If you’re a homeowner, it’s not a bad idea to learn how to tackle minor plumbing problems, this way you can save time and take proper care of your plumbing system. But, for the novice plumber, even the simplest fixes can go awry and turn into costly mistakes. Here are four common plumbing mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Overdoing It on the Drain Cleaner
If you use too much of the blue stuff, it can really cause damage to your drains. Most over-the-counter drain cleaners are made of harsh, toxic chemicals that can eat away from the walls of both metal and PVC pipes. Plus, they pose a health hazard to whoever cleans out the drains.
Instead of using a heavy-duty product, we recommend an eco-friendly alternative made up of 1/2 cup vinegar, followed up with 1/2 cup of baking soda. Warning: you will see foam! After an hour passes, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. A pipe snake can also be used to clear out clogs and reduce the damage on your pipes.
Leaving the Garden Hose Connected in the Winter
There’s no problem with leaving a garden hose connected to the outside faucet during the summer, but if you leave it connected during the winter, your water lines can freeze and burst. When this happens in your home, you could sustain thousands of dollars in water damage before you’re even aware that there is a problem.
To prevent this from happening, make sure that you always disconnect the outside hoses before it gets freezing outside. If they have a shutoff, turn off the water supply to all of the outside taps too.
Using the Wrong Types of Pipes
If you notice a minor leak coming from under the sink, you might feel inspired to take tackle the problem on your own. Unfortunately, many DIY plumbers don’t realize that when they’re replacing a leaky pipe, they can’t choose the wrong size or type of pipe.
Often, a DIY plumber will use the wrong pipe, or they will try to use the right size pipe, but with the wrong connectors. For example, you should never connect galvanized metal pipes directly to copper, otherwise, you risk corrosion. You have to use the right connector with the pipe sealant to ensure a tight fit. It’s a common mistake to believe that because pipes seem tight, they will hold water.
The rule of thumb here is to always ensure you are using the right type of pipe and connector.
Failing to Shut Off the Water
If you have a pipe that is leaking everywhere, some people forget the first DIY rule of plumbing: shut of the water! Even if you are making minor repairs, always remember to shut off the water before starting a repair.
There are some DIY jobs that can be successfully handled on your own; for example, a simple toilet clogs or cleaning out a bathroom sink drain. But, if you’re faced with a project that seems beyond your ability and requires accessing main water lines, or cutting into walls or floors, then it’s time to call a professional plumber.
You will soon realize that the money paid is offset by the assurance that the job will be done right, and without any error due to lack of experience. If you are looking for a seasoned Austin plumber, call Excalibur Plumbing today!