Wooten Plumbing

Worst Plumbing Mistakes DIYers Make

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How to Avoid Costly (and Dangerous) Consequences of Playing Plumber

With the dawn of YouTube and Pinterest, most of us have tried—and failed—at a DIY project or two (or 27). Regardless of our past “nailed it” moments, we’re nevertheless tempted to take DIY to a new level when we think it’ll save us serious cash—plumbing problems included.

OK, maybe you haven’t made that mistake, but plenty of your Tulsa neighbors have—and we’d love to help you avoid doing the same. Here are eight of the worst plumbing mistakes DIYers make.

DIY Plumbing Mistake #1: Lack of Planning

Whether it’s an easy project that’s been on your to-do list for months or a large-scale bathroom renovation, you need to spend sufficient time in the planning phase. And there are a lot of factors to consider. For example:

  • Too many fixtures can lead to low water pressure.
  • Not enough space between the toilet and the bathtub creates some uncomfortable situations or Twister-worthy contortions.
  • Taking something apart without paying attention to how all the pieces fit together can lead to a frustrating jigsaw puzzle on the back end of your project. (Pro planning tip: Take a picture before you start disassembling anything.)

DIY Plumbing Mistake #2: Unpermitted Work

Sometimes your local government needs to be involved in your planning! Failing to obtain the proper permits for your fix-it adventures can devalue your home and lead to hefty fines. (And weren’t you trying to save money?) Permits help keep your family and your neighbors safe by allowing local building officials to oversee your home improvement projects. If you’re using a contractor, insist they pull permits, too. Cutting corners rarely cuts costs in the long run.

DIY Plumbing Mistake #3: Wrong Tools

So, you wouldn’t try to nail a screw right? (Well, maybe you would, but most people wouldn’t.) Using the wrong tool for a job can cause frustration, at best—and serious damage, at worst. Most plumbing jobs require basic tools like a plumber’s wrench, basin wrench, and plumber’s snake. Hand augers—long, stiff cables to remove clogs—are also a helpful tool. It’s important to do your research before adding these tools to your collection though, because there are various types of augers and snakes for different fixtures. Another pro tip: Some equipment is better rented than owned. Research and rent accordingly, so you get the most for your dollar.

DIY Plumbing Mistake #4: Mismatched Pipes

Many DIYers don’t know what kind of pipes they have, and they end up mixing galvanized and modern copper pipes. This leads to corrosion, leaks, and expensive future repairs. Matching the materials between existing and replacement pipes is necessary for a successful fix-it project. Researching what kind of pipe you need to replace and any needed connections is a good place to start. And don’t try to just “make it work” with tape, silicone, or other sealants. (Pipe corrosion doesn’t care what kind of tape you have.)

DIY Plumbing Mistake #5: Over-Tightening Connections

While you may want to show off your Hercules-like strength, making a tighter connection doesn’t prevent a leaky pipe. It actually creates them. Damaged fittings, broken plastic washers, stripped threads, and cracked fittings create these leaks rather quickly. Save your strength for opening those pesky pickle jars! Begin with hand-tightening your connections, then making small turns just until the connection is secure.

DIY Plumbing Mistake #6: Forgetting to Shut-Off the Water

Before attempting your plumbing project, turn off the water! Skipping this step could result in a surprise indoor swimming pool—and some major water damage. Turn off the water at the local shut off valve or to your entire house via the water main. It’s not a bad idea to drain the pipes, too. Flush water down the drain for a few seconds or give the toilet a final flush to ensure you won’t need floaties in your kitchen or bathroom.

DIY Plumbing Mistake #7: Too Much Drain Cleaner

We know drain cleaner seems like a quick fix for the standing water in your shower. But overusing drain cleaner can severely damage your pipes. Instead of chemicals, try a more natural, less expensive solution: vinegar and baking soda. Or get your hands on a plunger or drain snake. A clean (and non-corroded) drain is a happy drain!

