The world of plumbing is one that features a unique interplay between clients and professional plumbers. While there are certain jobs that should only ever be carried out by professionally-trained plumbers, there are other simple plumbing tasks around the home that homeowners should handle for themselves — basic stuff like clearing drains, preventing clogs and ensuring you know the location of various shut-off valves, for instance.

At 24 Hour Rooter Connectionz Plumbing & Drain Cleaning, we’re happy to work directly with clients to assist them with any of their plumbing needs — including some of our more handy clients who like to try and DIY as many of their home needs as possible. While we encourage this in many cases and will provide support where we can, we’ve also seen situations where DIYers make costly mistakes that could have been avoided by simply calling our plumbers. Here are some of these mistakes to avoid — if you’re in these situations, it might be best to give our team a call.

Overtightening Plumbing Connections

Many home DIY plumbing tasks will involve connections, whether from one section of piping to another or from the supply end of a pipe into a fixture like a sink. When connecting these things, it’s very important that you tighten them as much as possible — but not so much that you break the products themselves.

If this happens, this means replacement parts will be necessary and likely also means you’ll need to get a professional plumber involved to ensure the connection is watertight and functional once more. Overtightening can also damage components like gaskets, which result in leaking fixtures that you’ll need to repair or replace before getting back to business as usual.

Using Drain Cleaners Too Often

If your drains are having minor clog or buildup issues, your first option here should not be chemical drain cleaners. While these tools can be effective on some occasions, they can cause damage to the internal mechanisms of your fixtures over time and should only be used in situations where more natural methods have failed.

Rather, your first attempt should be using a plunger, drain snake or some other barbed drain cleaning tool that will not eat away at your pipes. If these methods don’t do the trick, call on our team of professional plumbers at 24 Hour Rooter Connectionz Plumbing & Drain Cleaning.

Handling a Major Job Without Spare Parts

One quick way to tell an experienced DIY homeowner from a newbie in the plumbing world: Do they have a collection of spare parts handy? Plumbing is a world that requires precision; the more precision you have in your work, the fewer problems you’ll run into.

If you plan on tackling a new plumbing project on your own and don’t want to call our team of professionals, make sure that you’re carrying out all tasks with several spare parts ready for use. This will include standard items like washers and gaskets, but also more specific items like shut-off valves, air vents and piping connectors.

Using Improper Tools

Down similar lines, one of the most common DIY mistakes we see involves using the wrong tools for a job. If you’re trying to remove a corroded nut with a wrench when it’s best done with a socket wrench, you’ll end up causing significant damage to the nut and likely also scratch or warp the surface of your fixture in some way.

If you’re going to take on plumbing projects around your home, make sure that you’re using the appropriate tools for each task — this includes both standard hand tools and more advanced tools like pipe cutters, drain snakes, crimpers and saws. If you have questions here, call our team; if you’re inexperienced with using a recommended tool, this is one of those situations where leaving the job to the pros might be the right call.

Confusing Wyes, Tees and Elbows

Drain fittings are often an area DIYers try to attend to on their own, but they will commonly mix up the difference between wyes, tees and elbows. The primary function of all three is to join different pipes together — that said, there are key differences between them:

  • Wyes: Wyes feature a circular base that is connected to three different hoses, making them best suited for use in sinks.
  • Tees: Tees are similar to wyes but feature a more pointed joint between the circles’ connection points.
  • Elbows: Elbows are used when you want to turn a pipe at an angle rather than allow it to continue its original direction.

If you’re unsure of the difference between wyes, tees and elbows, our team can help — or, better yet, invest in some reliable reference guides so that you’ll know for next time you’re tackling a job around your home.

Using the Wrong Tape (Or Using the Right Tape Incorrectly)

Another common need within the plumbing world is the use of tape, including Teflon tape that’s often wrapped around various pipe threads. This tape must be wrapped in the right direction — but some DIYers wrap it backward, inadvertently causing major leaks and other issues. If you’re going to be using Teflon tape on your own, make sure that you double check the direction of the wraps (toward the pipe threads rather than away from them) both before and after you’ve completed the job — this will ensure long-term effectiveness.

In addition, it’s vital to ensure you’re using the right tape to begin with. Thin white or thick pink thread tape should be used for fittings that carry water; yellow gas-rated tape should be used for threaded gas line connections. Thread tape should never be used on compression or flare fittings, either.

For more on avoiding common DIY plumbing mistakes, or to learn about any of our drain cleaning or other plumbing services in Utah, speak to the staff at 24 Hour Rooter Connectionz Plumbing & Drain Cleaning today.

Time and simple wear-and-tear pose threats to various plumbing systems in your home, and a good example here is corrosion that may show up in certain pipes. Corrosion can be caused by several different factors, and leads to issues in both your pipes and the water they transport throughout your plumbing system — but it can also be prevented or remedied if you’re paying attention in the right areas.

