5 DIY Plumbing Repair Mistakes To Avoid

If you own or rent a home, you know how annoying it can be to have plumbing issues. If you need plumbing repairs at home, you may have to call a 24 hour plumbing service to get everything fixed up and back to working order. If you have a plumbing emergency, make sure you call someone right away so the problem doesn’t get worse. Depending on the specific issue you’re facing, your local plumber can utilize a variety of techniques to perform plumbing repairs. Whether you’re facing issues with plumbing fixtures in the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional instead of fixing it yourself.

If you don’t know a lot about plumbing but would like to know more, or if you’re simply trying to learn about some common problems before your plumber visits to fix your drain or sink, keep reading to learn about some of the strangest ways people have tried to fix their plumbing problems. It’s not a good idea to fix it yourself, but the good news is, plumbers can get everything working again so you can enjoy the benefits of modern plumbing.

So, now we get to the fun stuff. 5 DIY Plumbing Repair Mistakes to Avoid:

1. Stopping a leak with super glue

This might be a temporary fix, but it’s sure to break quickly and can even make the problem worse. If you have a leak that you can clearly identify, don’t think it’s a good idea to fix it yourself, because it could be indicative of a more serious problem. Super glue or hot glue aren’t meant to block water leaks, and using it to stop one is sure to end in disaster.

2. Connecting the washing machine to a nearby sink

If you’re having drainage issues with your washing machine, call a professional ASAP to get the problem looked at. Connecting it to another plumbing fixture can result in more damage because both features might get broken in the process.

3. Placing a plastic bin beneath a leaking drain

Okay, this might work for a while and can be a good idea if you’re waiting for the plumber to come. But it’s not a permanent fix because plumbing wastewater contains lots of bacteria and germs that can make you sick. It’s not a good idea to let this water sit in your warm house, because you might get an infection from touching it. And the leak will not resolve itself, you will wind up with a bigger plumbing bill if you let the drip continue.

4. Quick Fixes with Clogged Drains

As a homeowner, if you’re in a hurry and the sink clogs, you need it fixed now. So you plunge it a few times or dump some chemicals down the drain, hoping for the best, and run off to work or to pick up the kids. The temporary approach of partially clearing a clog can eventually lead to a major clog, costing you more in the long run after it wreaks havoc to your pipes. Of course, this isn’t limited to a simple clog; we see this throughout the home. If you can’t find the root of the problem and don’t have time to repair something completely, call in a professional to fix it right the first time.

5. Mixing and Matching

We’ve seen this one a hundred times, and can cost you a lot of money when your room or house gets flooded with water! You’ve started a project and gone to the hardware store, but when you get home you discover you’ve bought the wrong kind of pipe. Rather than return it, you install the mix-matched pipes. Do you know the difference between copper, galvanized steel and PVC and their effects on each other? If you connect the wrong pipe to the wrong fixture, dangerous corrosion can happen quickly. A certified plumber will apply the right pipe the first time.

Before you try any DIY plumbing repair techniques of your own, it’s a good idea to consult this list to make sure it’s not ill-advised to fix your own plumbing. And trust us, there are even more mistakes a do-it-yourselfer can make than these. If you’re in doubt about what to do, call your local plumber and schedule a visit. Leaving it to the pros is usually your best option.

Do you have any crazy stories of plumbing repairs that you want to share? Have you had any weird experiences that required you to seek emergency plumbing services? What’s the best way to find a qualified plumber who can get the job done quickly? If you have any thoughts on various plumbing issues, please leave a comment below and share your experience.

About Matt Woods

The owner of Integrity Plumbing and Drain, Matt Woods has been working in the plumbing industry for 30+ years, and loves to share his knowledge and stories of the trade with others. In addition to being a mighty fine plumber, Matt is also a dedicated sailor. Matt is currently the Past Commodore of the Palm Beach Sailing Club, and loves to race and take friends out on his Island Packet "Lucero".


  1. Cat Allen

    It makes sense that a pro plumber recommends calling a pro, but there are many occasions a DIY fix is possible, I learned since buying an old house. One thing for sure is not to ask a carpenter or other handyman to fix a plumbing problem. My experience has been that this won’t last long at all after the contractor’s fellas did occasional fixes. One handy person who did other plumbing wanted to keep a temp fix under sink going forever at $120 a pop to screw back joint connector without sanding, gluing for permanent solution.

    How much do pro plumbers normally charge to fix a problem, to come out, I wonder, in south Louisiana? I’m a recent home owner and don’t really have much experience with costs. Any advice is welcome about where and how to find pro plumbers and what the average rates for services are in my area.

  2. I love that you touched on how plumbing waste has so many germs and bacteria in it. It’s not a good idea to let the problem go for as long as possible because it’s awful for your health. My home has a few leaks in it right now, so I’ll contact a plumber that can hopefully fix these issues ASAP.

  3. I’m glad that you mentioned that it would be good to have the clog removed at its source instead of just using a plunger or drain cleaning chemical. If the clog could come back even worse if you do that, then I feel like it would be good to get someone to get rid of it the first time. I’ll have to do that next time I have a clog so I can avoid having the clog come back again.

  4. It’s great that you talked about how bad of an idea it is to mix and match the plumbing systems in your home. My partner and I are trying to finish our basement and we need some plumbing work done. It’s great to know that this is probably something we should leave to the professionals because they know what they are doing.

  5. It’s really scary to think that the partial cleanings will eventually lead to a major clog down the road. My house has had some issues with plumbing lately and we need to get them fixed ASAP. I don’t have a lot of time to work on these projects so I need to hire professionals that can do this for me.

  6. I am planning to hire a plumbing repair service for our bathroom in our house here in Flying Hills, PA. As you said, it could cost you a lot of money if your room or house floods and you start a project and go to the hardware shop, but when you get home, you realize you bought the wrong type of pipe. That is why it is better to hire a professional who is an expert in fixing this problem to avoid more expenses in the future.

  7. I appreciate that you explained that partially removing a clog temporarily may eventually result in a significant blockage, which will cost more in the long term once it damages your pipes. My father noticed that our sink is clogged and he mentioned that he knew some temporary fix that can help. I’ll certainly tell him to just wait for plumbing services to come as what he will do might cause a bigger problem, thanks to your article.

  8. Thanks for mentioning that DIY pipe repair isn’t a permanent fix. My husband thinks we have a leaking pipe somewhere in our basement, but he’s not sure. He wants to try and fix it himself, but after reading this article I think that’s a bad idea.


  1. […] Super glue or hot glue aren't meant to block water leaks, and using it to stop one is sure to end in disaster. If you're having drainage issues with your washing machine, call a professional ASAP to get the problem looked at. via […]

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