New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

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supalong52
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New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by supalong52 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:22 pm

I tried my hand at replacing the angle stop valves in our new house today. 12 in total. It was a disaster. I managed to get the existing valves off, despite the corrosion and nearly unmovable compression nuts. But I guess I did a poor job installing the new ones because once we turned on the water, we sprung a big leak in at least one of the valves. We shut off the water before it really reached any other faucet. Now I need to call in a plumber.

I guess I just feel like a big failure, despite watching a ton of YouTube videos. Now I just want to outsource every project I had in mind. I dunno. Any other homeowners have any tips in overcoming this bump in the road?

123
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by 123 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:25 pm

Don't fix what isn't broken.

As nice as it is to know that you've got good new valves there is a certain degree of risk when you try to fix anything. One thing I've noticed is that often new parts are sometimes not as good and reliable as parts that were maybe made 50 years or more ago.

There are a number of things that I'd like to fix/replace around our house but there is no indication of an imminent failure or problem so I've learned just to let things be. Things that you may think can't last another month could last 20+ years.
Last edited by 123 on Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CurlyDave
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by CurlyDave » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:29 pm

Did you clean up the threaded and sealing surfaces?

Do you know how to tighten a compression fitting using two wrenches?

jbuzolich
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by jbuzolich » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:38 pm

Angle stops can be a good diy if they are easily accessible. YouTube videos are good. You mentioned 12 and it's too late now but I think I would have done them one at a time to see your success rate and if you want to keep going forward. I have taken them apart myself but have not replaced. My worry was more in breaking a pipe joint inside the wall rather than anything outside. If you have visible leaks right where the pipe connects to the valve then you might actually be close to being fine and just need to inspect and redo a little on the leakers.

I like diy projects. I'm in my 40s now and find I might mentally enjoy some projects but even when I enjoy them, my body takes days or even a week to recover which isn't good. My new approach to renovations is either very slow and keep making progress on one task until I'm done, or pay to have it done professionally and then just not tackle the next project until I have enough cash. Plumbing I haven't had much luck with and end up redoing things a few times until I feel comfortable. Installing toilets, vanity with sink, and even faucet replacements take a few tries but I get it done. Minor electrical I have better luck with. Won't try to pull cable but switching out outlets, replacing switches, and replacing ceiling fixtures or fans I've done well with. Best thing I can offer is think about your comfort areas, and be sure to get a couple quotes for even small jobs before you decide to diy or not.

mhalley
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by mhalley » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:55 pm

I am horrible at diy, so hire out many things that I could probably do myself, taking 3 times as long and using many more curse words than I should.
Look at it this way, you probably took some time off the labor the plumber would have charged, and no major damage due to the leak. Sounds like you did ok to me!

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supalong52
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by supalong52 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:57 pm

123 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:25 pm
Don't fix what isn't broken.

As nice as it is to know that you've got good new valves there is a certain degree of risk when you try to fix anything. One thing I've noticed is that often new parts are sometimes not as good and reliable as parts that were maybe made 50 years or more ago.

There are a number of things that I'd like to fix/replace around our house but there is no indication of an imminent failure or problem so I've learned just to let things be. Things that you may think can't last another month could last 20+ years.
I only fixed them b/c our agent and inspector suggested doing so. They were one-piece valve/supply lines that are prone to failure.

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supalong52
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by supalong52 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:58 pm

CurlyDave wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:29 pm
Did you clean up the threaded and sealing surfaces?

Do you know how to tighten a compression fitting using two wrenches?
I reamed and deburred. On the first two, I might have forgotten to wipe down the pipe after doing that. I did use two wrenches to tighten. Ridgid has a good 2 in 1.

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supalong52
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by supalong52 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:00 am

jbuzolich wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:38 pm
Angle stops can be a good diy if they are easily accessible. YouTube videos are good. You mentioned 12 and it's too late now but I think I would have done them one at a time to see your success rate and if you want to keep going forward. I have taken them apart myself but have not replaced. My worry was more in breaking a pipe joint inside the wall rather than anything outside. If you have visible leaks right where the pipe connects to the valve then you might actually be close to being fine and just need to inspect and redo a little on the leakers.

