Hiring a professional plumber can be expensive. But the idea of doing a plumbing job yourself sounds intimidating. It doesn’t have to be with some simple plumbing tips.
Of course, there are going to be times where a professional plumber is needed. But there are many other times where you can do the work yourself if you know a few simple plumbing tips and tricks.
1. Plumbing Tips on Loosening Stuck Pipes
Sometimes a threaded connection won’t budge no matter how hard you try. This is especially true on old piping that was sealed with “pipe dope” and has become hardened.
In this case, apply heat to the connection. Use a blow torch to heat the area of metal you need to loosen. It might take a couple minutes to get it hot enough to unscrew.
Protect surrounding areas with a flame resistant cloth while heating.
Use this method on waste and water pipes only — never on fuel or gas lines.
2. Quick and Easy Plumbing Tips to Fix a Clog
Clogged drains are a pain and we all get them. Want to fix them on your own?
Another great option is to suck the clog out using your wet/dry vac.
If you do use one, make sure you understand how to use a drain snake correctly so it doesn’t damage your pipes.
3. Never Re-Use Supply Lines
You may be tempted to re-use existing supply lines to save a few bucks on your plumbing job.
This is a mistake and could end up costing you more money in the end.
The plastic in your supply lines tends to degrade over time and can cause heavy leaking and damage.
Your best bet is to buy new stainless steel lines that are much less likely to leak or burst. Even if you already have stainless steel braided lines, it is still highly recommended that you buy new ones for the current project.
4. How to Use Thread Tape and Why
Thread tape and pipe dope are equally effective at sealing pipes. The biggest advantage of using tape is that you avoid the mess on your hands, tools, and flooring that dope causes.
Here’s how to use thread tape:
- Although cheap thread tape can work OK, thicker tape is much better. It’s easier to handle and isn’t such a pain to tear. Look for pink tape for water pipes.
- Only use tape on pipe threads. It’s not for use on compression or different connections.
- You’ll typically want to wrap the tape around the threading 3 times. This is what most plumbers recommend.
- Make sure to wrap in a clockwise motion. If you wrap it counterclockwise the tape will unravel as you screw in the joint.
5. Even Plumbers Don’t Use Plumber’s Putty
Instead of sealing with plumber’s putty, which can damage plastic and stain surfaces, use a silicon caulk.
Caulk is a long-lasting sealant that won’t stain or crack. Use this in all areas where you would have otherwise used plumber’s putty.
These simple plumbing tips will save you time and money for small plumbing jobs. For the big jobs, always trust a professional plumber to get the job done right.
In cases of a plumbing emergency, a trusted 24-hour plumbing service is a life saver!