7 Common DIY Plumbing Mistakes

Most people engage in do-it-yourself repairs to save money. Some read instruction manuals they see on the internet. However, not everything found on the internet is correct when it comes to household repairs. A number of families call professional help for their plumbing problems as it may be catastrophic if they do it themselves.

Top 7 common DIY plumbing mistakes

In order to save money and time, be aware of these common DIY plumbing mistakes when making repairs at home.

#1 Tightening connections too much

Pipes, elbows, and screws are major parts in plumbing. When working on your own, overtightening these parts leads to more problems in the future. Tiny cracks, caused by the extra force used when screwing the parts together, lead to bigger problems.

Most want secure parts in their toilet bowls or faucets. For those who are curious, over-tightening the toilet closet bolts can crack the porcelain which leads to its destruction.

#2 Choosing the wrong tape

With plumbing, special tapes are necessary to fully repair leaks. Hardware stores call it PTFE thread tape, but most call it Teflon tape. Most people wrap it incorrectly as they begin backward. When people do this, it defeats the purpose of Teflon tape since it cannot seal if it isn’t fully embedded in the threads.

What people must remember:

  • Wrap thrice around the threads to ensure the last wrap faces the left side as you screw the pipe into its fitting.
  • When the last wrap points to the right side, halt and start rewrapping.
  • Use different kinds of tape for water, gas, compression or flare fitting.

#3 Using drain cleaners first

Some instances include people putting leftover food through the sink. They don’t separate it from the plate as they think it flows through the drain. However, this often causes sinks to clog and most households use a liquid drain cleaner before removing the P-trap.

Liquid drain cleaners affect the pipes that connect the sink to the sewers. Some of these liquid plumbers cause corrosion in the pipes, especially if they are made of aluminum. Liquid plumbers are most compatible with plastic pipes.

Always remember:

  • When the liquid cleaner fails, it causes the household to call professional plumbers. This leads to more expenses and delays in resolving the problem.
  • Liquid cleaners may cause further damage to the pipes which aggravates the clog problem.

#4 Start repairing without the complete set of tools

Every repair begins with having the right set of tools. When a person begins to repair on their own, they search for the right set of tools to use. Most DIY practitioners just skim through their toolbox and use what they have. This leads to complications.

For example, when trying to remove an old fixture from a wall using an ordinary pipe wrench, the pipe breaks and leaves threads in the wall. If you plan to make DIY repairs, invest in a durable set of tools.

Extra tips to remember:

  • Prevent damage by using a strap wrench. Others use electric tape to wrap the jaws of an adjustable wrench.
  • Use an interior/exterior wire brush to speed up copper burnishing.
  • To get square cuts on tubing, it’s best to use a tubing cutter rather than a hacksaw.

#5 Forgetting to turn off the water supply before repairing

Most people, when beginning a DIY repair, jump right into repairing the problem rather than planning it out. Most importantly, a repair should begin with turning off the water supply to avoid flooding the whole house. It takes a few minutes to turn off the water and saves a lot from potential damage.

#6 Malfunctioning water heater

People use water heaters, especially during cold weather. Some encounter problems, especially if the heater suddenly stops working. A lot of factors affect why water heaters fail. One of the most common reasons is a buildup of sediment that hinders water flow. Another instance is that the thermostat fails to work. Some get their tools right away to explore the problem, however, it’s best to call a professional plumber.

#7 Confusing elbows, wyes, and tees

When repairing plumbing problems by yourself, get acquainted with the right tools and parts. Refrain from blindly buying unnecessary parts. Before buying parts, read a plumbing guide or call a professional and figure out which parts to buy.


In resolving plumbing problems, it’s best to consult a licensed plumber. This way, you save money!

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