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Top 6 most common residential plumbing mistakes
14 Dec

Top 6 Most Common Residential Plumbing Mistakes

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Knowing how to tackle household issues is a great skill to have. Replacing a fixture, renovating a part of the house, or fixing plumbing issues without calling a professional is economical and rewarding. 

However, not all household issues should be tackled independently, especially regarding plumbing. You may think you can fix a leak or clog, but it might worsen things and become more of a financial burden. 

Here are some common residential plumbing mistakes that homeowners make and how to avoid them:

1. Using the thread tape incorrectly

Thread tape, plumber tape, or Teflon tape seals threaded connections like the ones found in taps and shower heads. The tape provides a solid buffer between the threads, ensuring no water leaks. While wrapping the tape around the thread may seem pretty straightforward, there is a right and a wrong way of doing so. 

The right way is to wrap the tape around the thread clockwise to ensure proper sealing when the fitting is screwed on. You should go around the thread at least three to five times. If you wrap the tape in the opposite direction, it will unwind when you screw the fitting back on, which defeats the purpose of using the tape.  

Make sure to wrap the tape in the right direction and between three and five rounds. It will ensure the best fit and seal for your plumbing fixtures.

2. Not using the right tools

Some plumbing jobs require specialized tools like augers and plungers for unclogging drains. Trying to unclog a drain with something resembling a drain snake or auger can worsen matters. It could break off inside the pipe and make the blockage worse. It could even lodge the debris in some other area of the pipe. 

Similarly, if you are trying to tighten or loosen a nut with a plier that barely fits but is the only tool on hand, you may end up breaking the pipe, damaging the nut, or slipping and hurting yourself. In this case, to avoid any damage, you should get an inexpensive pipe wrench or a set of pipe wrenches that will allow you to apply the right amount of pressure at the right spot.   

Another example is using the right tool for cutting PVC pipes. If you use a saw for the job, the ends of the pipe may not be straight or smooth and end up damaging the connecting pipe, joint, or the O-ring. Therefore, use a pipe and tube cutter to have straight and clean cuts for this kind of job.

Our professional plumbing service can handle all kinds of jobs, and our plumbers come prepared with all the right tools. 

3. Overtightening connections

Another common mistake that people make is overtightening plumbing connections. It increases the risk of the fitting cracking, especially regarding under-sink pipes or other water line connections. These do not need too much elbow grease to tighten; a quarter to half extra turn with a wrench should ensure a proper connection. 

Overtightening can damage the internal seals and lead to a more expensive and challenging repair in the future. Furthermore, you may not instantly notice the side effects of overtightening plumbing connections, and it may take weeks for the joint to break down. 

If you are not entirely confident about your handyman skills, call our plumbing service and let the professionals do the job for you.

4. Opting for drain cleaner straight away

Everyone experiences clogs at some point in their lives. It could be a bathtub, toilet clog, kitchen sink, or drain pipe. In most cases, the best way to get rid of a clog is to use a plunger, auger, or drain snake. These are tools that you should have around the house for such emergencies. However, some homeowners opt for the drain cleaner as their first resort, which is not the ideal way to go for the following reasons: 

  • Using the drain cleaner too often can damage the metal traps, rubber gaskets, and pipes, resulting in leaks. 
  • If you need a plumbing service, in case the clog does not clear up, the plumber may have to take the pipe apart or remove the trap arm, which is full of toxic drain cleaning liquid.
  • There are corrosive and non-corrosive drain-cleaning liquids, and you may not use the right one.

5. Replacing valves and faucets without shutting off the water supply

Some successful plumbing DIYers may feel confident enough to try replacing a valve or faucet without shutting off the water supply. Not only will this lead to water everywhere, but it will also make it extremely difficult to get a tight seal around the thread. 

It would initially seem like you correctly placed the valve or faucet, but there may be leaks later. Every homeowner should know where the shut-off valve in their home is, but if you don’t, feel free to call us, and our professional plumbers will take care of it for you.

6. Flushing the wrong items down the drain

It is well-known that you shouldn’t flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet drain. Most people consider flushable wipes safe for the toilet drain, but that is not the case. Anything other than toilet paper has the potential to cause a partial blockage, which can get worse over time. Avoid flushing tissue paper, wipes, hair, or anything else that may seem harmless. 

Top 6 Most Common Residential Plumbing Mistakes: Final Thoughts

As a homeowner, while having skill and confidence in household repairs is an asset, some tasks should be left to the professionals, especially regarding plumbing and electrical problems. Tackling a plumbing issue without the proper skills, tools, or confidence can make matters worse. So, call a professional plumbing service, sit back, and relax while our professionals efficiently handle the job.

For more information about residential plumbing mistakes or to book an appointment, call Advanced Plumbing at 866-863-9539 or contact us here.


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