In both using your household water supply and in attempting to make repairs to water lines and drains, many mistakes – that can have disastrous effects – can be made by anyone not trained as a plumber. Some are technicalities while others may seem like common sense. However, they are all equally important to avoid when using and maintaining your pipes and drains.
1. Neglecting to Turn off the Water Supply
Before making any repairs to water lines or faucets, always turn off the water supply to the line you’re working on. Often, it’s as simple as turning the closest valve handle to the right until the water stops flowing. Other times you may have to trace the water line through the wall and under the floor – usually to the basement or crawlspace – and turn the valve to the off position. Failing to turn the water supply line off prior to doing any work can be disastrous because the water that flows out can cause significant damage to walls and floors, even if the water flows out for a short time. Wet walls and floors also can lead to the growth of mold, which is an additional health concern in addition to the damage it can cause to the structure of your home.
2. Misusing Drains
Kitchen sinks are notorious for backups. Why? The single most common reason is that food and grease are washed down a drain that isn’t a garbage disposal. The food matter and grease settle in the drain pipes and cause a backup. And eventually, the backup holds the water in the line and the drain pipe can rust out, causing water and sewer gas to escape into your kitchen. Nearly the same thing happens in bathrooms with toilets. When non-waste items are flushed down a toilet drain, they tend to clog the drain over time with the same result as in the kitchen. Finally, when backups occur in kitchens and bathrooms, after trying a plunger, most homeowners use a liquid drain opener. Over-using liquid drain openers, which contain hazardous chemicals, can erode your drain pipes and cause leaks plus water damage.
3. Doing the Job Incorrectly
Sometimes do-it-yourselfers just make mistakes, but other times they may do the job incorrectly, knowing they don’t have the right tools or parts to make a repair – they just use what’s available. While it may seem resourceful and budget-conscious to work that way, the problem is that the result can lead to leaks, pipe bursts, or backups that could have been avoided. Some common errors that cause these plumbing problems include mixing and matching pipes, over tightening connections to stop leaks, using incorrect or non-matching parts, hurrying to get the job done quickly, unlevel or crooked pipes, or just trying to complete a job that’s too big for you or one that is above your skill level.
Plumbing isn’t the same as playing with Legos or Tinker Toys. It’s a trade that requires careful learning, practice, and experience. Rather than go it alone, why not trust the professionals at Schlueter Plumbing? Make an appointment today online or call us today at 513-771-7588 for all your plumbing needs.