Homeowner 101: 7 Rookie Plumbing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Homeowner 101: 7 Rookie Plumbing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Plumbing issues can cause a lot of stress and discomfort in any household. Not only are they messy, but they can also result in significant damage and expenses if not taken care of properly. The good news is that many plumbing problems can be avoided by being mindful of mistakes that can be made. Here are some common rookie plumbing mistakes and how to avoid them. Let's get started!

Overusing Chemical Drain Cleaners

It’s common for homeowners to use chemical drain cleaners to clear blocked pipes. However, while these products may seem like an easy solution, they can actually do more harm than good. Most of these cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can corrode your plumbing, leading to leaks or even burst pipes. Instead, try using a plunger or a drain snake to clear the blockage. If that doesn’t work, consider calling a professional plumber.

Overtightening Connections

When installing new plumbing fixtures, it’s important not to over-tighten the connectors. While it may seem counterintuitive, over-tightening can actually damage the fixture and lead to leaks. Instead, tighten the connectors hand-tight and then use a wrench to tighten them a quarter turn more. This will create a secure connection without risking damage to the fixture.

If you're unsure if you've overtightened a connection, there are some signs to look out for. These include cracks or damage to the fixture, visible distortion of the connectors, and difficulty turning off the water supply. Also, if you notice leaking or dripping from the connection after tightening, it's likely that it has been over-tightened. In these cases, it's best to loosen the connection and retighten it with caution. Remember, it's always better to err on the side of slightly looser connections rather than risk damage by over-tightening.

Trying to DIY Without Experience

Another rookie mistake is attempting to fix complex plumbing issues without any experience. This can lead to more significant problems that are costly to repair and can even be dangerous to your health. Instead, it is always best to call a professional plumber to handle plumbing problems. A professional plumber, such as one at All For One Plumbing LLC, has the experience and tools necessary to handle the job correctly and can save you money and hassle in the long run.

Ignoring Small Leaks

If you notice a small leak in your plumbing system, it can be tempting to ignore it and hope it goes away on its own. However, even a small leak can cause significant damage to your home if left unchecked. The longer it goes unrepaired, the more water damage it can cause, leading to mold growth and structural damage. As soon as you notice a leak, call a professional plumber to repair it.

Some common leaks to keep an eye out for include dripping faucets, running toilets, and leaking pipes. Dripping faucets may seem like a minor annoyance, but they can waste a significant amount of water over time and can also lead to higher water bills. Running toilets are another sneaky culprit that can go unnoticed for quite some time.

A constantly running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day, which not only increases your water bill but also puts a strain on the environment. Leaking pipes are another common issue that should be addressed immediately. They can cause mold growth and damage to your home's structure if left unrepaired. Keep an eye out for any signs of these leaks in your home and address them promptly to prevent issues from arising.

Overloading the Garbage Disposal

Many homeowners are guilty of overloading their garbage disposals in the kitchen. Rookie homeowners especially may not be aware of what can and can't go into their disposal system. Overloading it with too much food waste or dumping things that should not be put down the drain can lead to clogging or damage to your disposal system. It's always better to dispose of food waste in the garbage bin or compost.

Using the Wrong Tools

When tackling a plumbing project, it’s important to use the right tools for the job. Using the wrong tools can lead to damage to your plumbing fixtures and pipes, which can be costly to repair. Before starting a project, make sure you have the right tools for the job or consider calling in a professional plumber.

There are some tools that should never be used on plumbing, as they can cause damage and lead to larger issues. These include items like coat hangers, which can scratch and damage pipes, and drain snakes with sharp edges, which can also cause harm to your plumbing system. Additionally, avoid using chemical products like bleach or ammonia on your pipes as they can corrode them and cause serious damage. When in doubt, always consult a professional plumber for advice on the best tools to use for your specific plumbing needs.

Not Turning Off the Water Supply

One of the most common rookie plumbing mistakes is forgetting to turn off the water supply before starting a project. This can lead to a flood and water damage to your home. Before starting any plumbing project, make sure to turn off the water supply to the area you’ll be working on. This will prevent any accidents and keep your home safe.

If you're unsure where the water supply shut-off valve is located, there are a few places you can check. The most common areas to find the shut-off valve are near the water meter, inside a utility closet, or in the basement or crawl space. You may also find it outside your home near an outdoor faucet. If you still can't locate it, refer to your home's blueprint or ask a plumber for assistance.

Plumbing projects can be intimidating, especially for homeowners who have never tackled them before. However, with a little know-how, you can avoid common rookie plumbing mistakes and keep your home safe. Remember to use the right tools, turn off the water supply before starting a project, and call a professional plumber if you’re unsure about anything. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a savvy DIY plumber.

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