You might hope to save money and have a little fun by working on a home plumbing project. However, there are some questions you should think about before you even pick up a wrench or a pipe in order to make sure that everything goes well and you can complete the project properly. Here are a few to ask yourself.
Do I Need Any Permits?
This may surprise you, but some home plumbing projects require a specific permit from your town's permit office. A brief visit to the office and a discussion about your plans can help you avoid high fines for violating certain local ordinances that you might not be aware of.
Do I Have the Right Materials?
Having the right materials when working at home is important for a number of reasons. The right tools can allow you to get the job completed more quickly and makes it less likely that the work you do will have to be done again. It's important to be honest about your knowledge and to do the proper research to ensure you have what you need.
In particular, it's wise to pay close attention to any metals that you're joining together. You might be replacing a section of copper piping with steel, for instance, but if the steel is going to touch copper, you should know that the chemical interactions between the two metals can speed corrosion. You don't have to give up the steel pipe in that situation, but you're going to have to find a dielectric union (also called a coupling) so that there is something in between the two metals and they don't touch each other
Do I Know Where the Shut Off Valve Is?
You might be undertaking a simple task like changing the shower head, but even a simple task requires that you take all necessary precautions. It is smart to know where the shut off valves are for the fixtures you're working with so that you can stop water from flowing to the area. Generally, you can identify the valves because they look like knobs located near the fixtures they control.
You should also be aware of your main shut off valve and where it is. You might think it is by your water heater, and it usually is, but in some homes that use wells, the shut off valve is located by the well pump instead.
Your home plumbing project can go well if you take the time to properly prepare. If you have more questions about the project itself or need guidance, call a local plumber and discuss what you want to do.