4 Common Mistakes You Can Make When Repairing Your Plumbing

Whether it’s to save money or just to tinker around the house, many people prefer doing their own plumbing works and repairs by themselves. However, without proper training and tools, homeowners can make a lot of common mistakes with results that can be really expensive to fix.

Be sure to keep in mind these pitfalls and avoid them when taking care of your home:

1. Using drain cleaner liberally

Drain cleaners may seem like a miracle product that can clear your pipes by pouring just a few cups into an open drain. However, that same reason is why you should be extremely careful– not only will they dissolve the clog in your drain, but they will also corrode and dissolve the pipes themselves.

In fact, your pipes will be much better off when you use a plumbing auger or a drain snake instead, as these devices can easily unclog without the use of chemicals. If you’re not a fan of using tools, try sprinkling baking soda and vinegar instead, and flush with hot water.

2. Not turning off the water

This should be the first step you need to take for any water-related project, whether you’re trying to do your own plumbing or call a plumber to have it looked at or fixed.

Knowing your home’s plumbing is especially crucial, since not turning off the water can lead to a terrible mess or a small household flood. If you can’t find the local shutoff valve, switch your water off at the mains.

3. Connecting metal pipes

The reason why galvanized and copper pipes are not supposed to touch each other is because they corrode much faster if they do. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of this and continue to repair the former using the latter, or vice versa.

If you have to repair galvanized pipes using copper ones, be sure to use a special joint called a dielectric union. This is a ta type of joint  that uses a plastic sleeve and a rubber washer to connect the two types of materials without having them actually touch each other.

4. Not having the proper training

Although there are certain types of plumbing work that homeowners can do on their own, there are also other types of plumbing work that need a license or at least insurance beforehand.

It can also be difficult to tell if a project is beyond your skill level, and since doing DIY work on extensive home improvement projects without the right knowledge can cost a lot of money in the future, it’s usually better to leave these types of projects to a professional plumber.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

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