5 Plumbing Mistakes Every Homeowner Should Avoid Making

Woman sitting near leaking sink calling for help

A clog in the pipes? Water leakage under the kitchen sink? As a homeowner, you’ve probably experienced these kinds of problems once, twice, or maybe a few times in your life. It can be a painstaking process to fix them if you don’t have prior experience or knowledge in plumbing. Not only is it time-consuming, but the expenses can hurt your budget.

Calling for professional help is always the best solution but to avoid spending too much money, many homeowners like to do things on their own. Knowing how to handle plumbing repairs will come in handy as a homeowner. Still, it’s always best to avoid certain mistakes which can consume too much of your time, energy, and money.

Here are five plumbing mistakes you should avoid:

1. Inappropriate Tools/Materials To Do The Job

Sometimes, a simple wrench isn’t enough to fix your pipes. Some types of wrenches are more suitable for certain types of pipes and materials. For example, a basin wrench is a type of wrench you can use to work on faucets, while an adjustable pipe wrench allows you to grip pipes with their sharp teeth.

Another tool is the tape used for sealing. Homeowners tend to use any available tape they can find (duct tape, electrical tape, etc.) which can lead to problems in sealing the pipes. A plumber’s tape (tread sealing tape) is the ideal tape to use when handling plumbing issues. It comes in the following colors:

  • Yellow tape for gas fittings and NPT threads 1 ½ to 2 inches.
  • White tape for water supply fittings and NPT threads up to 3/8 inch.
  • Green tape for oxygen and medical gasses.
  • Gray tape for stainless pipes

It’s always important to know the proper tools to avoid further damaging your plumbing system.

2. Too Tight

Although a loose screw can be bad, tightening it won’t necessarily make it better either. Over-tightening some bolts and tubes could lead to a crack in the fittings. Furthermore, you may not be able to notice the problem right away, since certain signs of damage can show up weeks later.

Not all plumbing fittings can withstand excessive force. If you feel unsure about whether leakage may occur, you can always call a professional plumber.

3. Usage Of Chemicals And Drain Cleaners

When they need budget-friendly options, homeowners usually go with acids, chemicals, and drain cleaners to remove clogs in their pipes or unnecessary toilet odor. Although these options usually work, some people tend to use them excessively, which can be quite risky in the long run.

Although drain cleaners are probably the best emergency tool for homeowners, relying on them regularly isn’t exactly the right solution. Excessive use of chemicals can cause corrosion in the pipes. They may eat away the inner pipe walls which can lead to plumbing problems and health hazards in your home.

For less harmful solutions to your clogging problems, you can use vinegar or baking soda as an alternative cleaner. Not only will these natural remedies help you save more money, they’re also less likely to cause damage to your pipes.

4. Ignorance Is Not Your New Best Friend

Homeowners sometimes tend to ignore a plumbing issue when it’s not big enough to cause any damage. In case of a leaky faucet, for example, homeowners may think that they just didn’t close the faucet properly without knowing it could be a sign of a major plumbing problem. Not taking immediate action can turn minor plumbing issues into major disasters.

When you think there’s an issue with your plumbing system, even minor ones, then act right away to solve the problem. It can also prevent more plumbing accidents from happening in the future and help you save hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.

5. Doing Things Your Way

Repairman in uniform is fixing old bathroom faucet with help of a special tool

Although it’s not bad to try and learn things by yourself, in plumbing, it’s a different story. Doing things in by yourself can lead you to making careless mistakes and worsen the damage in your plumbing system. If you feel you’re confident enough to fix the problem on your own, then that’s okay. However, it’s always advisable to hire a professional for help.


A healthy plumbing system at home is always essential as it harnesses one of the precious resources everyone uses—water. Plumbing is a skill that every homeowner needs to learn to avoid a toilet flush bizarre and other. It’s handy to at least have a piece of basic knowledge in plumbing, but it’s always best to avoid the mistakes mentioned in this article to prevent health hazards in your home and also ensure a comfortable living environment for you and your family where you can easily feed the squirrels in your backyard.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen, a celebrated writer in the home and garden niche, boasts over 12 years of hands-on experience. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University. Before joining our team in 2016, she worked as a landscape designer, combining her love for nature and design. Sandy's expertise shines through her articles, offering readers practical and aesthetically pleasing gardening tips. Off the clock, she enjoys hiking and nature photography, further nurturing her connection with the outdoors.

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