Don’t Make These Careless Home Water Pipe Mistakes
There is a popular phrase in politics -“Plausible Deniability”- that uses a very laidback ideology. In essence, it is the ability to deny knowledge of or ones responsibility for damnable actions caused by others due to lack of evidence. However, as far as your home plumbing and drain pipes are concerned, what you don’t know often can (and will) hurt you. Careless home water pipe mistakes can cost you a ton of money in future pipe renovations and repairs, but they are completely avoidable with the right knowledge. Don’t play ignorance when it comes to these home water pipe mistakes:
Using drain cleaner inappropriately
You need to be extremely vigilant when applying drain cleaners, even if you rarely use commercial solutions. Most commercial water-pipe cleaning products are generally safe to use on kitchen and bathroom sinks, showers, and tubs, but using the wrong kind of cleaner can really damage your toilets. Cleaning a washing machine drainage pipe also needs to be done with extra caution: a simple leak in the pipe can lead to severe water damage in your house. As a general rule of thumb, always check the labels of your drain cleaners thoroughly before using.
Using excessive drain cleaner
Commercial water pipe cleaners are efficient at getting rid of clogs and accumulated residue, but using these products too often or too much can hurt your drains. Most drain cleaners usually contain harsh chemicals for breaking up solid waste and scouring water pipes clean. Overdoing can take a toll on the walls of both PVC and metal pipes. Consider replacing your heavy duty products with an eco-friendly solution such as a blend of ½ cup baking soda and ½ cup vinegar, followed by a pot of boiling water after about one hour. You can also cut back on the wear and tear on your drains by using a pipe snake to fight off clogs.
Mismatching your pipes
It can be tempting to try and correct minor, easily noticeable water leaks on your own – such as those originating from under a sink. In doing this, most DIY plumbers tend to choose the wrong type or size of pipe to replace the leaky drain, or have a hard time fitting the water pipes to their connectors. For instance, you should never connect galvanized metal pipes directly to copper if you want to avoid corrosions. In addition, you must always ensure that you are using the right pipe sealant and connector to achieve a solid fit.
Forgetting to disconnect an outside hose in winter
Leaving a garden hosepipe connected to an exterior outlet can come in handy for countering the hot summer sun. However, when you forget to disconnect it during the winter months, you risk your water lines freezing and bursting, which can cost you several thousands of dollars in water damage. Make a habit of always disconnecting your outside water pipes before the freezing temperatures of winter arrive, and if there is a shutoff, sever the connections between the water supply and the outside taps too.
Failing to turn off the water
If you are pressed for time, it can be easy to forget to shut off the water when trying to fix a plumbing issue. At best, this can lead to slightly more damage to your pipes and a little mess on the floor while attempting to reconnect the drains. At worst, disconnecting a pipe when the water is still on can cause a flood in your home, leading to much more expenses than you had anticipated.
Leaving hair in shower drain traps
Many showers are designed with drain traps for catching hair and soap scum that may accumulate in the drains and result in clogs. One of the most careless home water pipe mistakes you can do is neglecting to clear the traps. Water will flood up in the shower, which will lead to poor drainage and ultimately cause a potential clog in the pipe.
Flushing garbage down your toilet
Some homeowners have the undesirable habit of treating their toilets like garbage disposals. It is surprisingly often to find people flushing products such as hygiene, paper towels, cotton swabs, facial scrubs, and cotton balls down the toilet. Keep in mind that toilets are only meant to flush human waste: flushing other alien objects can quickly lead to a clog.
If you are not sure you can manage the job by yourself, remember that calling up a professional from the word go is a lot easier than bringing them in to clean up an emergency. Some DIY projects such as fixing minor pipe blockages, making minor corrections to a toilet, and perhaps installing a new faucet can be tackled easily. However, it is advisable to let a professional plumber deal with any repairs that may involve cutting into floors/walls or accessing main water lines!