3 Common DIY Plumbing Mistakes & Their Hazards


Plumber Fixing Faucet – Seattle, WA – Quality PlumbingIf you enjoy home improvement projects and making small repairs around your home, then you may occasionally perform a DIY home plumbing project or plan to perform one in the future. Some small home plumbing repairs and upgrades can be performed successfully by homeowners with extensive plumbing knowledge.


However, homeowners without this extensive knowledge often make small mistakes during the plumbing process that can lead to additional plumbing problems now or in the future. 


Read on to learn about three common DIY plumbing mistakes made by homeowners performing their own plumbing tasks and their hazards. 



Mistake #1: Mixing and Matching Pipe Materials Haphazardly

Plumbing pipes are made with a wide variety of materials, including copper, galvanized steel, brass, PVC, and PEX. Many inexperienced home plumbers make the mistake of replacing a pipe in the home that has developed a leak or other problem with a pipe of the same shape and size that is composed of a completely different material. 


One problem with mixing and matching pipes haphazardly is that pipes made from different materials are often difficult to connect to each other without the use of specialty pipe fittings that may not be available at local home improvement stores. Some of these pipe fittings require the specialized knowledge and tools of professional plumbers to install properly. 


In addition, some types of metal pipes should never be attached to pipes made from alternative metals because the metals interact with each other. For example, the zinc present in galvanized steel pipes chemically interacts with copper. For this reason, you should never connect a galvanized steel pipe directly to a copper pipe, because the chemical reaction created at the pipe connection site will cause the joint to quickly corrode.


If pipe materials must be mixed when making a plumbing repair, then enlist the help of a professional plumber who knows how to make secure connections when mixing pipe materials. 


Mistake #2: Overtightening Plumbing Connections

Another common DIY plumbing mistake is overtightening pipe fittings. Of course, if pipe connections are not tight enough, water can leak from the connection sites and the joints created may loosen even further over time. However, overtightening fittings can immediately strip pipe threads, break the rubber or plastic seal in the pipe connectors, or even break the fittings.


When rubber or plastic seals are broken when over-tightening plumbing fittings, the pipe connections created are more likely to leak slowly over time. Overtightened fittings can also spontaneously crack in the future due to the excess pressure continuously placed on them. Overtightened connections can also be so difficult to remove later when performing a necessary plumbing repair that the only alternative is to cut the connector free, often along with the pipe attached to it. 


Mistake #3: Performing Plumbing Projects Without Proper Permits

While many home plumbing repairs can be performed without obtaining a permit, others, especially those performed during home remodeling projects, should not be performed without first obtaining a permit from the city or county. Building permits help ensure that any home renovations, including plumbing projects, are performed properly and safely.


If you add plumbing upgrades to your home without first obtaining the necessary permits, you can devalue your home and make it difficult to sell in the future. In addition, if the city finds out you are performing unpermitted home improvements, they could issue a stop-work order and issue monetary fines until you obtain the proper permits needed for your renovation project.


While plumbing projects that require permits can vary from state to state, just a few examples include extensive alterations of the plumbing within your home walls, ceilings, and/or floors; installing new plumbing during a home remodel; drain line replacement; and water heater replacement. 

Licensed plumbers will inform you of the need to obtain plumbing permits before performing plumbing work that requires them and guide you along the permit application process.


If you enjoy performing home repairs, avoid these three common mistakes when performing any DIY home plumbing repairs or upgrades. Contact the licensed plumbers at Quality Plumbing for all of your professional home plumbing repair and installation needs today.