When it’s time to work on a remodeling project, people often minimize the potential challenges they may encounter. It’s easy to plan on moving the sink to another wall of the kitchen, but actually rerouting the lines is another matter. Here is a list of common plumbing issues you may run into and how they can be resolved.
The Lines don’t Line Up
You go out and buy a new vanity, but then you realize that the sink is over just a few inches and the plumbing won’t line up. This one is hard to foresee, so you should be prepared to do a little more work. If possible, simply slide the cabinet base and sink back and forth until you’re able to line up the connections. You can also install new pipes that make the connection, or install a flexible P-trap that will give you the little bit of movement you need. Finally, call for professional help if you cannot get the lines perfectly matched and sealed to avoid leaks in the future.
Dripping Lines are Hazardous
Lines with a slow drip are a hazard to your home. The water gradually accumulates in hidden areas, and that can lead to problems with rot and mold. They are also very common when you reconnect lines after installing a fixture. Avoid this by properly securing the joints during the remodel using these tips:
1. Wrap plumbing tape around the pipe clockwise. Use about three layers and stretch the tape as you go. Before screwing on the connection, apply a little Teflon pipe joint compound to the tape.
2. When working with plastic pipes, use pipe joint compound that’s made for plastic.
3. Lubricate ferrules on compression joints with pipe joint compound.
4. When aligning pipes, make sure they are straight and tight fitting to avoid any misalignments.
Old Fixtures are not Always Compatible
Older fixtures aren’t always compatible with newer options. Shower handles, for example, may need entirely new connections. Before you purchase the new fixtures, take a close look at the existing ones. Take measurements, and take a picture of them to take to the store with you. The staff at most home improvement stores can help you choose fixtures that are compatible or help you find an alternative solution. Never assume that your new fixture is going to work on the existing lines if you are dealing with an older property.
Breaking Fixtures Need Replacement
Be prepared for unexpected problems anytime you are doing a remodeling project. This is particularly true when working with plumbing. Old lines and connections that have been holding on can break loose when you start putting stress on them. While this is frustrating, it’s not typically a huge problem. It means that you may wind up replacing some lines and connections in addition to the new fixture, but it’s worth the investment in time to avoid leaks in the future.
Old Lines can Cause Future Problems
The professionals know that aging lines and connections can start to leak after going through the strain of a renovation. One great example of this is the supply lines for a toilet. Stationary and forgotten, they can last forever. However, they can become cracked and damaged when they are taken off and then reinstalled for a toilet replacement. These lines are very affordable and easy to put on, but they also carry a great deal of water and can damage your flooring if they start to leak. Avoid problems in the future by replacing these connecting lines when the new fixture goes into place.
If you have any concerns about doing the plumbing work, then you may want to call in the professionals. While you may cringe at the idea of spending the money, it’s important to protect your home by avoiding leaks. Doing it yourself will help you save money, but hiring a professional can help you avoid frustration and larger repair bills.