I like diy projects. I'm in my 40s now and find I might mentally enjoy some projects but even when I enjoy them, my body takes days or even a week to recover which isn't good. My new approach to renovations is either very slow and keep making progress on one task until I'm done, or pay to have it done professionally and then just not tackle the next project until I have enough cash. Plumbing I haven't had much luck with and end up redoing things a few times until I feel comfortable. Installing toilets, vanity with sink, and even faucet replacements take a few tries but I get it done. Minor electrical I have better luck with. Won't try to pull cable but switching out outlets, replacing switches, and replacing ceiling fixtures or fans I've done well with. Best thing I can offer is think about your comfort areas, and be sure to get a couple quotes for even small jobs before you decide to diy or not.
Yeah I should have just done one sink at a time...I think I'm done with plumbing for now! Hopefully I can at least handle some door knobs, etc. tomorrow...

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supalong52
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by supalong52 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:00 am

mhalley wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:55 pm
I am horrible at diy, so hire out many things that I could probably do myself, taking 3 times as long and using many more curse words than I should.
Look at it this way, you probably took some time off the labor the plumber would have charged, and no major damage due to the leak. Sounds like you did ok to me!
Well I learned the hard way that I'm horrible at DIY too!

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baconavocado
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by baconavocado » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:03 am

You only failed if you give up. After you figure out what you did wrong and correct it, you'll be an expert. Don't give up.

pdavi21
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by pdavi21 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:05 am

baconavocado wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:03 am
You only failed if you give up. After you figure out what you did wrong and correct it, you'll be an expert. Don't give up.
+1
If I were you, I would consider the only failure calling the plumber.

That being said, I always run until failure because it usually happens where you would never have seen it coming.
"We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." -Stephen Hawking

chessknt
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by chessknt » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:13 am

I too encountered this in my circa 1920s home.

I outsource many things now since I despised diy projects from oil change to lawn care etc. I reconcile this luxury by enjoying my time off with less chores and working extra to make up for the financial hits. When my time was worth much less I was far more inclined to suffer through diy.

Some people find true joy in it--I am definitely not one of them.

mariezzz
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by mariezzz » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:20 am

supalong52 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:22 pm
I tried my hand at replacing the angle stop valves in our new house today. 12 in total. It was a disaster. I managed to get the existing valves off, despite the corrosion and nearly unmovable compression nuts. But I guess I did a poor job installing the new ones because once we turned on the water, we sprung a big leak in at least one of the valves. We shut off the water before it really reached any other faucet. Now I need to call in a plumber.

I guess I just feel like a big failure, despite watching a ton of YouTube videos. Now I just want to outsource every project I had in mind. I dunno. Any other homeowners have any tips in overcoming this bump in the road?
Honestly, do you think defeatist thinking is productive? Do you think that you're a big failure because you ran into some minor roadblocks? Get out of DIY if that's the way you think because DIY is all about these sorts of headaches, and problem solving to find a solution. If you don't enjoy this process, DIY is not for you. A corollary: A project is not a project if it doesn't involve at least 3 trips to the hardware store ... and that's considering you planned ahead and bought some things you might need, just in case, knowing you likely will end up returning most of it. (Keep those receipts.)

As an fyi, the new valve can be bad, too. So try another. Look at them carefully and make sure you're not missing any parts, like an o-ring, etc. When I've bought valves, I've noticed that there are a bunch of o-rings on the shelf that have fallen out of valves.

I wouldn't be calling in a plumber yet unless I cracked the pipe that goes into the wall or broke it off. Whenever DIY involves water, you're lucky if you don't have leaks. I had to re-seat a toilet tank on the base - finally purchased a new gasket. Spent at least an hour trying to place it so there wasn't any leak - it would be fine until I flushed, then leaks between tank & base. I finally got it and no problems since. I'd rather fiddle until I get it than deal with a stranger in my house who I have to pay.

There's a special tool for removing the compression rings, <$20 or so on Amazon. I considered it, but the existing compression rings were in good condition, so decided to just re-use them. Wouldn't have done that if they had been corroded. No problems so far.

You'll never move on to more complicated projects if you don't try to master this one.

By the way, never use teflon tape on compression fittings. Don't over-tighten them. That can cause leaks as well. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_fitting

zeal
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by zeal » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:37 am

Failure is just the chance to start again, but more intelligently.

