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Some homeowners prefer to attempt their own plumbing repairs to save money. While it’s possible to carry out some plumbing repairs yourself with a little know-how and some hard work, many are best left to professionals. Carrying out plumbing work incorrectly can damage your home and cost more money to repair than it would have done if you’d had the problem fixed by plumbers in the first place. Additionally, there are some common mistakes that Georgetown, SC residents make in the day-to-day use of their plumbing which can cause big problems. Here’s our list of the top 8 issues you may encounter and how to avoid them.
1. Using the Sink as a Garbage Disposal
Unless you have a garbage disposal unit installed in your sink, you can clog the plug if anything other than water goes down. Allowing hair to build up in your bath drain is also a classic cause of clogged drains. While you may be able to clear some clogs yourself, more stubborn blockages may require you to call in the plumbers. You can buy devices to catch hair and debris before it makes its way into your drains. Here are some of the most common offenders when it comes to causing a blocked drain:
- Cooking oil and fat
- Cat litter, including ‘flushable’ varieties
- Cotton wool
- Baby wipes
- Kitchen towels
- Vegetable peelings
2. Too Many Water Fixtures
Cramming too many water fixtures into your home can cause low water pressure. This is a particular problem if you live in an area of Georgetown, SC that has low water pressure at certain times anyway. The more fixtures you install, the more of a problem this will be. You should consult a professional to make sure your water supply can cope with the number of fixtures you want.
3. Regularly Using Chemical Drain Cleaners
While it can be tempting to reach for chemical cleaners when your drains are clogged, these can cause plumbing problems. These chemicals do a great job at unblocking drains quickly, but they can cause corrosion to your pipes, leading to leaks.
You may need to call in plumbers to clear a stubborn blockage. However, there are a few simple methods you can try first without resorting to harsh chemicals:
- Use a rubber plunger
- Use a drain snake or plumbing auger to manually unblock the drain
- Pour baking soda and vinegar down the blocked drain, then flush it out with hot water after a few hours
4. Objects Flushed Down the Toilet
Flushing feminine hygiene products, wipes or diapers down the toilet is bad for the environment and can cause a blockage in your drains that may require plumbers to fix.
If you have children in your household, it’s a good idea to educate them on the importance of not flushing objects down the toilet. Keep an eye to make sure they don’t flush large amounts of toilet tissue down the toilet at once. As objects can sometimes be knocked into the toilet and flushed by mistake, keep the area around your toilet clutter-free.
5. Combining Copper and Galvanized Pipes
If galvanized and copper piping come into contact with each other, this causes corrosion which leads to leaks. Many Georgetown, SC homeowners with galvanized pipes make the mistake of using copper pipes for repairs. To avoid this issue, you can use a piece called a dielectric union to join the two sections of pipe. This is made of rubber and stops the copper and galvanized sections from coming into contact with each other.
6. Leaving the Water On
Amateur home plumbers often make the mistake of forgetting to turn off the water before starting a project. Even if the faucets have been turned off, this will lead to water gushing out of your pipes and a flooded home. Always turn off the water at the main valve before you start.
7. Unpermitted Plumbing
Before you make any major changes to your home’s plumbing system like fitting a new bathroom, check to see whether you need a permit. This is important to make sure the work is carried out properly. Some areas require the permit to be obtained by professional plumbers. Although the permit will cost money, unpermitted plumbing work could make it hard to sell your home further down the line or mean you have to sell for less.
8. Turning Off Faucets Too Hard
Many people try to solve the problem of a leaky faucet by using brute force to turn it off as hard as possible. However, most faucet leaks require a new seat washer to fix them. By turning off the faucet forcefully, you won’t fix the issue. However, you may break the faucet, causing extra hassle and expense.
When Should I Use a Professional?
If you’re not confident in your ability to carry out plumbing work or repairs yourself, you should call in professional plumbers. In a plumbing emergency, it’s important to book a professional plumbing repair quickly. Examples of plumbing emergencies include:
- An overflowing toilet that you can’t unblock yourself
- Major leaks where water is gushing from a pipe
- Frozen pipes that have cracked
- Flooding in your home
- A sewage-like smell when you turn on the faucet
If you notice water on your walls or ceilings and can’t detect and fix the source of the leak, you should seek advice from plumbers as soon as possible. Fixing small leaks as early as possible can prevent a major leak which could damage your home. Regular servicing of your plumbing equipment can also prevent serious problems later on.
The Bottom Line
You can avoid plumbing disasters in your home by avoiding these common mistakes. If you’re unsure, Benjamin Franklin Myrtle Beach plumbers can help Georgetown, SC homeowners with all aspects of plumbing work, including repairs and bathroom and kitchen plumbing.