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Most Common Plumbing Mistakes

Plumbing Mistake #1: Vents and Traps

Basement fixtures need to have appropriate vents. Check your local or state building code. It is also important to add a vent to every trap. When there is no trap, water can be siphoned out, leaving the trap dry and useless. Remember not to use an S-trap for the sink drain; a P-trap is the right one for this application.

Plumbing Mistake #2: High Slopes

If you think having a higher slope is a good idea, think again. A high slope means that liquids will move faster than solid, leaving solids behind causing major issues later during normal operations. Ideally, ¼ inch per feet should be enough.

Plumbing Mistake #3: Not Turning Off the Water

If a pipe has a leak or if you’re pressed for time, it’s easy to forget to shut off the water. No matter how minor the repair and no matter where it is in a home, always shut off the water before attempting a repair. This will minimize extra damage to pipes as you reconnect them before more water escapes.

Plumbing Mistake #4: Improper Clean Outs

Often, the cleanouts are in the wrong location. It is important to have the required clearance to service the line when it gets clogged.

Clean outs are not required by code above the first floor but you might want to consider how the line was designed and add some cleanout just to facilitate servicing the line. Clean outs are also required at the base of each sanitary stack.

Plumbing Mistake #5: Space Around Toilets

You need enough clearance space. Toilets must be at least 15 inches from the side wall and at least 18 inches from the wall in front of the equipment. It must also be located at least 18 inches from the front wall.

Plumbing Mistake #6: Pressure Relief Valves

When it comes to pressure relief valances, the drain line must be a full-size pipe, sloped to drain without valves between the drain and the outlet. The fitting must be located at the end of the line, and not contain any thread. The distance from the floor should also be carefully observed.

Plumbing Mistake #7: Matching Pipes

Matching pipes is a commonly repeated mistake that can lead to serious plumbing problems. For example, a galvanized metal pipe cannot be connected to a copper pipe because these materials will interact with each other, and will corrode very quickly.

Plumbing Mistake #8: Using Too Much Drain Cleaner

Commercial drain cleaners are great at clearing away clogs and getting rid of built-up residue, but be careful of using too much or too often. Drain cleaners typically included harsh chemicals that break up solid waste and scour pipes clean; overuse can eat way the walls of the metal and PVC pipes.

Plumbing Mistake #9: Using Drain Cleaner in the Wrong Places

When it comes to draining cleaners, be cautious. Most commercial drain cleaning products are safe to use on bathroom and kitchen sinks as well as tubs and showers, but toilets can be damaged if you use the wrong type of cleaner. To avoid these problems with drain cleaners, make sure to carefully read all labels before use.

Plumbing Mistake #10: Leaving an Outside Hose Connected in Winter

During the winter months, if a hose is left connected to an outside faucet, it can cause your water lines to freeze and burst. If this happens in your house, this could lead to thousands of dollars in water damage before you notice any symptoms. To avoid this problem, always disconnect your outside hoses before the winter months.

Plumbing Mistake #11: Not Hiring a Professional Plumber

There are some common plumbing mistakes you can easily fix (i.e. installing a new faucet, making minor repairs to a toilet or dealing with minor pipe blockages). But any extensive common plumbing mistakes should be left to a plumber. While the cost of hiring a professional will be more than the materials of your DIY effort, the money paid is assured by the experience and accuracy.

For all your plumbing needs and serious repairs to common plumbing mistakes, trust in the professionals at New Generation Plumbing.