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Common Plumbing Errors
Know The Basics
While some jobs (where things like gas are concerned) need to be done by people who absolutely know what they are doing, many household plumbing repairs can be achieved with a few tools, and a little bit of hard work. You should understand the different types of pipes, fittings and their connection type, though. When replacing a part, you really do have to get exactly the right one, and understand its physical properties. One of the most common mistakes made, in trying to be really sure that the seal is watertight, is over tightening the fitting. A tiny crack from that little extra force might not show itself immediately, but the pressure over time can cause it to fail down the road, with potential flooding issues to follow. This remains true for tubes and pipes, as well as the plastic fittings common with the toilet and faucet supply tubes, which are sealed easily without excessive torque.
When working with any plumbing system, you don’t need to be the leading expert plumbers in Oldham to know that the first priority should always be to turn off the water. Failure to do so has been many a handyman’s downfall. Equally important is to make sure that you really do understand the precise nature of the problem, and that you have the correct spare parts to rectify the matter, with the requisite tools. If a washer or cartridge have worn out, the rest of the faucet may well be also suffering from age, so you will probably be back on the same job shortly if you only fixed part of the problem.
Right And Wrong
As with all things, there is a right and a wrong way to do even the simplest tasks. At its most basic level, even the white Teflon, or plumber’s tape has to be wrapped in a clockwise direction, or the tightening action will unravel it – the exact opposite of creating the seal you had intended. Three wraps around is plenty, and check to make sure the end of the tape is facing to the left as you screw the pipe into its fitting. Much as over tightening can cause problems, so too can using excessive force in an incorrect way in trying to free a stuck shot off valve. The answer is not to use brute force, which can break the knob, or snap the valve stem itself. The solution to breaking the weld that has been created between the valve stem and the stem packing seal, is to simply take a spanner to the stem nut, moving it just enough to crack the seal, which will allow the valve to again move freely, and to quickly tighten the nut to finish the problem in seconds.
It can be very tempting, if we get a blocked drain or sink, to think about addressing the problem chemically. This might appear an easy way out of an immediate problem, though it does have a tendency to eat away at the plumbing itself, at the same time as clearing the obstruction. Almost inevitably the blockage is in the U-shaped trap beneath the sink, which can easily be removed, cleaned and replaced in a handful of minutes. It is always a more pleasant experience if you try this before using drain cleaner, as doing so when it is full of caustic liquid is not a fun task at all.
Lastly, avoid the mistake of not knowing when to it is time to call for professional help.
This article is published in partnership with Mediabuzzer.