We know there are a lot of you out there that fancy yourselves as expert do it yourselfers (DIYers).  We know many of you are.  And we know many of you aren’t – the smartest thing you can do is call us. 

But whether you are a skilled DIYer or not, we want to share some tips to make sure the small plumbing projects you are undertaking do not become major projects.

  1. Have the right tools.  Specific projects require the right tools.  Basic tools include a hand auger, basin wrench and plumbing wrench.
  2. Go to the video.  Even if you think you know what you are doing, it doesn’t hurt to go online and watch a tutorial.
  3. Remember how to put things back together.  When you are taking something apart, write down in order what you are doing.  Then just reverse the order when you are putting it back together.  You can also snap a few pictures with your cell phone.
  4. Turn off the water.  Whether you are fixing a toilet, a shower, a sink or whatever, make sure you shut off the water before doing any work. Use a plumber’s wrench if you need to.  
  5. Do not overuse drain cleaner.  It may be tempting to think the best way to avoid clogged drains is to drown the drain in cleaner.  But that does not always work.  Here are a few solutions:
    a. Use a hand auger to extract unwanted materials from your pipes.
    b. Use natural drain cleaners with materials such as vinegar, salt, baking soda and water.  You can go online to find the right recipe.  
    c. Rent a drain snake.
  6. Connect pipes correctly. A common mistake is making plumbing connections using incorrect connectors.  When you connect different types of pipes together, you need to use the right kind of coupling to ensure they do not corrode.  Use a dielectric union to divide different kinds of metals to prevent the steel from eroding due to a galvanic reaction.
  7. Use the right kind of trap.  Most people fit an S-trap for the sink drain, when they should be using a P-trap.  Installing the wrong trap can allow sewer gasses into your home.
  8. Don’t be stubborn.  If you are unsure of what you are doing, call a plumber.