Tips to Leak-Free Home Plumbing

Every so often, some homeowner gets adventurous and tries out home plumbing on his own. Not that there is something wrong with it, but, most of the time, they don’t take the time to study what needs to be done. As a result, they end up with more problems than they bargained for. So here are some tips to ensure a leak-free home plumbing system.


Ask any licensed professional plumber what the most common home plumbing problem is, and chances are you will hear leaking faucets. For faucets, especially outdoor ones, the leaking normally occurs around the handle as you turn it on. This is a sign of a possible loose packing nut or even a worn out packing washer.

You can try to tighten the nut with a wrench, but if the leak continues, then shut off the water supply to the faucet and remove its handle. This will allow you to pull out the old packing washer and bring it to the home center to get the right replacement part.

If you are working on older faucet types, it is good to know that they may have a valve packing instead of the packing washer. In this case, get a graphite-coated string to replace the old one. Make sure that you wind it in a clockwise direction. It is important that the packing nut compresses tightly. The space around the stem should be completely filled with packing string.

Pipe Cutting

Some may not be aware of it, but cutting it the wrong way can lead to leaks. It is not that easy to cut metal pipes, especially thin ones like those used for the P-trap for example. Normally, cutting it with a hacksaw can squash the pipe or worse, mangle the cutting edge. This would definitely cause some leaks in your plumbing.

To ensure that you make a nice cut, place a wood closet rod or a handrail in the end of the pipe that you will be cutting. Get a tape and wrap one end of the rod so that it fills out the inner diameter of the pipe. Use a vise to clamp the wood. This will allow you to cut not only through the pipe, but also the wood, resulting in a cleaner cut without damaging the pipe.

Transitioning Pipes

For those living in relatively newer homes, this should not be a problem yet. But for homeowners with old properties, replacement of plumbing pipes may become a necessity. Obviously, as your home plumbing pipes get older you will need to replace them. Or maybe, you are doing some renovations in your home and you need to extend your current plumbing layout.

This can mean connecting pipes of different materials. It is important to be aware of the existing plumbing code when you do this. Why? Because you cannot just connect these pipes. There will be some reactions that may negatively impact the strength of the pipe, or worse, the potability of your water supply.

This is where transition fittings come in. For example you want to connect PEX to copper, steel, or some other similar material, then you would need to glue the transition fitting before crimpling the line to ensure that you have a leak-free connection. If the plumbing code in your area allows for brass-steel connections, use plenty of Teflon and pipe joint compound to prevent any reaction between the two.

If you try to follow these tips, then you should have no problems about leaks for a conveniently long time. However, since accidents are unpredictable, the moment that you get a plumbing leak, do not wait for it to become worse. Call Scott English Plumbing immediately and let them help you with your problem.