The most common plumbing mistakes come from the fact that the average DIY’er does not possess the intimate knowledge of plumbing systems that a professional would have. The average DIY type person may also lack the proper tools to get the job done. For example, you may think that replacing a faucet is an easy, quick fix. However, if you do not have the correct tool in your arsenal, which is a basin wrench, you will find yourself calling a plumber to finish the job. There are many tools that are specific to plumbing repair such as a pipe wrench, a closet auger, and a hand auger or plumber’s snake (which can clean out clogs). It is also good to have on hand a hacksaw, tubing cutters, channel lock pliers, a metal file, a plunger and even a propane torch.
One of the most important things to do when performing a do-it-yourself plumbing project is to turn the water off! This is the most important and often overlooked item in the list. If you attempt to repair plumbing with the water still on you could open your house to potential flooding and water damage.
Another mistake that many people make is using liquid drain cleaners. There are some liquid drain cleaners on the market which are extremely toxic and dangerous, containing sulfuric acid. You can actually cause more damage as the acid will eat away at your pipes and cause leaks somewhere along the line.
Using pipe that is not the same as the currently installed pipe can cause issues as well. Plumbers tape is great, but shouldn’t be used to stop or contain leaks. Ensure that the pipes being used are fitting properly and one the work is completed, keep an eye on the problem area for any possible leaks that may occur.
Time is also a consideration; if you are spending too much time trying to fix a plumbing issue yourself the DIY value just flies out of the window. A professional plumber will cost you money, but in the long run he may also save you money by saving you valuable time and effort.
There are many jobs that a DIY’er can tackle alone, but be honest with yourself when assessing any repair project. After all, you wouldn’t attempt to tear apart your car engine if you were not a mechanic, would you?