Most common bathroom plumbing problems can be repaired or updated easily, as long as you apply a little elbow grease. But it is also very easy for DIYers to make mistakes or overlook certain things that a professional would not. Here are some of the top plumbing mistakes that DIYers make when renovating or repairing their bathroom plumbing:
1. Over-Tightening Connections
A misconception is that connections need to be super-tight to prevent water from escaping. What many DIYers fail to realize, however, is that many connections are designed to be water-tight and do not need to be overly tight. If you fasten something too much, you can actually cause stripping and other damage that reduces the connection and could result in leaking. You can damage fittings, strip pipe threads, and break washers by over-tightening. When that happens, you will need to call a repairman or woman.
2. Doing The Job Without Spare Parts
You might buy one piece, like a cartridge or washer, thinking that you will just one thing to fix—but it’s never like that. In reality, if one piece is worn out, other pieces of an appliance or plumbing is going to need replacements as well. Save yourself a second trip to the hardware store. Buy the peripheral parts that are needed for anything from reassembling faucets, drain lines, and so on.
3. Wrapping Thread Tape The Wrong Way
PTFE thread tape, also known as teflon tape, needs to be wrapped around items clockwise in order for the threads to work as intended. However, people tend to wind the tape in the opposite direction (counterclockwise), causing the treads to loosen and come undone. To wrap the PTFE tape the right way, always wrap clockwise three times, ending with the wrap on the left side so you can screw the pipe in. You need a thin white or thick pink thread for any pipe that will carry water. Never used thread tape on flare or compression fittings.
4. Not Having The Right Tools
Professional plumbers can make repairs and installations look hassle-free because they have the tool kit to handle the tasks. DIYers, though, only have a small amount of tools on hand, and most of the tools won’t do the plumbing job. You cannot remove older galvanized pipes with an everyday pipe wrench, and slip joint pliers are notorious for leaving threads behind. If you want good tools, invest in a strap wrench, plumber’s tape, an extendable basin wrench, a tubing cutter, and a combination exterior/interior wire brush.
5. Not Turning Off The Water
Similar to turning off the electric when changing a light bulb, you always want to turn off the flow of water when working on anything related to plumbing. If you don’t, a simple fix might transform into a waterlogged mishap. Whenever you are replacing a valve, drain line, pipe, or faucet, make sure the water leading to that is switched off. Otherwise, you will have water that could leak out and cause water damage. Why risk thousands of dollars in repairs when you can just shut off the water first?
6. Forgetting How Things Fit Back Together
Most bathroom appliances don’t come with an instruction manual, especially if a plumber installed it. This means that taking something apart and putting it back together when you don’t know how can be tricky. You might end up spending longer on the project than planned then forget how everything pieced together. People who have never done a plumbing job before will have no reference point for reassembly either.
You also need to know how things fit back together to prevent causing more problems than you started with. For example, if you don’t tighten something enough, you will end up with leaks or clogs and have to call a professional plumber for help.
As you can see, even if you love doing DIY, when it comes to renovations and repairs in the bathroom, some things are going to require more work than others. You should be prepared for the job and have all the right tools. But whatever your bathroom plumbing needs may be, a professional is here to help.