Many people think home plumbing is not much more than occasionally unclogging a toilet or fixing a leaky faucet. They tend to ignore other issues that can be much more serious, and much more expensive to fix. Another mistake people make is letting a problem fester until a professional plumber needs to be called in.
The following is a list of big home plumbing mistakes people make. If you find an item (or several) on this list that you’re guilty of, don’t worry, it’s never too late to get your home’s plumbing in top working shape.
Fixing the problem yourself
Unless you’re experienced and know what you’re doing, don’t try to fix most problems yourself. You could easily make the problem worse or there might be other issues. Call a licensed plumber. They are trained to deal with any plumbing problem a homeowner can face. Plus, they have specialized tools to fix your plumbing issue.
Not protecting pipes from freezing
If you live in a cold climate, freezing pipes can present a dangerous problem. When a pipe freezes the ice can break the pipe, causing a water leak, which can cause significant damage. One easy way to prevent freezing pipes is to leave your faucets on so the water is just dripping. This will keep water moving and prevent freezing. Also, there is insulation that can be wrapped around pipes to protect them from cold temperatures.
Leaving the hose outside in the winter
The hose might not seem like a big deal, but if you leave it attached to the faucet in the winter, you can cause significant damage. The water in the hose can freeze, causing water to back up into the pipes in your house, which can burst – and then you have a big, wet problem on your hands.
Leaving the water on when attempting a repair
If there’s a leak, no matter how small, turn the water supply off before attempting to do anything else. This is especially true if you’re going to loosen and/or replace a pipe. You’d be surprised how fast water can start flooding your home. Also, don’t attempt any repairs unless you know what is causing the leak and you know exactly how to fix it (see tip number 1 above).
Using too much drain cleaner
If your drain gets backed up every once in a while, then a little drain cleaner probably won’t hurt. But if you over use it, the harsh chemicals can start to erode away the pipes. And if you have a drain that’s always getting clogged, you might have a bigger problem. If that’s the case, call a plumber. A good alternative to corrosive drain cleaners is vinegar and baking soda, followed by some hot water. The bubbles do a great job breaking up most minor drain clogs, without doing any damage.
Call a plumber when in doubt
Small plumbing problems can quickly turn into large plumbing problems when you try to do it yourself without the proper knowledge and experience. A licensed plumber can safely fix your problem the right way.