Mistake #1: Forgetting How Things Go Back Together
Most things are easy to take apart. Putting them back together? Not so much. Failing to pay attention to how things go together can lead to damage, and even more repairs.
Remedy for Mistake #1
Whip out that camera or cell phone and take some pictures before you take anything apart! Even better, take pictures of every step of the process.
Mistake #2: Overtightening
We get it, you're strong. But connecting a pipe to a fitting is not the showcase for that strength: threads can be stripped, and fittings can even split apart (never put male metal into female plastic).
Remedy for Mistake #2
When tightening anything, begin with hand tightening (remember righty-tighty), followed by 1/8 to 1/4 degree turns until things are secure. (Or unless otherwise instructed by the product manufacturer.)
Mistake #3: Not Turning Off The Water
It happens more than you think, and it's super embarrassing. Not to mention forgetting to shut off the water can cause some water damage in a short period of time.
Remedy for Mistake #3
If the fixture you're fixing doesn't have its own shut-off, you'll need to turn off the whole house supply at the main valve. It is always a good idea to know where this main valve is located before disaster happens.
Mistake #4: Clearing Drains Improperly
Chemical drain cleaners can damage fixtures and pipes, and should be avoided whenever possible. And it's not just plumbing that's put at risk: most chemical drain products are highly toxic to people, animals, and the environment.
Remedy for Mistake #4
Do you know what you have, and what you need for the job? Be aware that some plungers are designed for toilets and others for sinks and tubs. Likewise, there are special augers/snakes for different situations, each with different cable sizes and lengths.
Mistake #5: Not Having A Plan
Preparation is key! We cannot stress this enough. Not knowing what you are up against can be a huge burden in the long run. What you may consider an easy plumbing project could easily turn into one of your worst nightmares and take way longer than expected.
Remedy for Mistake #5
Do your research, and be prepared for any contingencies. Have the necessary tools and supplies on hand before getting started and get going early in the day. Consider a checklist or printed instructions, and always make number one on your list "turn off the water".
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