Yep, You Fixed It | Plumbing Catastrophes Caused By Ill-Advised Homeowners

With a good monkey wrench, some duct tape, and the Internet, you probably feel like you know just what you are doing when you try to tackle a plumbing issue on your own. While it is true that there are a lot of simple plumbing tasks that you can handle, you better make sure that you know what you are doing before you get started. Otherwise, you could really fix your plumbing in a way such that a professional plumber will have to right your unfortunate wrongs. Here are a few plumbing catastrophes you could cause by trying to fix your plumbing.  

You Managed to Stop the Whistle, But...

When you are walking past your water heater, you notice a high-pitched whistle. It's not a lot, but it is enough to drive you crazy and to rectify the problem, you track down the air leak and apply a good layer of duct tape--That ought to do it. However, the whistle you were hearing was pressure from the tank escaping rapidly from the hoses that are supposed to lead to a pressure valve. But, if there is air escaping somewhere else, it means the valve is not working, and being that you just stopped up the only way for the air to escape, you have likely created a high-pressure vessel right in your home. 

You can probably imagine what will happen if pressure in your water heater is allowed to build. This can cause the hoses leading to the release valve to rupture, or even worse, enough pressure to build up in the tank to cause a mini explosion, a very water-filled explosion. This type of ill-informed repair can lead you to a water heater replacement, water damage, and a lot of attention from your plumber. 

Well, the Banging Stopped...

Air in your plumbing lines can make some of the worst racket. You may hear grunts, gurgling, and banging when things get really crazy. If you track down the loose pipe that is knocking on the walls when you flush the toilet or run the water, you may be tempted to stabilize the pipe with a few screws and a bracket. Unfortunately, this will only be a temporary fix, and will do nothing for the air in your lines. The problem here is after the pipe has been stabilized, the air will be working even harder to get through the pipe, which could easily lead you to busted water lines. Instead of trying to quiet your knocking pipes, you should be trying to get the air out of the lines, which involves a basic air bleed by turning off the main and eliminating water in the lines. 

Before you get too confident with tackling your own plumbing issues, make sure you know just what it is that you are dealing with. Talk to a plumbing professional for advice and even consider allowing them to come into your home and take a look.