Whether it's a clogged drain or a leaking pipe, you may be tempted to try and fix the problem yourself. If you do take the DIY plumbing route, safety should be your primary concern. The following are a few plumbing mistakes to avoid, since they can cause major injury – or worse.
#1: Ignoring the electrical system
Your goal may be to remove a broken pipe or find a leak behind a wall, but that doesn't mean you should ignore the electrical system. Whenever you are accessing pipes that run behind a wall you could encounter electrical wires. In some cases, old mistakes lead to grounding wires being wrapped around an old plumbing pipe, which means you could get quite the shock if you grab that pipe. Another concern is with leaks. Water can leak into outlets or other electrical peripheries, which cause both a shock and fire hazard. Play it safe and shut off electricity to the area where you are making your plumbing repairs.
#2: Using caustic drain cleaners
For many homeowners, the first thing they do when a pipe is draining slowly is pour as much liquid drain cleaner into the drain as possible. This is great if it works, but a major safety concern if it doesn't. These chemicals can back up the drain if the clog doesn't clear, where they can get in your eyes or on your skin. This isn't good since these chemicals cause burns and blindness. Instead, determine the cause of the blockage first before resorting to chemicals. In most cases, kitchen and bathroom pipes can be removed and cleaned out manually. If you did use chemicals first, wear safety goggles and protective gloves before trying another clearing method.
#3: Overlooking tool safety
If you look at the tools on the plumbing aisle or watch a plumber in action, you may notice something important – there are almost no power tools. Sure, there may be the stray powered auger, but overall most tools are manual. This is for two good reasons. First, electricity and water doesn't mix so any power tools must be used with extreme caution when fixing plumbing. Second, trying to maneuver a power tool in tight confines, such as under the sink, is exceptionally dangerous. Opt for manual tools whenever possible to avoid the chances for injury.
Even better, contact a plumber to make your repair. They have the right equipment and training to get the job done safely. For more information, contact a business such as AAA Plumbing.