Plumbing can be one of the hardest projects you tackle in your home. Although a water leak could be just an annoyance, a gas leak is a serious danger and one that needs addressing immediately. These are the five biggest plumbing mistakes along with the best ways to avoid these common pitfalls.
Mistake 1: Mismatching Threaded Fittings
You go to install a new gas range or gas dryer and mismatch iron pipe threads and flare compression threads. For a more in-depth look at the problem, go here.
Inevitably, this leads to a leaky gas connection, a fire hazard. The safest thing you can do is buy a gas connector kit that already has the specialty fittings you need to make gastight transfer from the wall to the appliance.
Don’t forget to prime PVC pipes and fittings before gluing the pieces together. The primer strips away solvents and dirt and breaks down the glossy outer layer of plastic, softening it. When glue is applied, the two plastic surfaces are fused together, forming a watertight joint.
You can only opt to skip the primer if you use a combination glue/primer product such as this one. But if you intend to use this on a plumbing job for which you’ve pulled a building permit, ask the town’s plumbing inspector if it’s acceptable before using it.
Mistake 3: Not Back-Holding
When tightening two hex fittings together, you need two wrenches, one on each fitting.
ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
Without two wrenches, you won’t be able to adequately tighten the connection. You’ll overtighten one side of it and under-tighten the other side. When tightening a hex fitting to a pipe, hold the pipe with a pipe wrench like this. Or use a V-jaw tongue-and-groove plier like this famous model from Channellock.
Mistake 4: Using a Dull Tubing Cutter
The wheel on a tubing cutter will eventually get dull and when that happens, it will either leave a rough edge (which can lead to an improper joint, and a leak) or you’ll have to overtighten the cutter to make it cut, forcing the tubing out of round, and the result is the same: a leak.
It’s a common mistake when soldering together copper pipe. First timers make the mistake of heating the solder, not the copper, reasoning that they’re going to just melt the solder into the joint.
You’re Doing These 5 DIY Jobs Wrong
It doesn’t work that way. The torch will certainly melt the solder, but it won’t flow into the joint. The key is to heat the copper until it’s hot enough to melt the solder. When that happens, the solder will wick into the joint.