Most of our customers know when to call us for plumbing maintenance issues, but in some cases, we’re called to the scene to fix a disaster. And many of these disasters are the result of a DIY plumbing project gone wrong.
With all of the information available online, including how-to videos on YouTube for all sorts of home improvement projects, many homeowners feel empowered to tackle plumbing work on their own. Depending on how big the job is, some homeowners can save money doing some of the work themselves, but that’s not always the case.
Ripping open the wrong walls, connecting pipes incorrectly, and mixing up water lines are just a few of the mistakes that can lead to expensive plumbing disasters immediately or down the road. Here are some common DIY plumbing disasters and what you can do to avoid them:
Forgetting to Remove the Garbage Disposal Plug
Generally, installing a garbage disposal is pretty straightforward, and many homeowners feel comfortable doing so without a professional’s help. However, many residents forget to remove the disposal’s knockout plug when connecting it to their dishwasher. If the seal blocks the hole where the dishwasher hose connects, there’s nowhere for that flowing water to go, and it will leak everywhere!
This can be bad for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is water damage. Water leaking under your sink can be particularly hard to remove from the nooks and crevices, and mold growth can develop over time. If there’s any part of the garbage disposal installation process that’s unclear, trust the plumbing professional of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.
Improperly Connecting Pipes
Connecting two pipes is a simple process, but there are many subtle factors to consider when it comes to the safety and stability of your pipework. For example, many homeowners don’t know that connecting two pipes of a different metal can cause rapid corrosion—a quick recipe for clogs, leaks, water damage, and expensive repairs. You need the proper coupling for such a connection, and a professional plumber, as a pipe repair expert, will know exactly what’s required.
Sometimes homeowners get extremely creative with their plumbing repair “solutions.” The results are often dangerous, unsightly, and expensive for the inefficiencies created. For example, homeowners might install faucets backwards, jerry-rig a teakettle to dispense hot water, use rubber bands to hold plumbing together, or construct elaborate arrays of pipework. You wouldn’t believe what some have resorted to in an effort to avoid hiring a professional plumber.
Breaking In Your Water Heater
It can be excited to have your new water heater set up, especially since today’s models are more energy-efficient than ever. However, turning on your water heater before it’s ready for use can cause the unit to burn up, which will demand expensive repairs or replacement. Make sure to let your new water heater fill up with water—and then run that water in your house to take the air bubbles out—before actually turning the water heater on.
Finally, we always recommend calling a professional plumber if you’re changing your existing plumbing footprint (i.e., moving tubs, toilets, sinks, etc.). It’s better to be safe than sorry!
If you have a plumbing situation, take it seriously and call your plumbing experts at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. We offer free estimates and are available around the clock, 365 days a year, so you don’t have to take matters into your own hands. Contact us for 24/7 emergency plumbing, plumbing repair, leak detection, and other services.