Broken, leaking or root invested pipes? Are your drains backing up? Providing you’re not knee deep in water, it can be hard to know how big of a problem you have as your pipes are either under the ground or in the walls.
You might be tempted to try and resolve the problem yourself, but beware you could be prolonging the problem, causing more damage and making mistakes that could cost you time and money! Below are some of the most common and costly mistakes you can make when trying to tackle your plumbing issues.
- Digging a trench
Traditional digging repair methods, or ‘trenching’, involves uprooting pipe lines, an unnecessary approach considering the modern, innovative alternatives available. Digging up pipes can mean excessive labour costs, escalating time scales and the destruction of your property from removing pavers, lawn, trees and plants. Be wary of professional plumbers that use this approach, there’s more effective ways to identify and rectify broken pipes.
- Grabbing chemicals
When you have blocked pipes that are backing up, it’s tempting to use drain cleaner as a quick fix. Sometimes, when used as directed for the right type of clog, they can be effective. But the caustic chemicals in most drain cleaners can eventually wreak havoc on your pipes if used regularly, damaging them internally and leading to leaks.
- Mix and match pipes and fittings
DIY plumbers and professionals can both make this mistake. When replacing a section of pipe, it’s important the metals are the same to avoid galvanised corrosion. This can happen when a copper pipe is inserted next to one made of galvanised metal. It’s also essential to use the correct pipe sealant and connectors to make sure you have a solid fit.
- A bucket beneath the leak
Using a bucket to catch the drips from a leaking drain is a temporary fix whilst you wait for the plumber, but don’t keep it there for long. Waste water can contain bacteria and germs that can make you sick.
- Super glue’s not super
You might think a little leak can be contained with a bit of super glue, but little leaks can be an indication of a bigger issue. Glue is not a long term solution and you could just be prolonging the problem.
- Not turning off the water
It sounds simple and obvious, but when faced with a leaking tap or running toilet, you might think you don’t need to turn off the water supply, but you risk a flood if you don’t. You can turn off the water at the main shut off valve which is normally outside your property near the water meter.
- Trying to fix it yourself
Finally, one of the most time consuming and costly mistakes you can make is playing plumber! It’s important to understand how pipe systems work and what tools and techniques to use to avoid further damaging your pipes. In most circumstances, it pays to call a professional plumber to save you time, but most importantly, money!