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7 Ways to Prevent Home-Plumbing Disasters

By Douglas L. Tisdale Subscribe to RSS | May 31st 2012 | Views:

When home owners take in hand the job to install or repair sinks, tubs and toilets, they risk the total system and settlement. The risk is more than leaks. In a nutshell, they risk their sanity, finances and general mechanical disaster. However, the disaster can be avoided. Here are seven essential principals to avoid such disaster.

Avoid Galvanic

Often in residential water systems, copper and galvanized steel plumbing are separated simply with a little thread sealant or Teflon plumbing tape. The galvanic connection can be durable and trouble-free for years but steel plumbing begin to corrode as soon as they are in use.

How to fix it: Connect copper pipe to galvanized steel with a plumbing fitting called a dielectric union. There is steel collar on the steel side and copper collar on the copper side of the fitting. Its isolation bushings keep the parts separate.

Don’t Gush Back

Sudden and severe drop in water pressure causes back flow in municipal water systems. In this case water flow through pipes opposite the normal direction. It is something like a runaway car severs a fire hydrant. While the water gushes out the hole, where the hydrant once stood, parts of a municipal system will see a flow reversal. If there's a massive leak within your house, the same thing could happen.

How to fix it: Use a vacuum-breaker fitting threaded onto the end of the hose bib to prevent back flow if your house's water is supplied by a municipal water system and you do a lot of work outside with a garden hose. Use one even if you use your own well water. You can replace a hose bib with a freeze-proof type with a built-in vacuum breaker. Your common senses such as don’t leave a hose unattended in a bucket and don't leave a hose lying in a puddle on the lawn will also help a lot.

Furthermore, install a back-flow preventer if you replace or repair the main supply and valves entering the house.

Right Connector At Right Place

Careful about the gas lines connection. Sound simple but connecting a new gas range or dryer to an existing gas line can quickly go awry. You can find that the connector doesn't fit or you can't make the connection gas-tight, no matter how tight you make the connection, when you try to hook up a flexible gas connector to the line.

How to fix it: This problem is usually brought about by a mismatch between the iron pipe supplying gas and the fitting on the end of the flexible connector you intend to use to bring the fuel to the appliance. Simply buy a universal connection kit for a dryer or for a gas range. So you will find variety of adapters to help you make the transition from the pipe and fitting supplying the gas to whatever appliance will be using it.

Know The Plumbing Code

In plumbing there are rules to determine how far you can place a fixture from the home's drain-waste-vent line based on the pipe diameter and other arcane matters. Knowledge of the code and what it calls for in pipe sizing fixture spacing and related matters about the code will help you to handle a big job yourself.

How to fix it: Copy of International Plumbing Code or the Uniform Plumbing Code is available. Buy one. I suggest you to buy Code Check as it is updated with the up gradation of the building codes. It is even helpful for the professionals.

Seal The Joints

Apart from the soldered or glued joint every other joint require a sealant.

How to fix it: Two types of sealant tapes are available- tape for sealing water connections and tape for sealing gas. You will find many other verities. Look out for those. Buy a professional one as it has a higher percentage of gap-filling solids and better ensure a tight joint.

Be Gentle, Don’t Tighten Over

Tighten is good but over-tighten isn’t.

How to fix it: It’s a myth that over-tightens will make the joint stronger. Massive tightened is not required for a clean, properly cut and fitted joint. Parts bring together firmly simply requires another half a turn to be fitted perfectly. Avoid using a wrench to brass–copper gas fittings as they are particularly vulnerable to wrench damage from over-tightening.

Test Leak, Always

Before closing up and moving on, make a thorough leak inspection.

How to fix it: Check a newly installed valve component aggressively. Open and close the valve as well as running both hot and cold water through it. Run water down a drain to check it. Fill up a sink or tub and then drain it to check for leaks. To check gas lines use soapy water and detergent solution or a bubble-creating leak detector. It will cost some but will worth the money. Using the bubble-creating leak detector is highly recommended as it creates larger, more brightly visible bubbles than detergent does.

Douglas L. Tisdale - About Author:
Douglas L. Tisdale is passionate writer who loves to write pumbling and home improvement related tips. He would like to invite you to find out more guides about Raleigh Plumber and Durham plumbing company at

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