Through apprenticeships and on-the-job experience, you have probably already developed a toolbox of tricks. But, regardless of how many years you have worked in residential plumbing, there is always more to learn. From pipes to water pressure, these plumber’s tips aim to make your life easier.
Insider Secrets of Residential Plumbing
1) Connecting Pipe
Caulk, not Putty
Even though it may seem like a natural choice, expert residential plumbers often avoid using plumber’s putty. The substance can cause many problems, including:
- Damaging some types of plastic
- Staining surfaces, like natural stone
- Drying out and cracking
In its place, silicone caulk is frequently used, because it is a safer, longer-lasting sealant.
Thread sealant or pipe dope was formulated to seal threads, but it also is a great alternative for nearly any connection.
It can be used on:
- Compression fittings
- Ground fittings
- Rubber seals
This slippery substance allows connections to slide together correctly to form a good seal. If you use the type of pipe dope that doesn’t harden, it will make disassembly and repair easier later.
2) Cutting Pipe
Use a String to Cut Pipe
A saw isn’t always the best tool to cut pipe. If you encounter a tight spot, consider using a string on PVC or ABS pipes. First, cut a shallow notch with a file or hacksaw blade. Then, pull the string back and forth. You should be finished in about the time it would take to saw the pipe.
The Bucket Pipe Cutter
If you work in residential plumbing, you have likely been forced to occasionally improvise on the job. If you find yourself with a stable spot to saw pipe, you can simply make a couple of notches in the top of a five-gallon bucket. Then, you can set the pipe in the notches and saw away.
3) Water Pressure
Although it’s sometimes overlooked, water pressure can be the cause of plumbing problems. High water pressure can also do permanent damage to:
Older pressure-reducing valves, which are required by some municipalities, can drive up water pressure. A diagnostic test is an easy solution that can make a big difference in residential plumbing.
Although these tips will come in handy in many residential plumbing situations, they will not help with every job. In the comments, let us know about the tricks you use when the going gets rough.