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DIY Plumbing Like a Pro

Plumbing issues can happen any time, and often they come pouring out at the most inconvenient times. Calling a plumber is expensive and not always necessary.  And while solving the problem yourself might sound fun and frugal, if done incorrectly, you may cause more harm than good.

Mavyn offers professional plumbers on demand, so instead of scheduling an expensive on-site visit chat with one of our Mavyns first! Our team of expert Plumbing Mavyn’s are a great resource to help you assess a problem and figure out whether or not the issue warrants a visit from a professional.

How to Do It Yourself: Plumbing Advice

Our Mavyn experts address do-it-yourself plumbing techniques, when it is safe to do DIY plumbing, and what you should and shouldn't do when it comes to fixing your plumbing problems.


Different pipes on a brick wall

Common DIY Repair Mistakes 

  • Over tightening connections - risk of cracking the fitting or pipe, which can cause leaks or more serious problems.
  • Misusing thread tape - thread tape has to be wrapped clockwise to have a proper seal and the correct tape must properly seal the pipes.
  • Drain cleaners first - drain cleaners can damage metal pipes and fittings as well as rubber gaskets, and using a snake or auger first can often resolve the issue.
  • Starting a plumbing project without having the correct parts - sometimes, replacing a single part will leave your faucet or other plumbing fixture full of other parts that are also worn out, and replacing the entire thing can be more useful and prevent leaks later on.
  • Leaving the water on - shutting off the water is extremely important, and failing to do so can cause massive leaks that can cause extensive damage.
  • Breaking stuck valves  - the shut-off valves on sinks and toilets can seize if they are not used for a long time, but using more strength to try to turn them can actually break them and can cause problems, so instead you should use an adjustable wrench. 
  • Sweating copper pipes - copper pipes must be totally dry before sweating them, and you can plug it with some white bread to solve the problem.
  • Missing proper tools - having proper tools for any job is very important.

Essential Tools for DIY Plumbing

Having these tools in your kit can help you solve any problem that comes up, and many of these tools are ones that you might already have.

  1. ‍Drain auger
  2. Basin wrench
  3. Adjustable wrench
  4. Pliers
  5. Large channel lock pliers
  6. Hacksaw
  7. Screwdrivers
  8. Pipe cutter
  9. Pipe wrench
  10. Strap wrench

Prevent Problems Before They Start

Keeping up with regular maintenance can help prevent problems before they arise. To avoid clogged laundry drains, you can add a lint trap to the discharge hose on your washer and continue to replace and clean the lint trap. 

Regularly snaking the first few feet of drain pipe in the various drains in your houses, such as in sinks and showers, can help keep small problems contained and prevent large ones later on. If you know that hard water is a problem in your area, you can regularly treat your faucets and shower heads with calcium and lime buildup remover to keep them working properly.

Plumbing Basics: ‍Before You Begin

Toilets: Before starting any plumbing work regarding your toilet, you should use a bucket of water to flush the toilet. This should be done before turning off any water, and it will help clear the area where you are working.

Sinks: If you are working in the sink, you should use a plunger to empty the sink trap. This will help eliminate the mess made when the tap is removed by plunging as much water out of the sink as possible beforehand.

Be reasonable about what problems you can and can't fix. Some issues may require a professional. If you start trying to fix a plumping issue and find that things are getting out of control, assess the situation and consider calling in a professional plumber. Better to be safe than sorry!

‍Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Learning how to DIY solve your plumbing issues can save you a lot of money and is a great skill to learn!

Our team of expert Plumbing Mavyn’s are a great resource to help you assess a problem and figure out whether or not the issue warrants a visit from a professional.