Preventing 6 Common DIY Plumbing Mishaps

Taking the DIY approach to plumbing problems is admirable, provided you avoid the common mistakes that result in costly plumber call-outs. Following the tips below, you can probably avoid having to to get your hands dirty, just to end up calling the plumbers as a last resort.

1. Garbage Disposal is Just a Name

garbage-disposal-plugWhile a garbage disposal system is a great solution to environmentally friendly disposal of soft, small bits of food, it is not a trash compactor that should be used to chop large chunks of pumpkin carvings, watermelon rinds or similar items until the blades can no longer turn.

Similarly, during installation of your garbage disposal, don't forget to remove the knockout plug if you're going to connect it to a dishwasher.

2. Make Proper Introductions

Plumbing MishapsWhen you join pipes or other plumbing fixtures made of different metals, be sure to use the correct couplings. Unless the connectors are made of the right materials, it can cause corrosion to build up and close up the pipe.

3. Avoid Creating Hang-ups

Common DIY Plumbing MishapsFaucets, bathtub spouts or shower heads may seem strong, but they are not meant to carry a lot of weight. Don't hang heavy shampoo racks on showerheads, and don't rest your feet on the spout of the bathtub.

4. Fight the Flush

toilet-blockedAny plumber can write a book on the many strange call-outs from clients who have flushed something bizarre or inappropriate down the toilet, causing a blockage. You'll be surprised at how common it is to see toys, balls, jewelry, food items, tweezers, toothbrushes and more, stuck in the trap of the toilet.

When that happens, the toilet has to be removed to retrieve the item and restore functionality to the toilet.

5. Lift the Pressure

faucet-handle-fixSome people think that the harder they push or pull the faucet handle when closing it, will stop a chronic drip or leak. Overtightening the plumbing components will strip the threads, especially in chrome or plastic materials, causing them to break or leak. Rather get it fixed, otherwise you will break the handle, which is not going to solve the drip or leak.

6. Give it a Hot Minute

electric-water-heaterWhen you install a new electric water heater, give it time to fill up before you turn it on. This can cause the heater to burn up. Rather fill it up first, then remove air bubbles by allowing the water to run for a minute, and only then turning it on.

Finally, it is important to remember, when you do DIY plumbing repairs, to correctly replace your plumbing components. Before dissembling, it might be an idea to take a picture on your phone to refresh your memory.

With plumbing, as with good health, prevention is better than cure. Take good care of your plumbing, and your plumbing will take good care of you, and you will avoid expensive plumber call outs that could've been prevented in the first place.

Written by Tanya Klien

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