Not my quote, heard it somewhere yesterday and liked it. I enjoy DIY projects and do them often, but my dad is a general contractor so I grew up building/repairing things. However, there is definitely a stopping point--I do value my time. If I'm tackling a new project and I foresee it's gonna take me a few hours to learn, make mistakes, go back to YouTube, try again, make another mistake, finally figure it out... I'll pay a professional their $175/hr to do it because I know it'll only take him/her 30 minutes. It's always fun to watch a professional work and learn from them anyway.

Edit: found the actual quote. "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." -- Henry Ford.

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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:01 am

supalong52 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:58 pm
CurlyDave wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:29 pm
Did you clean up the threaded and sealing surfaces?

Do you know how to tighten a compression fitting using two wrenches?
I reamed and deburred. On the first two, I might have forgotten to wipe down the pipe after doing that. I did use two wrenches to tighten. Ridgid has a good 2 in 1.
I recently had to replace a valve (we have those crappy plastic push/pull valves), because we replaced a broken toilet and the supply line wasn’t long enough. I first tried a compression valve, and it leaked all over the place, when I turned on the water. So I went back to the store to buy on of those “shark bite” valves, cut the pipe down a bit, reamed and deburred, put the valve on, and viola!, no more leak! I understand how frustrated you must have been after doing 12 of them. I was pissed off at myself after having a leak the first time

Pigeon
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by Pigeon » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:20 am

I personally would DIY nothing, my partner does everything DIY. From my observation, I would start with projects where there is low potential for catastrophe to build up your confidence and skills. We had a plumbing catastrophe in my MIL's house that resulted in the entire house being flooded and essentially destroyed, requiring it be torn down to the studs. It fortunately was not DIY related or insurance might not have covered it, but it gave me pause about my partner doing projects with flooding potential.

Do you want to replace flooring or trim? Drywall repair, that kind of thing? I'd start there and build up.

whomever
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by whomever » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:45 am

"You only failed if you give up. After you figure out what you did wrong and correct it, you'll be an expert. Don't give up. "

+2

Suggestion: when the plumber comes, watch closely and learn all you can.

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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by TheOscarGuy » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:37 am

supalong52 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:22 pm
I tried my hand at replacing the angle stop valves in our new house today. 12 in total. It was a disaster. I managed to get the existing valves off, despite the corrosion and nearly unmovable compression nuts. But I guess I did a poor job installing the new ones because once we turned on the water, we sprung a big leak in at least one of the valves. We shut off the water before it really reached any other faucet. Now I need to call in a plumber.

I guess I just feel like a big failure, despite watching a ton of YouTube videos. Now I just want to outsource every project I had in mind. I dunno. Any other homeowners have any tips in overcoming this bump in the road?
I never replace something that is super critical, unless I have done is multiple times prior.
I watch multiple youtube videos of the 'thing' I am trying to fix or install, until I am comfortable.
I never touch plumbing, or switches/electrical, I personally think a botched job can be dangerous. The only thing I do related to any of those is replace heating element in my water heater, replace filters etc. for our water treatment system, and fix toilets.

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lthenderson
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by lthenderson » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:59 am

supalong52 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:22 pm
I guess I just feel like a big failure, despite watching a ton of YouTube videos. Now I just want to outsource every project I had in mind. I dunno. Any other homeowners have any tips in overcoming this bump in the road?
Although not a plumber by trade, I've replaced probably a hundred of those things in my life thus far and I've had a handful that have leaked and had to be readjusted. Those things happen which is why one should always check their work after the water is turned back on. Making mistakes like that is how one learns and if you figure out the problem, you probably will never repeat it when you have to do that task again in the distant future.

Shallowpockets
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by Shallowpockets » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:09 am

Probably you distorted the compression fitting when tightening. You have to try again. You put in 12 valves. Not all failed. You can over tighten the fitting and thus have distortion and a leak. This is not rocket science. Take it off and try again. Pretty much simple as that. That is what a plumber will do, for $100.

jadedfalcons
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by jadedfalcons » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:17 am

Not too long after I bought my house, a vinyl supply line for a faucet in the hall bath started to leak. So, I decided to replace both of them with metal lines.

First, I turned off the valves leading to both lines. Then I removed both lines. Then, after attaching the first of the new lines, I decided to check my work by opening that line's valve.

As far as what happened? The water shot up through that line, up to the faucet, then came full force back down through the other side of the faucet and blasted me in my face.

Lesson to remember?

