How To Avoid Rookie Plumbing Mistakes

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This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey demonstrates some common plumbing mistakes and how to avoid them. (See below for tools and steps.)

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Tools List for Avoiding Rookie Plumbing Mistakes:
– Strap wrench, for gripping fixtures without marring the finish
– Pipe wrench, which provides superior leverage for turning pipes and fittings

Steps for Avoiding Rookie Plumbing Mistakes:
1. To prevent pliers and wrenches from scratching the finish on plumbing fixtures, use a strap wrench.
2. Wrap the flexible strap around the fixture, securely lock the strap in place, then slowly pull on the handle to turn the fixture.
3. To prevent a pipe wrench from deforming a pipe, be sure the wrench contacts the pipe in three places: at the top jaw, at the bottom jaw, and at the back of the wrench.
4. When fastening plumbing fittings, such as radiant-floor heat plates, to the underside of a subfloor, be sure the screws or nails aren’t too long or they’ll poke through the surface of the finished floor above.

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