DIY plumbing can bring a sense of pride and achievement, however a simple mistake can bring upon disaster. Sure, there are many simple plumbing jobs that you can do yourself, but only if you are aware of what can go wrong. So here are 6 common DIY plumbing mistakes and how to avoid them.
Over tightening plumbing connections
Give a DIY person a spanner and a plumbing connection and you can be sure it’ll be over tightened. Tighter the better i hear you say? Incorrect. Over tightening plumbing fixtures can bring on more problems than one can imagine. For example, installing a flexible hose connection seems simple enough. But when over tightened, the internal rubber hose can kink, causing either no water to come through the tap/valve, or water going everywhere from a rupture. Another example is if you connect onto an out of wall thread and tighten too much, the welded join can snap in the wall, resulting in property damage and an awkward call to your local plumber.
Using chemical drain cleaners for all blockages
When you have a minor blockage, chemical drain cleaners can work from time to time. But the reality is that more often than not, it will cause more harm than good. When used in excess, they can compound around whats actually causing the blockage i.e tree roots etc. Along with that, the fumes emitted from the chemicals can be harmful to users. One important thing to remember is to not mix chemical drain cleaners. Mixing certain chemicals can cause a severe reaction, resulting in the acid spitting back out of the drain. We recommend that you invest in a hand operated drain snake to tackle minor blockages, and for larger blockages, call the professionals.
Failing to isolate water
This may seem like common sense, however it has the be one of the most common and embarrassing DIY plumbing mistakes. ALWAYS isolate your mains water supply before carrying out repairs. If your toilet cisterns are being supplied by rainwater, remember to isolate the pump as well. Click here to see what can happen if you forget or choose not too.
Using incorrect materials
In plumbing, using the correct materials for the application is essential. There are many variations to different fittings and without the proper knowledge, you could be using the wrong one for the job. The slight variation could be the difference between a water tight installation and a blow out. When at the plumbing suppliers, be clear as to what type of work you’re undertaking in order to get the correct materials.
Not having the right equipment
Simply put, having the right equipment for the job makes life easier. Trying to clear a blocked toilet with a mop head is not only ineffective for clearing, but you’ll have nothing to clean up with after the mess is made. In every good plumbers van is an array of equipment that will help get the job done effectively and efficiently. Not having such equipment can be as frustrating as putting a square in a round hole for the DIY’er. Have a stocked up shed? beauty! If not, we suggest equipping yourself for the task at hand before starting.
Biting off more than you can chew
Lets face it, there are certain plumbing jobs that should only be done by licensed plumbers. Trying to change a hot water service or fix your gas is unsafe and illegal for unlicensed people. You could potentially endanger your life, your property and to top it off, receive a hefty fine from the Office of Technical Regulator. So don’t risk it, call the professionals to get the job done, its what we do.