From swapping out a light fixture to completely tearing down and replacing a roof, many Americans are taking on home improvement projects – both big and small. However, there is one seemingly-mundane and straightforward chore that many homeowners take on, but often overestimate their abilities: plumbing. Here are three common DIY plumbing mistakes that many homeowners make, and how to avoid them:
There Are Right and Wrong Ways to Unclog A Drain
If you're a homeowner suffering from chronic clogged drains, you may utilize anything and everything around the house to solve this annoying issue. However, before you start pouring strange chemicals or jabbing wire coat hangers down your drain, it's important to learn the right way to unclog your drain.
For example, instead of using harsh chemicals to unclog your drain, utilize a combination of boiling water, baking soda and white vinegar. Begin by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain. Allow the water to slowly eat away at the clog before pouring a combination of one cup white vinegar and one-half cup baking soda.
Allow the baking soda and white vinegar to continue eating away at the drain for 10 minutes. If the clog won't budget, repeat pouring the vinegar and baking soda down the drain.
Inexpensive plastic snakes and removing the drain trap and drain pipe are two additional ways you can eliminate the clog without causing damage. However, be aware that these are potentially messy options, and if you don't want to spend the afternoon pulling apart your drains or cleaning up the resulting water mess, don't hesitate to contact a professional, like those at Doctor Fix-It, to take on this task.
Forgetting the Finishing Touches
Did you know that if you join copper and galvanized steel pipes without a specialized fitting called a dielectric union, chances are the resulting mistake will cause both metals to corrode, leading to a nasty leak? This is only one of the many finishing touches to your DIY plumbing jobs that many homeowners overlook.
If you're replacing or repairing the plumbing in your home, there are many finishing touches you shouldn't overlook or skip. For example, if you're installing a new toilet, overlooking the smallest steps, such as making sure the closet bolts are aligned or forgetting to wrap the joints between all the pipes with plumber's tape, can be disastrous.
If you're taking on any plumbing jobs and aren't sure if you've completed the entire job correctly, call in a local professional to prevent any leaks or water damage.
Don't Forget the Permits
From adding square footage to your home to building a brand new garage, when it comes to making major changes to your home or property, chances are you will require a building permit. However, did you know that according to Home Tips, depending on where you live, you may require a permit to relocate the sink in your bathroom or kitchen?
If you're tackling a major plumbing project, such as installing a new septic system or replacing your entire plumbing system, you will also require a permit in most states. However, in some states, even a smaller chore, including replacing your water heater or installing a new toilet, requires purchasing a plumbing permit through your local city hall or courthouse.
Instead of taking a chance you'll suffer the consequences of not purchasing the proper permits, such as a hefty fines, contact a plumber, instead. This professional will not only know which improvements or upgrades require a permit, they will also help you secure that permit and finish the job much more quickly and inexpensively than you think!
From using caustic and potentially-damaging chemicals and tools to unclog your drains to skipping the plumbers tape when installing a pipe or toilet, there are many common DIY plumbing mistakes that homeowners make. If you're a novice plumber or simply want to ensure the job is done effectively and efficiently, contact your plumber.