DIY Plumbing Mistake #8: Refusing to Admit Defeat

If you find yourself in over your head, give us a call. We have the knowledge, skills, licenses, tools, and experience to handle your DIY disasters. We’d been Tulsa’s preferred plumber for years, and we’d love to serve you, too! Give us a call today!

Why Are Plumbers So Expensive? (The Answer May Surprise You)

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As a Tulsa homeowner, you want a plumber who’s an expert—someone whom you can trust to get the job right the first time. And also? You’d love to not get ripped off.

Here’s the problem: If you’re in need of plumbing services, you’re in a vulnerable position. Whether you have a burst pipe, a fried water heater, or sludge backing up into your shower, you need someone to make it stop right now. That means you don’t have a lot of leverage when it comes to cost. What’re you going to do—comparison shop for a couple of hours while your tub’s filling with sewage? Not likely.

So you pound out a quick Google search, you make a call, and you hope for a fair price. But you don’t really know what’s “fair,” and, quite frankly, any price feels excessive. There’s just nothing fun about spending money on plumbing services.

Plus, to be perfectly honest, plumbing is an expensive deal. And why is that? Is it because plumbers are just in it for the money, they know how vulnerable homeowners are, and they love taking advantage of people? No, no, and no. Not the good ones, anyway.

Sure, plumbers want to make money—just like everyone else. (Including you, right?) But reputable plumbers, like Wooten Plumbing, don’t jack up their prices just because we can.

Three Reasons Plumbing Is So Expensive

Fair plumbers offer competitive pricing based on three variables: availability, materials, and expertise.

Plumbers Are Always On

Plumbing service calls tend to occur in the evenings or on weekends, when homeowners are able to meet a technician. Otherwise, they happen “as soon as you can get here” because of an emergency. While it may seem unfair to base service call pricing on day, time of day, or urgency, that’s the nature of supply-and-demand economics.

That being said, at Wooten Plumbing we offer flat-rate pricing. We figure it’s not your fault your kid flushed 16 hot wheels on a Sunday morning. And since it doesn’t cost us any more to solve your plumbing problem at 3 am on a Thursday than it does at 2 pm on a Tuesday, there’s really no good reason to charge you more.

Plumbing Requires Parts

Unless you’re calling us over to simply unclog a drain, we’ll need some “stuff” to fix your plumbing problem: pipe, fittings, hardware, appliances (like a garbage disposal), putty, valves, and so on. The costs of parts and materials get factored in to your bill.

Fun fact: as a flat-rate shop, we save our customers additional money by not needing to collect sales takes on the parts we put in your home. If we operated on time-and-materials only, we’d be required by state law to also collect additional sales tax from you.

Plumbing Requires Experience and Expertise

Plumbing requires precise, technical knowledge. We could cut expenses (and therefore costs to you) by hiring less-knowledgeable team members, but that’s simply not our model. Rather, we hire only the most skilled technicians—plumbers who will treat your home like their own and do their absolute best work, every time. These guys have gone through hundreds of hours of training and licensing exams to be certain they know the safest way to vent your water heater, for instance, without threatening your family’s safety. (It happens with unlicensed handymen. all. the. time.)

Bonus Reason: Insurance Is Expensive

You don’t just want anyone in your home or business without knowing they can cover the risk of things that could happen on your property, or on the way to your property. Most people would be shocked if they realized how much it costs a business to have adequate insurance coverage for the myriad of services we provide. Sure, you could save a buck by choosing a plumber with less-than-adequate insurance, but when the crap literally hits the fan, is that a problem you want on your hands? No. Us, too. That’s why we’re bonded and insured as a point of best-practice.

To Save Money, Leave Plumbing Fixes to the Experts

Homeowners typically don’t budget for plumbing emergencies, which means they’re often tempted to find a YouTube video and take a first swing at their repair themselves. We understand the temptation, but we can tell you, with authority, that’s rarely a good idea. Almost never, in fact.

Most of the time, DIY repairs cause more damage, which means you’ll end up calling a Tulsa plumber anyway–to fix the original problem and to fix your (attempted) fix. It’s always better to bring in an expert from the get-go.

Need a plumbing expert? Give us a call today!