Plumbing Mistakes and What to Avoid
Plumbing mistakes are prevalent occurrences that can be avoided entirely with just a bit of knowledge.
So What Are These Common Plumbing Mistakes?
Not Doing the Sweat Fitting Properly
You must do the proper preparation for sweat fitting your copper, or you could introduce contaminates from the oil on your hands. This can cause a leak.
- What is Sweat Fitting? Soldered fittings, also called “sweat fittings,” are used to join copper pipes such as those commonly encountered in some in-wall tub and shower applications. The heat draws the solder into the gap between the fitting and pipe to form a watertight seal.
Overtightening the Bolts When Installing Your Toilet Can Crack it.
Those two little bolts on the side of the toilet that holds the toilet to the floor should not be overtightened. It can crack the toilet and toilets are expensive.
Overtightening Other Plumbing Fixtures
Tightening a connection until it becomes too challenging to turn is not good for your pipes and can damage them over time. However, when replacing or repairing plumbing fixtures, you may find yourself tempted by this bad habit of tightening too much.
Avoid doing this for two reasons, you won’t be able to undo the connection should you need to, and it could cause damage. The pipes are under constant pressure from the water flowing through them. This means that even if there isn’t an immediate crack, your plumbing system could be at risk. When you tighten your pipes until they are firm but not impossible to undo, it will avoid potential water damage.
Not Understanding What Connections Need Teflon Tape and Which Do
To keep your plumbing system running smoothly, use Teflon tape to seal any metal or plastic tapered thread fittings. Just wrap the tape around it seven times and pull tight for a quick fix. Another way to make a watertight connection on metal tapered fittings, apply a paste-type sealant to the threads. The best way is by brushing it onto all sides of each joint until there are no gaps for liquid or air bubbles between them before assembling tightly.
Apply pipe sealant before assembling to ensure that your plumbing connection is as watertight and durable as possible.
Don’t worry about applying pipe sealant or Teflon tape if you have a fitting that seals with a washer or o-ring. Tighten it enough so that the gasket becomes compressed.
Cross threading is when you are not lined up straight when putting a nut on a bolt. If you are misaligned, you can strip the threads.
This is especially problematic on smaller fittings where it is accessible to cross-thread. A simple way not to do that is to turn your fitting counterclockwise (lefty-loosey), and you will hear and feel a click. Then turn it clockwise (righty-tighty) for a proper fit.