Whenever you are dealing with the domestic water supply make sure the angle stop serving the fixture or valve servicing a particular bathroom or area is shut off completely. If a fixture valve or isolation valve is not available make sure the water can be positively shut down.
A positive shut down occurs when the water is turned off completely. If an isolation valve, or the main valve for that matter, cannot be positively shut down the repair or alteration becomes infinitely more difficult. Copper water piping cannot be soldered effectively with water remaining in the line.
As much as we would like to avoid it, plumbing problems do happen. The good news is that you can often fix a problem yourself. However, if you don't know what you are doing and end up causing more damage than good, it might be best to just opt for a plumbing drain cleaning service.
Here are some tips for those of us who decide to take on this project.
When repairing waste piping verify that no one will be using the plumbing fixtures during the repair. This may sound silly but fixture usage during repair happens more often than you think and it is very, very messy.
If you plan on completing your own repairs, make sure you have the correct materials and tools.
Safety items must be used. For example, safety glasses, gloves, Cool Gel and heat blankets (to make sure wooden studs don't start on fire).
Materials (obviously) are another important part of any plumbing repairs. If you are putting in new fixtures, faucets or plumbing equipment make sure you know what fittings are needed to make the connections. Ask the a plumbing person at your point of purchase or leave a question here and we will get you a material list.
Always remember to follow the golden rule of the trades, measure twice cut once. Check and recheck your piping measurements before you make your cuts.
Proper tools are paramount. Please make sure you have the proper tools to do your repair or alteration. Don't try and use channel locks when you need a pipe wrench or a wood saw to cut PVC or copper.
Proper permitting is essential. Make sure you check with your city or county to see what repairs or alterations need a permit. The general rule of thumb is if you need a dumpster in front or in back of your house you need a permit.
Warning about gas piping: When dealing with gas piping call up a professional. I know there are some handy guys and girls out there but you're dealing with a combustible gas here.
Electricity is dangerous! It only takes half an amp to kill you!!! When you are dealing with a piece of plumbing equipment that is connected to the electrical service make sure the power is turned off at the breaker. Also, make sure all electrical appliances are cleared from the work area.
Power tools can make a job go faster, just make sure you know the proper use and care of any power tools you may use. Electrical tools, even the battery operated ones have tremendous torque and can easily break a wrist or tear a muscle.
Take special care with any power cutting tools, if the tools gets away from the user it can be devastating or even fatal. If you are using any power rodding equipment wear tighter fitting clothes. If a glove or an article of clothing gets caught while rodding it can be equally devastating. Breaking a finger or your hand is not uncommon.