Avoid These Mistakes When Buying Plumbing Supplies and Managing Your Own Repairs

There are some household plumbing repairs you might be able to manage on your own, with a bit of knowhow, a few simple household tools, and even some online videos to guide you through. However, many homeowners make some common mistakes when buying plumbing supplies and when managing their own repairs. These mistakes might seem simple, but they can result in major plumbing disasters down the road. Note a few of them so you can ensure you avoid them in your own home.

Plumber's tape

Many plumbing connections are held together with plumber's tape; this is a thin, lightweight, double-sided tape that you put around the inside of the connection to help keep the two pieces together and cut down on leaks. It's especially important when connecting two different types of pieces, such as when connecting a new showerhead to a pipe. Always note if the connections you're creating with your plumbing pieces need this tape and don't overlook its importance. Note, too, that you can often use a liquid sealant you brush on for these connections and this can suffice.

Mixing material

Never mix plumbing materials; this means not to put two different metals together, or connect a metal piece to a plastic piece. This can cause corrosion or result in the two pieces not fitting snugly. A metal piece might also be too heavy for a plastic piece to support as water flows through, and this can pull the pieces apart.

Not checking the threading

The ends of plumbing pieces need to fit inside each other, which is why many are referred to as male or female, to denote the location of threading they have on the ends. Female end have the threading on the inside and male pieces have the threading on the outside. Check any plumbing pieces you are not replacing and note if it's a male or female end to which you'll connect a new piece, and buy the right type for fitting accordingly. If you're not sure, purchase some adapters as these allow you to connect pieces that would not otherwise fit.

Stripping the threads

It might seem as if you should tighten connectors as tight as possible, but this often strips the threads in pipes and causes leaks. This is one reason you use plumber's tape or sealant as mentioned above; use a lighter touch when connecting parts and just tighten them until they're snugly connected and your tape or sealant will keep them secure.