Oftentimes, we’re called in to correct someone else’s plumbing mistakes. Occasionally, a professional plumber makes an error out of carelessness or because they were rushing the job (something we train our plumbers never to do). What’s more expected is that it was a do-it-yourself fix or that a “handyman” did the work—someone with a general knowledge of tools and pipes but without the specialized expertise required to properly finish the job.
Today, we want to help you see the importance of calling in a professional plumber when a plumbing problem gets really serious. Here are some plumbing errors we get called in to correct way too often.
#1: Forgetting to Turn Off the Water
All too often, a DIY (do-it-yourself) plumbing fix goes wrong for one simple reason: the homeowner forgot to turn off the water before repairing a supply pipe, fixture, or valve. Any plumber knows that this is the first step for nearly any plumbing job, and you should too!
While most jobs should be left to the professionals, if you do plan to make a simple fix to a faucet or connection in your home, always shut off the main water supply or the supply of water flowing to that outlet. Open the tap and let the water drain out completely, and put down towels anyway as you can expect some leakage if you plan to disassemble connections.
#2: Too Much Drain Cleaner
The casual home DIY-er may think that drain cleaner is a perfectly acceptable method of clearing out clogs. And while it can dissolve some types of blockage (though not all!), drain cleaning chemicals have two major flaws. First, they are highly toxic. Second, they can actually damage the drainpipes, leading to their early demise! You may have to replace your pipes earlier than expected, all because of those easy but harmful chemicals.
#3: Failure to Meet Local Codes
Plumbers are often called in to correct code violations. There are often strict plumbing codes that homeowners don’t look up when taking on a project. For example, there must be a certain amount of space around toilets, water heaters, and other installations. Sometimes, a code violation is dangerous, like when there’s inadequate combustion venting for a water heater or when sewer gases could back up due to improper drain venting—another reason professional plumbers are often right for the job.
#4: Crooked Installations
An inadequate drain slope is another common code violation, and one that will leave you calling in plumbers time and time again. In addition, simply neglecting to use a level when installing a toilet or sink can cause a lot of headaches with time.
#5: Mismatched Pipes
Often, homeowners use the wrong size of pipe simply because it fits on snuggly to the old pipe. However, the connection piece is what should be holding them together, and connection pieces tend to be designed to fit together two pipes of the same size.
Another common error with mismatched pipes has to do with the pipe materials used. A handyman or homeowner may not think it’s a big deal to screw a copper pipe onto an old galvanized steel pipe, not realizing that this will lead to corrosion sooner and cause major leakage.
Do the job right the first time around. Call VOGT Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for your plumbing in Minneapolis, MN.