No matter how smart we are, we all still make basic mistakes.

Shrug it off, and maybe in the future consider using Sharkbite valves. I've got some fittings that are ten years old and still no issues, and they're pretty much foolproof to use.

sjt
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by sjt » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:23 am

I wanted to do my annual drain of the water heater to remove any settled debris, after shutting off the water then turning back on, the valve leaked at the handle and there was no stopping it. Even leaked when I shut it back off, so I had to turn off the water, drain all the water from all the pipes of the house, and solder in a new (better) ball valve.

Many, many DIY projects end up turning into bigger projects when you run into unknown problems - it comes with the DIY territory. If that's something that you have a problem with, then maybe DIY is not for you.

At the same time, I think you need to know your limitations. For me, it's electrical work. I am OK with replacing outlets / switches, but I have a disposal that gets it's current from one breaker and the neutral flows back to another breaker. Need to get a proper electrician to handle that one since everything is jammed into one small switch box.
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staythecourse
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by staythecourse » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:25 am

My advice is only do stuff that doesn't have potential expensive downside cost if you don't do it correct. Having a sudden big leak is not the worst. Having a slow leak over many months is what would cause drywall and floor damage and thus mold formation. That becomes MUCH more expensive to fix. You save probably $200- 400 bucks AT MOST. Just go on Angielist and there is always some coupon for plumbing. I would never do my own plumbing and electrical work.

Not everything should be a DIY project especially if you don't have the skillset (watching a couple of youtube videos are not always enough).

Good luck.
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Sandtrap
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:27 am

1. Baby steps. You can redo what you did. All part of learning.
2. Avoid "helpful Harry's" and "ex-spurts". Just because a sales agent, etc, suggests something does not make it so. Are they working plumbers with 30 years experience?
3. Avoid, "gotadoititis". As stated earlier, don't fix what's not broken or even close to broken. IE: Angle stops can be half rusting on a pipe and still not leak. (maybe the corrosion helps seal things up!)
4. Have realistic expectations. You are not a failure at this because you were never an expert.
5. Baby steps. (the only mistake was being a bit overconfident and doing all 12 at once).
6. DIY is rewarding and can save a lot of money. Keep at it.
7. Know what is a DIY and what is "not" a DIY. (big one) IE: special skills, risks, and expensive tools, and zero failure tolerance = not a DIY

IE: Right now I'm doing the rough-in wiring on my new shop building, including load center, etc. But, over 40 years ago I started by changing broken light switches and wall outlets (when they were broken), then faulty breakers, etc.
Again, baby steps. Give it time.

Have fun!!
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El Greco
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by El Greco » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:33 am

As a plumber acquaintance of mine always says: "Plumbing is not a hobby." But seriously, of all the household tasks, advanced plumbing jobs are jobs I usually source out to a pro. With plumbing, anything can go wrong....and usually does. :annoyed

Greentree
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by Greentree » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:58 am

I enjoy the DIY projects because I like learning and I like saving money. If you do too, then just keep at it and you'll look back and be amazed at how much better you've gotten.

My first projects were total disasters. I tried to make a basic cabinet and it fell apart. That was 10 years ago. Last year, we did a kitchen remodel where we moved the kitchen and I completed all electrical and plumbing myself. I made some mistakes along the way but the end result was successful.

I learned from working on a car that it is nice not to have time pressure against you. I worked on a few projects when I needed to the car the next day and that was a disaster. The pressure made me make bad decisions and rush through. Then I started being more patient and strategic about when I completed projects.

I know some people are more worried about plumbing and electrical, but if you are mechanically competent and safe, there is not much that can really go wrong. I've never been electrocuted because I make sure everything is off, double, triple check that there is no power, etc. So the plumbing shot water in the house, turn the water off and figure out what went wrong. It's not a big deal.

For that particular project, I would have replaced one valve first, then turned the water back on. There is always something you are going to mess up so it helps to learn it before you are so far behind the eight ball. You have to factor in a few times of messing it up before you get it right and you want the screw up to be as least impactful as possible.

The overall message is go ahead and outsource if you don't find it interesting, or keep at it and you'll learn.

dalbright
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by dalbright » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:13 am

Ehh, I wouldn't worry about it, its all part of the learning curve! Be sure you put enough good pipe compound on them and that the angle isn't slightly off when tightening. I'm not sure the exact type of angle valves you did and what was leaking exactly but don't use the tape in the future if you did. I have had much much better success with blue monster thread sealant. 12 is quite a lot at one time! take projects slower haha. Just wait until you get into soldering copper pipes :).

