Being able to carry out DIY projects on your own property is a great feeling; however, many people simply don't have the skillset necessary to carry out a stellar job. This is evident in the type of problems that amateur plumbers encounter when working on their home. To help you avoid these problems, and to ensure you carry out a high-quality job the next time you work on your property, keep the following three common sources of error in mind:
Forgetting to Turn Off the Taps
Forgetting to turn off the water before carrying out plumbing renovations is similar to carrying out electrical work without first turning off the mains supply. When thought of like this, it's easy to see how silly this problem is; however, many people still proceed to attempt plumbing work without first turning off the water. Not only does this make renovation work extremely difficult, but it can also cause a great mess if the water is allowed to spray everywhere.
Therefore, before even attempting a plumbing job, remember to turn off the water at the source. In the majority of homes, the shut-off valve for each fixture will be situated on the wall adjacent to the fixture. If you have trouble turning this valve, consider using a plumber's wrench to give yourself extra leverage.
Forgetting to Disconnect Your Outdoor Pipes in Winter
Frozen pipes can be a major cause of trouble in the winter, particularly if they are allowed to burst before any problems are detected. However, once a pipe has frozen over, you don't have long until the line bursts, as water expands when it freezes and your pipelines are not designed to accommodate this expansion. Burst water pipes can entirely ruin your basement or can even flood your home, so it's important to take steps to avoid any of your exterior pipes bursting in the cold weather.
Therefore, during the winter months, it's best to entirely disconnect your outdoor plumbing to avoid any significant problems occurring. This may seem like an extreme approach, but forgetting to do so could cost you thousands of dollars in restoration costs. Furthermore, if the damaged pipeline is situated within the walls of your home, the damage could be even greater as it will take you some time to notice any problems within your home.
Using Too Much Drain Cleaner
Amateur plumbers tend to overuse drain cleaner when they are faced with clogged pipes. However, these chemical-laden cleaners are only designed to be used sparingly, and overusing drain cleaner can actually have an adverse effect on your home's pipelines.
The main reason for this is due to the high concentration of harsh chemicals that are contained within drain cleaning products. These chemicals are great for breaking up accumulations of solid waste and residue; however, if there is only small amounts of waste to break-up, the chemicals will then go to work on the walls of your interior pipelines. Drain cleaners attack the internal surface of your pipelines by chipping away at the material, which, over time, can lead to a reduction in wall thickness and a significant loss in structural integrity. This is true for all pipe materials; however, it is particularly true for older, metallic piping systems.
If you absolutely must use drain cleaner to unclog your interior pipelines, remember to take proper precautions prior to applying the product. You should always read the label for direction on how to use the drain cleaner. Most drain cleaners will be suitable for kitchen sinks and bath tubs; however, you have to be extra careful when using a cleaning product on your washing machine as any damage to the pipework could result in flooding of your home.
For more information, tips, or for professional assistance if you run into any of these problems, consider contacting professional services, like Lowry Services: Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.