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DIY Plumbing 101: Common Mistakes Homeowners Make

Tackling home plumbing problems, from bathtub faucet repair to fixing leaks and unclogging drains, requires a certain amount of knowledge and skill. Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming these types of plumbing repairs are not difficult to do on their own.

Unfortunately, their plumbing repairs are not completed correctly, which often leads to calling a professional plumber for help. In some cases, homeowners cause more damage on top of the existing plumbing problems, including:

Leakage Of Water From Pipe

  • Forgetting to shut off the water. This mistake happens quite frequently. Homeowners start taking apart a faucet or pipes and, next thing they know, they have a rush of water flooding their homes. All this excess water can damage drywall, subflooring, and insulation, and even create problems with mold and mildew.
  • Excessively tightening plumbing fixtures and components. Trying to stop a drip by using excessive force on the faucet’s handle or over-tightening connections could cause it to break. Doing these things could also create leaks, cracks in pipes, and other problems where water is flowing freely into the home.
  • Not matching the right plumbing pipe sizes. Most homeowners have no idea how big their plumbing pipes really are until after they’ve bought the materials. The water is off, so they figure they might as well complete the job. What difference does it really make if the replacement pipe is a little smaller or bigger? It makes a big difference.

Smaller pipes can create excessive pressure in the lines and cause other blowouts. Larger pipes can reduce overall water pressure, as well as create pressure issues if the water flowing through the pipes goes from a smaller section to a larger one and back to a smaller one.

  • Attempting to join together two different types of plumbing pipes. Trying to connect a copper pipe to a PVC or PEX pipe is difficult to do. There are special fittings required to ensure the connection is leak-free. Simply using plumber’s tape and joint compound is not enough. Eventually, the pipes will start to leak at the connection.

Man at home dealing with neighbor flood leak

  • Failing to find out if a permit is required. Certain types of plumbing repairs could require obtaining a permit before work begins. If you find out later you needed a permit, you could be looking at not only the cost of the permit but also other penalties and fines.
  • Not completing repairs to current building code standards. If you ever sell your home and the work you did was not up to current building codes, you will have to bring things up to code.
  • Using chemical drain cleaners to try to unclog drains. Chemical drain cleaners are toxic and harmful to people and pets, as well as the environment. The chemicals in these cleaners could do more damage to your home’s plumbing than good.

How to Avoid These Mistakes

The easiest way to avoid plumbing mistakes is to know when a job is beyond your abilities. This is when you should call a professional plumber from Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Feel free to contact your nearest location in Temple, New Braunfels, Austin, or San Antonio, or call (512) 246-5400 or (210) 651-1212 for 24-hour plumber service.

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