Your Go-To Guide For Avoiding A Plumbing Disaster
Regardless of the type of plumbing job you have in mind, there are several basic steps that should follow if you want to keep yourself out of bother:
- Switch the water off
- Have an abundance of tools at your disposal
- Get to know your plumbing system
- Follow the letter of the law when it comes to plumbing installation
Some houses let you switch the water off in separate rooms. Other houses need you to track down the main shut-off valve and turn the water off in the whole house until you have completed the work. While switching off the water may seem like total common sense, when you are only fixing a leak or changing a washer you may fail to see the importance of this step. This is a safety measure that you should always follow. Predicting mishaps is never an easy thing.
Simply having your trusty hammer and vice-grips at the ready may not be enough. A few of the basic tools you may need for plumbing include the following:
- Plumber wrench
- Basin wrench (this lets you work in awkward spaces)
- Seat wrench (for bathtub and sink taps)
- Drain snake (can come in handy)
- Plumber Putty (for joint sealing)
- Teflon tape (for preventing leaks in threaded fittings)
- You may not use all of the above, however having them at hand can help you avoid a plumbing disaster.
You don’t need to be an expert on your plumbing system. However, you should know how to switch off the water supply at the primary outlet, or the room you are working in. You may make a mistake and need to know exactly where to run to switch off the water before a deluge starts.
Your new taps or shower head may come with instructions, or you can do a quick search online. Follow every step. If the instructions call for something, you don’t have, get down to the hardware store and buy what you need.
In advance of any DIY plumbing task you should ask yourself the following questions:
Is the venture legal for me?
Do I need a compliance certificate?
Am I sure of exactly what I need to do?
Do I have the right tools to complete the job?
If you can’t answer a strong, ‘yes,’ to each of the above questions, it is time to contact licensed plumbers. Sure it may cost more, but you will have the peace of mind that the job has been done right, you won’t be doing something illegal, and you won’t put a warranty or your home insurance in jeopardy.