Five Common DIY Plumbing Mistakes That You Need To Be Aware Of

If you are a homeowner, plumbing issues are most likely to be on your list of things to be avoided at all cost. However, you can be sure that at some point in time or the other you will encounter a plumbing problem that will need your attention. It could be something as simple as a clogged sink or something more serious like a basement flooding. The way you approach the issue, as and when it crops up, and how you undertake the repairs is critical to minimization of unpleasant plumbing events. Some common instances of plumbing goof-ups:

Trying To Fix Problems in a Hurry

Even though plumbing issues usually catch us off guard and happen just when things could not be worse, there is no point in trying to rush the repair up even if you are in the middle of something that can’t wait. This is because the consequences of doing that are usually unpleasant and end up exacerbating the problem. A case in point is failing to turn off the water supply before you start on the repairs because that usually will have you facing a gushing fountain of water and hours of cleaning and drying up subsequently. Shutting off the water is so important that it is worthwhile doing it even if you are fairly confident that you don’t need to do so.

Not Getting the Leveling Right

Even people who are skilled enough to take on complicated jobs like sink or toilet installation often fail to get the leveling right and as a result,the installation can be crooked and negatively affect both the function and the aesthetics of the project. It is a good idea not to rely on your visual judgment but instead use a level to get the results right and avoid expensive repairs in the future. The best plumbing jobs are those that do not get affected by egos or misplaced attitudes.

Not Disconnecting Water Lines in the winter

Even though almost everyone knows that water freezing in pipes can cause them to burst, it is quite common for people to just forget about disconnecting their garden hoses when the cold weather sets in. If you have a control with which you can switch off the water at the source, then go ahead and use it. The consequences of water pipes bursting can be pretty devastating. For example, a water pipe in the basement that bursts can flood it and ruin your precious belongings quite easily as well as cause extensive damage to the floor, walls, and even electrical appliances and furniture. You can end up spending thousands of dollars in cleaning up and repairs if the pipe burst during the night and lies undiscovered till next morning. If the bursting pipes are located inside walls or the floor, then even the detection can be delayed by which time a lot of damage would have been suffered.

Using Pipes That Do Not Match

When you are doing a plumbing job at home, it is quite natural for you to reach out and select a pipe that seems to be okay without bothering much about the material of the pipe. Usually, there is a tendency to misjudge the size of the pipes and as a result, the connecting piece doesn’t fit properly even with the application of a sealant. Sooner or later, leaks start to happen and you have to do the job all over again. A mismatch in the material of the pipes too can create a problem if the two materials react with each other, as happens when a copper pipe is matched with a galvanized iron pipe. If such different materials must be used, then make sure that they are joined with a connector made of a non-reactive material such as brass.

Overusing Drain Cleaners

It is indeed very handy to reach out for a bottle of drain cleaner when a drain is clogged. However, you need to keep in mind that the chemical is very harsh and persistent overuse will also cause damage to the pipes, which despite their looks are not really invincible. If you are experiencing repeated clogging that you are not able to successfully get rid of by using the occasional drain cleaner and home-use snake tools, it is best to call in professional plumbers who have the right type of equipment to physically remove the clogging material from places where you cannot even think of reaching.


DIY plumbing can save you a lot of money if you know the basics and are alert to common mistakes that most people fall prey to. However, you should know the limit of your skills because attempting anything that is too ambitious might cause the problem to become more serious and you can end up spending far more money than what you would have wanted to save by having to call for emergency professional plumbing assistance.

Jack Dawson

Jack Dawson is a freelance content writer. He has written many good and informative articles on different categories.

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