Projections show that the global plumbing components market will reach $78.219 billion by 2027.
All bathrooms need regular repair and maintenance, and a full replacement can be a good idea after a while. If you take any of this on yourself, you must be careful. It’s easy to make bathroom plumbing mistakes, and the best way to avoid this is by knowing what these mistakes are.
Please keep reading for a rundown of 8 of the most common bathroom plumbing mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Forgetting to Put Traps on Drains
A trap is a U-shaped curved piece that often sits below a sink. They might seem like just a bit of pipe, but traps are essential. Many people forget to use them when repairing bathroom plumbing and think they make it easier to get back any items falling down the drain.
The actual job of a trap is to stop odors from sewer gases from getting into your bathroom. If you forget to install one, you’ll soon start noticing the effects as bad smells fill your house.
2. Overtightening Connections
Fittings need to be secure. The mistake that people often make with this is to tighten them too much. The logic is that the tighter connections are, the less likely they leak.
The problem here is that overtightening them can damage fittings, making them split or even rupture. This can cause leaks that let out a lot of water very quickly. You want them tight enough to prevent leaks but not so tight that it compromises them.
A good rule of thumb for flexible supply lines and slip joint nuts is to tighten them by hand rather than using plumbing repair tools. Then do an additional 1/4 – 1/2 turn. If you do notice any leaks, you can tighten them a little more.
3. Forgetting to Turn off the Main Water Line
When you’re experiencing bathroom plumbing issues or just making an upgrade, you should always start by switching off the main water line. The location of the main water line valve varies for different properties, so you’ll need to find yours. If you forget to do this, you can easily flood your bathroom.
Note that it’s common for sinks and toilets to have their own shut-off valves. You can use these to turn the water off for a specific appliance instead of turning off the water for your whole house. When starting a job, you should test your shut-off valve to ensure there are no issues before proceeding.
4. Using Galvanized Pipes
You need to make sure your plumbing is done using the right materials. One of the reasons for this is a matter of legality. You must stick to the uniform plumbing code, international plumbing code, and local plumbing codes for your area.
On top of legislation, some materials are simply not suitable. Galvanized pipes can often corrode on the inside and may even cause lead poisoning.
Copper is a suitable choice but may be outside your plumbing repair budget. You should look into the above plumbing codes to see what other options you have and decide which is most suitable.
5. Improper Slopes for Shower Pans
This often occurs when someone with little experience decides to do some DIY work. Even if they get all of their new bathroom plumbing installed, it’s easy to fall at the final hurdle. Shower pans must be sloped correctly, so the water flows out properly.
A typical slope could be around 1/4 of an inch per foot, but the code will determine the exact amount. If this isn’t done right, water may pool in the shower pan, increasing the risk of mold growth. Ensuring your shower pan is installed by a professional will prevent this.
6. Using a Damaged Toilet Flange
A flange is a pipe between a toilet and the floor drain. If you’re installing one and notice signs of damage such as a crack, don’t use it.
You need to put a seal on the rubber or wax gasket around the joint between the toilet and the flange. Even a small crack can make this difficult, or even impossible, which will likely result in a leak. You can get repair kits for these at home improvement stores, but you should only do this if you’re confident in your skills, as it’s a relatively advanced type of repair.
7. Not Strapping Down Water Lines
If you hear banging in your walls when a faucet or the shower is running, this is probably due to bad DIY plumbing work. Pipes will move if they aren’t secured, so you should be sure to do this any time you do some work.
This is easy enough; you just need a hanger or tube strap. While it’s easy to do, it’s also easy to forget, and if you fail during the initial installation, it will be much harder to do later. You’ll have to cut into the drywall, which will take a lot more work and be much more costly.
8. Installing Shower Heads in the Wrong Place
Many people don’t realize it, but you should place a shower head at a specific height. This spot is 80 inches above the drain. Setting it lower than this can make them difficult to use.
In some situations, you may want to place it a bit higher. This is typical if someone tall is going to be using it. The only issue with putting it too high is that it may inconvenience shorter people.
Avoiding Bathroom Plumbing Mistakes
There are plenty of bathroom plumbing mistakes when doing any DIY plumbing work. You should always take care, and don’t try to do anything you’re not confident with. The best way to avoid these mistakes is to hire a professional plumbing company.
Millwood Plumbing is based in Cartersville, GA, and offers a range of plumbing services – both residential and commercial. If you have any questions about our services, contact us today.