Plumbing Mistakes

We all know that DIY projects can save homeowners a lot of hard-earned money, and more often than not, a lot of time. By doing some quick research, you can also protect yourself from experiencing the headache that is the DIY disaster. Below, you’ll find the top five common plumbing mistakes and how to make sure you don’t fall prey to a costly error.


Lack of vents and traps:

Basement plumbing fixtures must have appropriate venting and traps installed. Since basements are typically eight feet or more into the ground, it’s crucial to install proper venting. Venting a plumbing system isn’t all that difficult, but doing it correctly will ensure your safety for years to come. A plumbing system vent allows air to move freely. Without it, all the sewage running through the waste line creates a vacuum and air pressure builds. That vacuum can create loud, gurgling drains, and even worse, it’ll suck all the water out of the traps and allow sewer gas to leak into your home. No one wants that.


A trap is a device with a U-,  J- or an S-bend. The shapes used form a bending path to capture water to prevent sewer gas from entering buildings, but still allowing waste to pass through. All plumbing fixtures, including tubs, toilets and sinks must have a trap installed to keep the noxious and annoying fumes from entering the living space of a building.


Too much or too little slope:

If you’re not a math fan, this part won’t make you giddy with excitement, but accurately figuring out the necessary slope for your drain pipes is essential to making sure your plumbing system is efficient. gives some handy instructions: “According to plumbing code, drain pipe has to be sloped a minimum of 1/4-inch per foot and a maximum of three inches per foot or vertical. A slope of less than 1/4-inch per foot will cause constant drain clogs and a slope of more than three inches will allow the water to drain without the solids.” Thankfully, they promise the calculations are easy!


Improper amount of fixtures per plumbing vent:

Depending on your state and local plumbing codes, you’re allowed a certain number of installations per vent. Make sure you double check those codes to ensure you’re following proper protocols!


Incorrect location or wrong number of cleanouts:

A plumbing cleanout is a special access panel on the exterior of a home, typically in the ground, that can be accessed to clear out clogs. Clogs are a commonplace occurrence in sewer lines because of slow drainage due to build-up. To make sure your sewer lines are running smoothly, check your location’s codes to make sure you install the appropriate number of cleanouts in the correct spot.


Connecting different pipes:

This is one of the most frequently made mistakes when it comes to DIY plumbing projects. For instance, copper and galvanized metal should never be connected, as these two metals don’t interact well together and corrode very quickly. Make sure to check with your local codes or more DIY information to ensure proper pipe connections!