Home Planning & Renovations

The Worst NYC DIY Plumbing Disasters You Should See Before Renovating

By Tiffany Smolick


A good DIY project is something every homeowner takes pleasure in once in a while. However, while the positive DIY attitude is admirable and can save you money, it can also end badly if you are overconfident. 

When it comes to plumbing, DIY plumbing disasters are especially common and can cost you more money than if you called professionals. 

You can see it for yourself – there are many NYC plumbing disasters you can find online. However, many professional plumbing services in NYC can get the job done properly and save you money in the long run. 

If you’d still prefer to do something plumbing-related alone, take note of some common plumbing mistakes to prevent any pricey mishaps. In addition, you will find some nifty tips on how to avoid DIY plumbing disasters. 

Let’s dive in!

The Most Common DIY Plumbing Mistakes

Learning from other people’s mistakes will make a world of a difference in your renovation project. So, read about the most common DIY plumbing mistakes to get the job done right the first time:

Mistake 1: When Copper and Steel Collide

The process that happens when these two materials connect is known as galvanic corrosion. You can avoid it easily if you connect dissimilar pipes correctly. Keep in mind that dielectric nipples prevent corrosion, so it is best to connect disparate metals like galvanized and copper pipes using them.

Mistake 2: Starting Your DIY Plumbing Projects Not Having the Right Tools

Most DIY plumbing disasters happen when people tend to a plumbing emergency without having the right tools. For example, attempting to remove galvanized pipe nipples with a standard wrench can cause them to break. 

So, don’t try to fix something if you know that you don’t own the right tools because you can easily damage the fixtures, which can result in reduced lifespan and increased risk of leaks. 

Mistake 3: Forgetting to Turn off the Water & Risking Flooding the House

Shutting off the water is the first thing to do in any plumbing project, but it is also the easiest thing to overlook. A loosened connection can spray water, and many easy plumbing projects can quickly turn into DIY plumbing disasters

Turning off the water will be easier if you have the opportunity to locate the correct valve. However, once water is flowing in the house, every minute spent searching for the shut-off valve will cause additional damage to floors and walls. 

In addition, it is important to know that turning off the water at the source does not remove any water from your pipes. So, you will need to run the faucets to drain your pipes.

DIY Plumbing

DIY Plumbing: What to Know to Avoid Disaster

There are some things you should know and steps you can take to either prevent problems or reduce the chaos once it has begun:

Know Where Your Shut-offs Are

You should know how to turn off water supplies. If the bathtub, toilet, or sink overflows, you must act fast to avoid severe damage. This includes knowing the location of your shut-off valves for each water-using appliance like toilet, sink, washing machine, and dishwasher. In addition, learn where your main water shut-off valve is in case you have to shut off the water supply altogether.

Overtightening Plumbing Connections

One of the most common DIY plumbing mistakes is overtightening pipes and fittings, toilet bolts, and supply tubes. By doing so, you can crack pipes, coupling, elbows, or tee. The tricky thing is that the cracks may not occur immediately, but the extreme force may break the fitting later, resulting in a flood.

We must mention that over-tightening plastic fittings on toilet tubes are a common mistake as well. You should know that a water supply line does not entail that much force. When people over-tighten the hex nuts, they break and leak.

Using Drain Line Cleaners First

Many people make the mistake of using drain line cleaners when their drains become clogged. However, using chemical drain cleaners too frequently can damage the pipes. The chemicals that help with the blockage can corrode the pipe and cause it to leak. 

Drain line cleaners can also pose additional risks if you do not use them correctly. It is better to use natural cleaning solutions like water, baking soda, vinegar, and salt. However, if this does not work, call professionals.

Not Too Tight!

Many people have made the mistake of thinking that watertight plumbing connection are best for preventing leaks. However, overly tight connections can be just as problematic. Rubber seals and pipe washers are excellent at creating a watertight seal, so over-tightening could easily damage these components. 

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How to Avoid Plumbing Disasters

Here are some smart tips to help you avoid emergency visits from plumbing pros:

The Physics of Plumbing

A great deal of science and engineering must take place for water to reach you from the ground. Understanding how water moves around pipes requires a solid understanding of physics. 

So, you should understand how gravity, density, pressure, and corrosion work before you undertake some plumbing repairs. Only once you understand the underlying science behind your plumbing issue will you be able to fix the problem.

Use Your Head, Not Your Hammer

Numerous things can go wrong if you lack the necessary skills to perform plumbing fixes, especially if you don’t think it through and start fixing the problem with whatever tools you have at hand. To avoid costly damages, be honest with yourself about whether you fully understand the problem and whether you have the right tools.

Wrapping Up

When it comes to plumbing jobs, many people opt for DIY methods to save money. However, while some plumbing projects appear to be simple, they can quickly escalate into more complex and challenging tasks. 

If some DIY repairs sound too daunting, you can always seek the assistance of trained plumbing professionals to ensure the job is done correctly and avoid DIY plumbing disasters.

So, if you are having trouble with any aspect of NYC bathroom remodeling, from plumbing installation to renovation tips from a reliable general contractor, feel free to contact a reputable professional like MyHome US! You can give us a call and schedule your free consultation!