It happens all the time. A Staten Island homeowner has a plumbing problem that doesn’t seem too bad, maybe clogged pipes or a stopped up kitchen sink, and thinks ‘how hard could it be? I’ll just fix it myself and save a bunch of money’.
Sound familiar? Often, this situation winds up costing a homeowner more than if they would have called a professional plumber in the first place. It’s true that some common plumbing problems can be fixed easily enough, but others are beyond the capabilities of most people. If you do attempt to do it yourself, be aware of the things you should not do. Here are six common DIY plumbing mistakes to look out for.
#1: Drain Cleaner Overload
Commercially produced drain cleaners are very useful for clearing clogged pipes and removing the grease and other materials that build up inside pipes over time. But the harsh, caustic chemicals they use to disintegrate solid materials can also deteriorate the walls of the pipes, both metal and PVC. Instead, use a pipe snake to clear the clog, or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda followed by a pot of boiling water.
#2: Using Drain Cleaner On The Wrong Things
It’s safe to use a commercial drain cleaner in most situations; however, they can cause damage to your toilet if you use the wrong type. You should also be extra careful when clearing your washing machine drainage pipe. Make sure to read the instruction labels carefully before you use drain cleaners.
#3: Leaving Your Hose Outside In The Winter
This is one of the most common plumbing mistakes because it’s so easy to do. People either forget they have a hose hooked up outside or put off removing it until it’s too late and it freezes in the brutal Staten Island winter. This can easily cause frozen and burst water pipes inside your home, leading to expensive damage before you even know it’s happened. Always disconnect your hose and store it before the cold weather arrives, and make sure outside faucets are completely shut off.
#4: Mismatching Water Pipes
One of the worst plumbing mistakes can happen when a homeowner tries to replace a section of pipe to fix a leak or install a new fixture. It’s important to remember that some types of metals don’t work well together, such as galvanized steel on copper. If they are connected together it will cause a reaction leading to corrosion and deterioration. It’s also common for people to try to connect different size pipes or use the wrong connector, which will cause an unstable joint. Always double-check to make sure you have the right pipes and the right connectors for the job.
#5: Forgetting To Turn Off The Water
It’s a cardinal rule in plumbing: always turn off the water before you begin. It’s also easy to forget to do it. It can be a lot more than just embarrassing when you disconnect a line and water starts spraying and gushing everywhere. At the least, you’ll have a mess to clean up. At worst you could have a flood before you finally get it stopped causing some serious and expensive damage.
#6: Not Hiring A Plumber
One of the worst plumbing mistakes is not hiring a professional plumber to tackle a job you can’t handle! If you think a job might be beyond your expertise, it probably is. Some people can handle clogged drains or minor repairs, but for anything more you really need to call in a professional plumber. It can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Platinum Plumbing & Heating is your local neighborhood plumber in Staten Island for repairs, new installations, and 24-hour emergency service. Contact us any time and we’ll be at your service.