In today’s economy, homeowners can often be tempted to perform do-it-yourself repairs on their homes in an effort to save time and money and keep repair costs down. However, when it comes to simple plumbing repairs, homeowners should be prepared and educated. There are many common mistakes that homeowners make when making plumbing repairs themselves that can result in bigger headaches and larger repairs that can take up even more time and money. Following are five common mistakes that homeowners often make:
Not Shutting off the water.
This seems like a no-brainer, until in that unexpected leak or overflowing toilet causes even the most normally attentive homeowner to spring into action before following this first step. The result is a huge cleanup and/or possible water damage that comes with a sudden flooding of water from these scenarios. Or worse, having to call the professional plumber to fix both repairs. In such situations, that added stress can be completely avoidable.
Skimping on Materials.
It can be tempting to rush when you have a leak dumping water all over your floor, but it is important for homeowners to use the proper tools and the proper supplies. Skimping on supplies due to time or money can result in sub-par results that don’t stand up over time. This can not only be from the quality of materials used, but also in selecting options that do not connect or perform correctly. For example, improperly sized or mismatched piping that does not perform to the standards of the existing materials and piping.
Relying on Drain Cleaner too often.
Using drain cleaner as a first attempt at unclogging a drain is common and reasonable. Homeowners should be aware that using drain cleaner too often on the same drain or having to use drain cleaner more than once on a tough clog can lead to pipe damage or a tougher clog to combat.
Not having the Proper Tools.
Using the right tools for the job obviously makes the problem easier to fix. Not using the correct tools can cause problems. Homeowners can be tempted to just use the tools that they have on hand, rather than tools that will provide the best performance. The result can be varied and costly. For example, the wrong wrench can result in fasteners that are not tight enough. The wrong snake can result in damage to the snake or the fixture.
Knowing when to call the professional.
Often homeowners will not understand the depth or severity of the plumbing issue and assume it’s a simple fix that they can tackle. What might seem easily fixable to a novice, in reality, can lead to larger issues down the road if not addressed correctly with the proper techniques and labor. Homeowners shouldn’t take on a project that’s over their heads in terms of ability or knowledge, especially when the problem is a more complicated one. If in doubt at all, its best to leave the larger and more complex repairs to the professionals.
By being prepared with basic knowledge, homeowners can be fully prepared to tackle those simple fixes that keep their home’s plumbing running smoothly and keep costs and headaches to a minimum.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as heating repair in Boulder.