washer when repairing a faucet. However, take note that if these parts are worn or broken, there is a high chance that the other parts are as broken as them. Avoid leaky faucets by replacing the gasket, stem seal, and O-rings as you work on the washer and cartridge. Otherwise, you’ll just put on more effort into your second trip to the hardware store and doing another reassembly. Thus, opt to rebuild the entire faucet instead of replacing a single part because you think it would be cheaper and more manageable.
Moreover, you could also apply the same rule when repairing a drain line. When disassembling a metal p-trap and arm, make sure to have enough rubber compression gaskets beside you. Even if the beveled poly washers on the PVC traps and arms are reusable, you should still equip yourself with a few spares in case of emergency.
6. Using Drain Cleaners as a First Choice
Most new plumbers think that reaching for the liquid drain and pouring in more than the required amount will make the job easier. However, this is not the best solution and can even create more problems in the future. Using too much of them will damage the metal traps and pipes, eventually leading to leakages. It can also destroy the rubber gasket that you use in mission-style couplings. Moreover, if it fails to clear the clog, you will have to remove the trap arm or have a caustic, corrosive drain cleaner later on.
Instead of doing that, do some manual repairs and methods when unclogging your drain. You can also opt to have regular maintenance to avoid having clogged drains. Learn more about the importance of quality plumbing maintenance and repairs by reading our blog.
Save your pipes from these mistakes!
Avoid these mistakes to have a proper functional plumbing system after repairing or replacing some parts of them. Ensure that you will never overtighten the connections or forget to turn off the water valve before you work. It would be best to have the right tools and have enough knowledge on how to use them properly. If you plan to install a panel for more convenient access on your plumbing system, get your water-resistant access doors from a reliable company like Access Doors and Panels.