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What are some common DIY plumbing mistakes that I can avoid?

DIY plumbing can be satisfying work and certainly saves you money, but it’s not all sunshine and porcelain. Many plumbing mistakes made by amateurs can be costly in terms of water damage, safety and time wasted. Learning about these common plumbing mistakes can help you plan smarter for future projects.

Not turning off the water: So many projects end in water damage because people forget to shut off the water supply. Before you remove pipes or clear P-traps, make sure to turn off the water, either to a specific fixture or the whole house.

An incomplete toolkit: Oftentimes, if you don’t have the right tools, you can make a problem worse or complicate the situation. Always research the tools you will need for each job and purchase or rent accordingly. Many jobs require a plumber’s wrench, a basin wrench and a plumber’s snake. If you’re planning several extensive DIY projects, the hand tools are worth and the snake is worth renting.

Too much drain cleaner: liquid drain cleaner chemical is fine in moderation, but it can damage some types of pipes, especially if used too often. Instead, try using vinegar and baking soda. No matter what you do, don’t rely solely on liquid drain cleaner, natural or otherwise. First try a plunger and or a hand cranked drain snake for clogs than can’t be plunged. That being said, plunging often solves the problem. If you do resort to chemical drain openers, always use eye and face protection since the chemicals are usually caustic and can inflict burns or even blindness.

Refusing to admit defeat: Often you can be so wrapped up in a DIY project that you don’t know when to call it quits. Sometimes you don’t have the right tools; other times you’ve made the situation worse. At a certain point, the project may move past your skill level or comfort zone. When that happens, you can call us at 800-768-6911. We’re happy to take over where you left off on your project or take the whole watery mess off your hands from the start.

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