(A big “thank you” to our friends at Plumbing Detectives for sponsoring this post!)
There are many online resources where you can find plumbing tips. Many jobs seem so easy to do that you are tempted to try and do the work yourself. In some instances, when simple tasks are involved, this is a good idea. However, it’s important to make sure you are prepared before you start and that you leave major plumbing work to the professionals.
Experts such as the team at Plumbing Detectives see the results of DIY plumbing jobs all the time, when mistakes have been made such as not switching the water off correctly before starting, or incorrectly putting things back together. They always advise taking great care where plumbing is involved.
Be aware of how to turn off the water supply
This is an essential aspect of any DIY plumbing job. If the water is not turned off as it should be, you could be facing a flood once you start to work. Once this problem occurs it’s difficult to resolve; especially if you are not aware of how to turn off the water supply. One of the first things you should do when you move into a new property is make sure that you know where all the shut off taps are and where the main water shut off is located. For small, tasks such as fixing a faucet, it may only be necessary to make sure the relevant shut off tap is turned. However, if you are faced with a flood in your home, you should head straight to the main water shut off point.
Learn About the Task First
All too often, people just dive into a plumbing task without taking time to research the problem. Make sure that you read-up on the job first. You need to know exactly what you have to do and which tools you will need. Familiarize yourself with the plumbing that you are dealing with and walk through the entire process in your head before you start.
Make a Note of How You Took Things Apart
Not being able to put things like faucets and shower heads back together is a more common problem than you might think. Make sure that you have detailed instructions available before you start. It also helps to take pictures with your phone throughout the process of taking things apart, so that you can see what each stage looks like when you have to complete the process in reverse.
Do Not Be Tempted to Tighten Too Much
It may seem that tightening plumbing fittings as much as possible is a good idea. After all, you don’t want them to leak. However, this is not the case. If you over tighten a fitting you may warp any rubber lining that is present and strip the threads. It’s usually enough to tighten the fitting as much as you can with your hand, but the exact tightness required can take practice to achieve.
Don’t Clear Blockages with Drain Cleaner
Using drain cleaner is not a good idea. It’s not the safest option when it comes to your health—and it is not good for drains either. It’s a much better idea to clear any drain blockages with a plunger, or a drain auger if necessary.
If you are careful, you can deal with minor plumbing tasks yourself, without causing any disasters. Of course, it’s always a good idea to leave the DIY behind when major plumbing work is required, and call in the professionals.