Ah, that all too familiar situation is in front of you again. You had a plumbing issue and tried to solve it yourself only to find you made it worse and now you need to call a professional.
Or worse yet, something you did at home created a new problem that wasn’t there before.
No one wants to be in either of those situations, but when you are, it’s good to know who to call. The team at Simpson Plumbing has been solving plumbing problems for years, and we’re here for you too.
The best thing you can do when it comes to plumbing is to understand what NOT to do. Read on to learn about the common DIY plumbing mistakes you should avoid.
1. A New Meaning for DIY: Damage It Yourself
Here’s the thing – DIYers always have good intentions and think it will all work out in the end. It’s just our nature. But when you’re working with a complex system such as plumbing, the Do It Yourself DIY often becomes the Damage It Yourself DIY.
As plumbers, we wouldn’t try to wire a house or work on a complex wiring problem because it’s not our area and that’s okay. As a homeowner or renter, you shouldn’t attempt to solve plumbing problems or installation jobs because you aren’t a plumber – and that’s okay.
Unfortunately, the DIY job can quickly take a turn for the worse and you’re left holding your wrench in one hand, plunger in the other, and getting sprayed in the face by water that’s supposed to be running inside your plumbing.
To sum it up, Mistake 1 is trying to DIY plumbing or solve plumbing problems.
2. Duct Tape Can’t Fix Stupid Plumbing
You’ve heard the saying “even duct tape can’t fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound.” Right? It’s all in good fun and hilariously true, but it also points out a very real issue. Some people grab the duct tape at the first sign of a problem.
While you may be able to patch up a hole in the back of your couch or hold your kid’s favorite toy together a little longer, duct tape isn’t meant for plumbing.
Just don’t do it. It won’t solve anything and it’s an inadequate band-aid. You’ll just be in the same situation – having to call a plumber. So, let’s skip the duct tape and pick up the phone because it’s annoying to remove, okay?
3. More Drain Cleaner is Not Better
Liquid drain cleaner has its place and usefulness, but if not used properly it can cause problems. We see too many times where people have dumped a whole bottle of drain cleaner down their very clogged sink, only to be frustrated when they look hours later, and the clog hasn’t moved. Now their sink is full of chemicals that are harmful for the skin and eyes, and the clog is still there.
The same is true with a vinegar and baking soda DIY drain cleaner. While it’s not as harsh, it doesn’t always work.
So instead of using bottles of drain cleaner, start first by trying to plunge the clog. Then you can try the liquid drain opener, chemical or natural, but be sure you wear gloves and eye protection first.
If you’ve plunged and tried the liquid drain cleaner and are still looking at a clogged drain, don’t continue dumping drain cleaner in. Give us a call instead and let us clear your drain quickly and safely.
4. It Doesn’t Flush, It Clogs
The toilet is only meant for human waste and toilet paper. You probably know this, but you think one little baby wipe won’t hurt. Or the package says flushable, so it must be okay, right?
Flushable wipes, baby wipes, and anything that’s not toiler paper or human waste shouldn’t be flushed. It may look harmless when the item goes down without a problem this time, but you’ll be dealing with a clog before you know it.
Even if you’re super careful about what you flush and do your best to keep things out of the toilet that shouldn’t be in there, things happen. Especially if you have kids. Little Timmy may think it’s hilarious to flush your car keys, dad’s tie, or Suzie’s favorite doll down the toilet, but it’s far from funny when you can’t fish that item out by yourself.
When you find yourself staring at a clogged toilet after many attempts to plunge it down, don’t be embarrassed. Just give us a call and we’ll get everything back in flushing order.
5. Not Knowing When to Throw in the Towel
There are so many DIY plumbing mistakes to avoid – many more than can be listed here, even. But one of the most common mistakes we see is not knowing when to throw in the towel. You don’t want to have to call a plumber for whatever reason, so you try to take care of the plumbing yourself.
Instead of starting a DIY installation or repair in the first place, take a step back and give yourself permission to get the help you need. It may be hard to do at first, but you’ll be glad you did when the issue is solved quickly and professionally the first time without additional repairs.
If you’ve already dove in and are elbows deep into the job, it’s important to recognize when it’s not going well, and you need to call in reinforcements. It’s okay to start something and realize it’s much more than you bargained for. It’s better to go ahead and call us for help than continue because you may make the problem even worse than when you started.
We hope you’ll take this advice to heart the next time you’re looking at a plumbing job you feel could be a DIYer. Our team of experts are ready to help you with your plumbing problem, no matter how big or how small. Give us a call or schedule your service today.