If you occasionally complete some plumbing repairs on your own, then you probably strive to do everything the right way the first time around to minimize issues like leaks. However, homeowners sometimes make some mistakes that can lead to problems in the future. Keep reading to find out more about some common ones and how they can be avoided.
Tightening Fittings Too Much
Preventing leaks means making sure that fittings and fixtures are tight. This prevents water from pooling around the fitting and seeping through the threads or o-rings over time. However, you can cause just as much damage, and sometimes even more, if you actually tighten up the fittings too much. This can cause compression of o-rings and a quick breakdown of the rubber. The material can then become brittle, and it will rip and leak.
Also, when a fitting is tightened too much, you are likely to strip the threads. The result is a fitting that can start to loosen on its own as it is exposed to water pressure and everyday stress. Tightened bolts and screws can also snap off and get stuck in the plumbing fixture, requiring a replacement.
So you want to make sure that all fittings are hand-tight. This means that you should use your wrench or screwdriver to tighten the fitting the majority of the way. Once it starts to get tight, use your fingers to screw it in the rest of the way. In addition to hand tightening, you can use plumbing or Teflon tape on the threads of the plumbing fitting before tightening it. This ensures a leakproof fitting even if you have not tightened it all the way.
Check For Leaks Immediately
If you are confident about your repair job, then you may walk away when you are done only to notice water leaking around the repair in the future. So, it is wise to test your repair immediately so you can be sure that you completed it the right way. Run water through the piping or drainage system and make sure that pressure is turned up as high as it can go. You can also use a plunger on drains to see if they can withstand the stress.
When placing stress on the system, look for any leaks at the repair site as well as just above and below it. You want to investigate any signs of dripping water, and you also want to look for condensation on the pipe. If leaks are noted, then turn the fitting one-quarter turn with a wrench or other tool and then test it again.
To learn more, contact a plumbing contractor.