Common Kitchen Plumbing Mistakes

Common Kitchen Plumbing Mistakes Found in Many DIY Projects

Plumbing mistakes happen all the time, whether it’s a leaky faucet or a clogged drainpipe. But the truth is, plumbing problems aren’t always easy to fix. And while you might be able to save money by doing it yourself, you could end up spending more money fixing a problem that was avoidable in the first place. So here some common plumbing mistakes that you should try to avoid.

When you’re trying to repair your own home plumbing system, you need to understand exactly what you’re doing. When installing new fixtures or components make sure you read the instructions thoroughly and follow them closely. Some items may seem like they aren’t needed or irrelevant, but it can end up causing problems later.

Common Kitchen Plumbing Mistakes Found in Many DIY Projects

Using the wrong fixtures

While you might be tempted to buy cheap replacement parts or fixtures, it’s usually best to invest in quality products instead that will last for years to come. Quality products such as Delta faucets are built to last and can withstand everyday usage. Plus, they usually have a warranty in case they do have problems.

Make a plan

Before starting any project, make sure you have enough supplies and the tools you need on hand. Also, make sure you know how long each job will take. Getting stopped in the middle of a plumbing project can mean your home won’t have any water so it’s best to make sure you have enough time to complete the project.

Doing Unpermitted Work

There are plenty of reasons why homeowners choose to do projects themselves instead of hiring professionals. Some of them might be cost savings, convenience, or just plain laziness. Whatever the reason, doing unpermitted work can lead to serious problems down the road. While this may not be a problem for most homes that are doing remodeling it can be a huge problem if you are attempting a DIY addition to the home

Not installing stops or water shutoff valves

Whenever you install a new faucet or component in your kitchen having the ability to stop the water from going to that item is important. Stops are used on most water supply lines to do this task but are overlooked many times by do it yourselfers. Ask yourself is there a way to stop water from going to a fixture if needed without turning off the entire water supply to the home? If not, then be sure to install water shut off valves.

Connecting Copper Pipes With Some Water Remaining in the Pipes or Fittings

If you plan on using copper pipes in your home’s kitchen plumbing project be sure to correctly sweat the pipes together. If there is water in the line then sweating the line can be tricky. One method to stop water temporary so you can sweat the lines without the water is to pack bread in the line. Once the water is resupplied the bread will dissolve and flow out of the line.

Not Having the Right Tools

Plumbing projects can be dangerous if you don’t have the right tools. There are many different types of plumbing jobs, and each requires a specific set of tools. Before starting any project, always make sure that you have the proper equipment.

It’s easy to forget about certain tools while working on a project, especially since they aren’t immediately visible. Make sure that you have everything you need before beginning a job. Also, never try to fix anything yourself unless you’re absolutely positive that you understand how to do it correctly.

Wyes and Tees Elbows Oh My…

There are several plumbing fittings that are used in plumbing setups. And although they can be similar they can also have very different results when it comes to the overall project. Installing one of these fittings wrong can mean problems later down the road.

For instance, a problem that many people never consider is whether to use a long sweep elbow or a wye and a 45 degree street elbow. If those terms sound a bit foreign to you, you may want to dig a little deeper into how plumbing fittings are used. Especially for DWV (Drain, Waste, Ventilation) fittings. Since there are no pressure in these fittings, you must consider how the drain flows.

Not Using Primer and Proper Glue on Joints

Plumbing projects are notoriously difficult to complete correctly for most do it yourselfers. There are countless mistakes that homeowners make along the way such as those listed above. But one of the biggest is not using primer and proper glue on joints. Most PVC primer is purple so it’s easy to see. Make sure you use the proper amount of primer and the correct glue for the pipes and fittings that you are installing.

If you are connecting to existing pipes or fixtures in the home, you also want to consider what type of pipes they are and use the proper glue. For instance, don’t use PVC glue on ABS plastic pipes.

