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The Most Common DIY Plumbing Mistakes | Tips from Your Katy, TX Plumber

Woman grimacing while using a wrench to fix a pipe under the sink

Texans may take a lot of pride in taking care of their household problems themselves. However, things are quite different when it comes to plumbing issues. The common mistakes made by DIY homeowners will tell you why you should acquire the services of a professional and not try to take things in your own hands.

Over-Tightening Connections

Due to a lack of correct plumbing knowledge and the natural tendency to make sure that the job is done correctly, most homeowners engaging in DIY plumbing end up over-tightening the pipes, fittings or the supply tubes they work on. However, they are naturally unaware of the fact that a galvanized or black pipe cannot take that sort of force being applied to it and will most likely crack with their attempts to tighten it. It may not always happen right away, but over the next few weeks, those small cracks will widen and lead to the potential flooding of your house.

This tendency to over tighten the fittings in amateur DIY plumbers does a lot of damage when it comes to plastic made fittings in the toilets, especially the faucet supply tubes. The amount of torque they apply to tighten the simple fittings ends up cracking and damaging then as well as inviting further damage to the property. Therefore, you should seek the services of a professional sooner rather than later.

Using the Wrong Tape or Applying it Incorrectly

There is a plethora of plumbing equipment and tools on the market, and you have to have a thorough knowledge of plumbing to know which one is used where.  Naturally, most DIYers lack that vital knowledge and end up acquiring the wrong products and materials, to begin with. One such mistake they most commonly make is with the tape. Many make the mistake of buying the wrong kind of tape in the first place; others commit blunders when applying it.

The tape most commonly used in plumbing repairs is Teflon tape, which is supposed to go clockwise around the thread for it to work. Many DIYers get this wrong and wrap it around in the anti-clockwise direction. This causes the tape to unwind from the threads as they try to tighten the fittings. This literally kills the entire purpose of wrapping the tape to provide a seal. Therefore, it is better to save yourself from this wasted effort and give a decent plumber a call to take care of these matters for you.

Using Drain Cleaners as a First Resort

This one is another common blunder. When your bathroom or kitchen sink is clogged, the best thing to start off with is a “snake” or a barbed drain cleaning tool. You could also simply remove the P-trap to remove all the clog and debris etc. However, the first weapon of choice for most DIYers in such a situation happens to be drain cleaners. Not only are they quick to get these off the shelf of their local general stores, but they also happen to be very generous when applying them and often use more than what is recommended.  This actually causes more problems than it solves in the long run.

Later, when you finally come around the idea of having a professional in the Katy, TX area to look into the matter, you’ll come across caustic substance in the drains as the plumber removes the trap to manually clear the drain. This would then require the plumber to be extra cautious when clearing it. Furthermore, overusing these off-the-shelf drain cleaners goes on to corrode the insides of your metal pipes, and this damage will manifest in leaks over time. It is therefore highly recommended that you contact a professional plumber into look into the matter in the first place and avoid using these harsh drain cleaners.

Not Turning Off the Water

Turning off the water supply will be a basic precaution for any professional. However, DIY homeowners often seem to ignore this one as they take up a plumbing issue in their own hands.

Plumbing tasks such as swapping the old valve with the new one are often tried without even turning the water supply off first, and that rarely works out. The result: they end up with a flooding situation at hand as they try to “quickly” swap the valves. Any experienced plumber in the Katy, TX area would know better in this situation. Therefore, it is better to acquire their services before you have a bigger mess to deal with and have to waste thousands of dollars in dealing with water damage.

Not Having the Right Tools

It’s almost general knowledge that any professional will have access to the requisite tools that will allow him to do the job perfectly. DIYers lack the right tools that the plumbing task might require, but it doesn’t stop them, and they go ahead anyway with whatever tools they have at hand. That’s almost akin to asking for trouble; and in most cases, trouble is what they get, sadly.

Simple pliers and everyday pipe wrenches are not the correct tools to remove a galvanized pipe nipple. You must acquire the services of a professional as you most likely will not have access to the right tools to do the job.

Performing Un-Permitted DIY Work

Last but not least, a number of DIY homeowners make the mistake of taking up plumbing renovations that may not exactly be in line with the codes and regulations that are in place in Texas.

This will land you in trouble later when you’re looking to sell the property, if not sooner. Furthermore, there are safety and security risks that you may expose your household and your property to by neglecting the building codes. Therefore, do yourself a favor and call a professional the Katy, TX areato look at your renovation ideas and carry them out in the best possible ways.

In the current environment, where there is a plethora of information available on the internet on almost everything out there, you may be tempted to take things in your own hands when met with a plumbing woe. However, as the above-mentioned mistakes suggest, it may not be the right thing to do. As explained above, it serves you better in the long run if you timely acquire the services of the right plumber.

And Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg, with its 24/7 emergency services, and a long list of happy customers, is definitely that plumber in the Katy, TX area. If you’re ever met with any of the aforementioned situations or require any other plumbing assistance, try our impeccable plumbing services.