Doing Some DIY Plumbing? Avoid These Common Mistakes

Some simple plumbing tasks, such as unclogging a drain or replacing a leaky faucet, can easily be conducted by a handy homeowner. However, many homeowners make mistakes when tackling DIY plumbing projects—and as a result of these mistakes, they end up having to call the plumber anyways. To ensure your DIY plumbing project goes as planned, avoid these common mistakes.

Mistake: Using the wrong kind of auger in your toilet.

There are augers designed for large sewer pipes, and there are augers designed for toilets. If you try to force a sewer auger down your toilet, you may end up breaking a pipe or your toilet and causing a huge leak (which leads to an expensive bill from the emergency plumber.) Make sure any auger you use in your toilet is specifically labeled as a toilet auger. This way, you know it is the proper size to fit down your toilet without causing an issue—and that it does not contain sharp parts that might break the more delicate piping in your toilet.

Mistake: Relying too heavily on chemical drain cleaners.

If you have tried plunging a drain and the clog is still there, then you can surely try a bottle of chemical drain cleaner—once in a while. Turning to drain cleaners for each and every little clog (rather than trying to plunge them away or calling a plumber when the clog won't budge) can cause your pipes to corrode, which may later lead to leaks. Try to use drain cleaner only occasionally, and if the first bottle does not work, call a plumber instead of pouring in a second one.

Mistake: Sticking things down the garbage disposal.

You won't fix an issue with a stuck, dull, or otherwise broken garbage disposal by sticking a knife, screwdriver, or any other apparatus down there. What you probably will end up doing is breaking the blades in the disposal and injuring yourself. If your garbage disposal is not working properly, try pouring boiling water down it (this can loosen grim and get things moving again). If that does not work, try grinding up some ice cubes (they might "scrape" it clean). When these quick fixes fail, it is time to call a professional to disassemble and properly fix the system.

As long as you avoid the mistakes above, you should be able to tackle basic plumbing tasks safely and without causing additional damage to your system. Contact a plumber {or visit sites like}  to learn more.