Sweating the Small Stuff (Copper Pipes)

If you’re planning on using copper pipes in the kitchen which is very common for pressure water supply then make sure you know how to sweat the copper fittings and pipe together. One of the biggest problems for home owners who try to sweat copper together is they don’t use enough heat on the pipes. Rather they focus the heat on the solder which can melt it but since the pipes are not hot enough it won’t stick correctly.

This can end up causing leaks once the pipes are pressurized with water again. So, to avoid this problem simply heat up the pipes and fittings and then place the solder letting the heat from the pipes and fittings melt the solder not the torch.

Cross Threaded and Mismatched Threaded Fittings

Threaded fittings are used extensively in plumbing projects, especially kitchen faucets. These fittings connect pipes together and allow water to flow freely. But threaded fittings aren’t always easy to install correctly.

One common mistake is cross threading, which occurs when two threads are joined incorrectly. Cross threading causes leaks and other problems, so it’s crucial to avoid it. Another problem is mismatching threads, which happens when the wrong type of fitting is installed into the pipe. This can lead to leaks and damage to the surrounding area.

There are several different types of fittings that are common in kitchen plumbing as well which can make it extremely problematic for DIYers. From flared fittings to NPT threads make sure the fittings link up together properly. You may need to install adapters as well.

Overtightening Connections

Plumbing is a tricky business, especially when it comes to connecting pipes together. Under-tightening can lead to leaks, while over-tightening can also damage pipes and lead to leaks or other problems later.

To avoid both problems, always tighten connections slowly and evenly. Once you have everything in place make sure that you go back and check for leaks after the project is finished and if pipes are still leaking you may need to tighten it more.

Incorrectly Using Thread Tape for Connections

Plumber’s tape is used to seal pipes, drains, and other plumbing fixtures. But wrapping the tape around the threads incorrectly can lead to leaks. If you’re using PTFE tape to seal a connection make sure it is wrapped clockwise around the threads. If it’s wrapped incorrectly it will not work right and likely cause a leak.

Make sure you install enough tape as well. Most applications the tape should be wrapped about 5 turns. You’ll also want to ensure you’re using the correct pipe thread tape for the project. Improperly wrapped pipe connections may start to leak once the water pressure is applied to the pipes again.

Using a Saddle Valve Instead of a Stop Valve

A quick way to supply water to a kitchen component is to whip out a saddle valve and simply add it to the main water supply in the kitchen. But this can lead to all sorts of problem later as they don’t last long and in most places doesn’t meet code requirements. When installing additional fixtures always use the required pipe connections rather than looking for short cuts.

Proper Ventilation Is Not Installed

Plumbing vents is critical to keeping water flowing properly. When water sits stagnant inside pipes, it becomes contaminated and can lead to expensive repairs down the road.

To prevent this problem, install proper ventilation on your plumbing system. There are two main types of ventilators: open vents and closed vents. Open vents allow air to flow freely into the pipe while closed vents restrict airflow.

This problem likely won’t even show up until later when the kitchen is being used again. Without proper ventilation on the plumbing drain, dangerous gases can leak back through drains such as your kitchen sink. Not only that, you’ll also notice a very unpleasant smell coming from the pipes as well. The problem may also be intermittent which can cause a lot headaches tracking it down.

Drain Pipes Not Properly Sloped

Drain pipes aren’t just used for plumbing; they’re also used to direct water flow into the sewer system. And control the flow of the water as it makes it’s way to the sewer system. When doing plumbing and drain work at home, it’s easy to overlook drain pipe slope, but it’s crucial to prevent clogs and backups and make sure they flow properly.

Call a Professional Plumber if You’re Unsure

There are plenty of reasons why homeowners decide to tackle plumbing projects themselves. Perhaps they’re handy enough to handle the job, or maybe they just want to save money. Whatever the reason, it’s always smarter to hire a professional experienced plumber if you’re unsure about anything related to your home’s water and drain system.

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