At 24 Hour Rooter Connectionz, we’re happy to offer numerous services that assist with problems in your pipes and drains, from simple drain cleaning up through main sewer line repair and replacement. We’ve helped many clients deal with corrosion and other risks to their drains or other pipe systems, and we’ll do the same for you if you’re experiencing these issues. Here’s a primer on how pipe corrosion happens, how it affects you water and your plumbing, and how you can prevent and/or remove corrosion concerns from any part of your plumbing setup.

Pipe Corrosion Basics and Causes

Corrosion refers to an exchange of electrons, one that creates wear-and-tear on a molecular level. When it becomes significant enough, it will lead to visible concerns like rust, clogs and leaks. It can happen in various different pipe materials, from copper to cast iron.

Corrosion can arise from a number of sources, including:

  • Low PH: PH levels under 7 indicate acidic water, and this can lead to corrosion of your pipes.
  • Excessive heat: Temperature changes in the liquid passing through a pipe will impact areas where metal has started to erode due to corrosion.
  • The deposition of minerals: Chlorides, sulfates and carbonates can all cause erosion of the metal in your pipes.
  • High quantities of oxygen: Oxygen in normal levels isn’t a problem for pipes, but high concentrations can lead to corrosion through oxidization.
  • Electrical currents: In other cases, ungrounded electrical currents can create corrosion.
  • Water velocity: Water traveling at a very high velocity, especially if it’s hot, may wear down or corrode pipes earlier than expected.

Impact of Corrosion on Water

Corrosion may affect your actual water supply in various ways, including:

  • A change in taste: Corrosion may lead to the formation of iron bacteria, which can affect the taste of your water.
  • Contamination with other substances: Pipes that are corroding and leaking can allow contaminants into your supply, potentially leading to sewage issues or other concerns as well.
  • Unusual cloudiness: Cloudy or murky water may indicate that corrosion is becoming an issue for your pipes.
  • Health issues: In the worst cases, corrosion leads to contamination that, in turn, can cause health problems in humans or pets.

Now, which of these impacts actually takes place will depend in some part on the pipe material in question. Iron pipes, for interest, may turn your water a different color or change its taste when they’re corroded, but will not pose any health risks; lead pipes, on the other hand, pose significant health concerns when they’re corroded, one of the main reasons they’re less popular today.

Impact of Corrosion on Plumbing

And while the impact on your water is obviously of major concern in many cases of corrosion, this isn’t even the full extent of the problem. Rather, water pipe corrosion also causes several major issues to your pipes and other plumbing system components, including:

  • Erosion of the pipe itself: Corroding iron or steel pipes will deteriorate over time.
  • Leaking: This is especially common in corroded areas where water has become trapped, and can lead to flooding of your floors and other issues.
  • Increased water pressure: Water velocity increases as pipes corrode, leading to pressure concerns that may lead to burst pipes.
  • Mold or mildew growth: Leaking and trapped water can lead to excess moisture, which in turn can create the perfect environment for mold growth.

Preventing Pipe Corrosion

Luckily, there are some very basic steps you can take to prevent corrosion from taking place in your pipes before it ever becomes a problem. The simplest method is through basic water testing, in which you can determine the PH levels of your water. If levels are under 7, as we noted above, there’s a good chance your pipes are corroded and there’s too much acidity in your water supply — and you can get right to work removing this corrosion before it worsens.

Even if PH level is not under 7, you’ll still want to consider using a water softener in order to prevent further corrosion before it takes place. And if you actually have acidic water at any point, consider using a reverse osmosis system or just buying a lot of bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes — you may not be able to solve the corrosion problem itself, but you can at least prevent other problems from taking place.

Remedying Pipe Corrosion

The best time to address a potential corrosion problem with your pipes is before it happens, of course. But there are some steps that can help in more serious cases of corrosion, as well. The simplest task here is to clean pipes of any visible corrosion, but this will only have so much of an impact.

One additional option here is to use a trenchless pipe repair system, which allows professionals to conduct repairs without needing to dig up or otherwise disrupt your pipes. These are great in many situations because they don’t require any of the additional damage and secondary issues that come with more invasive methods; however, they often do require professional assistance in order to get the job done, and may not be suitable for certain types of pipe.

Another option is an epoxy lining system, which can be used to coat corroded sections of your iron or steel pipes, creating a new protective barrier that ensures against further corrosion. Again, these are typically best left to the pros unless you have experience with similar solutions.

For more on avoiding corrosion concerns in your water pipes, or to learn about any of our drain cleaning or other services, speak to the staff at 24 Hour Rooter Connectionz today.