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flossy21
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by flossy21 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:27 am

The shark bite products are fantastic if you aren't comfortable with solder joints or compression joints. All you need is a clean cut off pipe in copper, PVC, cpvc, pex, etc. No special tools required. They are more expensive but a no brainer for a DIY'er/weekend warrior type.

https://www.sharkbite.com/

fru-gal
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by fru-gal » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:35 am

I do diy stuff I feel comfortable with and stuff I can do at my own pace. Painting, ripping up wall to wall carpet, simple electrical stuff. I never mess with plumbing or complex electrical stuff.

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JupiterJones
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by JupiterJones » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:09 am

whomever wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:45 am
Suggestion: when the plumber comes, watch closely and learn all you can.
^^^ This.

Don't think of it as calling a plumber. Think of it as hiring a DIY tutor.

Nothing wrong with mucking something up now and then. That's all part of the process. Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement. 8-)

(Oh and while you're waiting for the plumber, maybe start reading Carol Dweck's "Mindset".)
Stay on target...

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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by user5027 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:21 am

I've not read all the replies.

During 35 years of home ownership I've learned a few things about plumbing.

I'll do simple faucet and toilet repairs, more than that, I save for a plumber.

I keep a list of non critical plumber projects and call one when I can get a lot done during one visit and save on multiple "service call charges."

I NEVER attempt a plumbing repair on a weekend or late in the day. Avoids the weekend/night time emergency charge when I break what I am working on.

Fill a bucket before you shut off the water to start a repair. I may need it to flush the toilet while waiting for the plumber. :idea:

A talented plumber can save you time and effort. I needed one of the elements replaced in the electric hot water heater and envisioned carrying buckets of water up the basement stairs to drain the tank. The plumber drained enough water to create a vacuum in the tank after getting all his tools and parts ready. He quickly removed the old element and inserted the new element while you could air hear being sucked into the tank through the hole with minimal water leakage. I was impressed and my arms and back appreciated it.

carolinaman
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by carolinaman » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:34 am

I used to DIY on lots of home things long before the Internet. Mine was more out of necessity but once my career took off, I got really busy and gladly relinquished those DIY projects for the most part. Now in retirement I tackle some. I find Youtube videos to sometimes be helpful but other times misleading or not applicable to my slightly different situation. Some Youtubers know their stuff and others not so much.

My advice is to be selective in what you take on. Plan your projects and do your research. Over time, you will likely be able to do more as you gain experience and confidence.

spectec
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by spectec » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:54 am

What a great string of encouragements and excellent suggestions! Do a multiple fixture project one fixture at a time, don't start the project late in the day (especially on a weekend), anticipate the unexpected, fill a bucket or two with water before starting a toilet project, if you wind up calling a plumber consider it a tutoring fee for the next time, don't consider yourself a failure just because one effort didn't work out, be selective... All fantastic advice.

As a confirmed do-it-yourselfer, I'll add one suggestion. Before starting any sizable plumbing project, consider investing in a good quality PEX crimping tool and cutter. Any time you start a plumbing project, convert as much as possible to PEX as far back in the line as possible. Your plumbing life will be much simpler after that. Sharkbite is good, but I prefer PEX by far. Have never had to re-do a PEX connection - they always work on the first try for me.
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Chip
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by Chip » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:06 pm

You've received some great replies, most of which ring true to me as a long-time DIYer. I especially agree with avoiding time pressure whenever possible.

You will almost certainly continue to make an occasional mistake that will require some rework. At least I do. But don't forget this -- the pros make mistakes, too. Not as many, but they do make them. And the consumer usually pays for those mistakes to get corrected, either directly or indirectly via the base rate charged.

I think someone else mentioned it, but the time and money you spend correcting an occasional mistake is tuition: you're learning to do it better the next time.

Persevere!

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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by AnonJohn » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:17 pm

I'd say +1 for Sharkbite in plumbing. Just so easy. Pay the cost for materials, but for plumbing I'm OK with that. Compression fittings cause me grief.

Lots of other wisdom in this thread already!

ponyboy
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by ponyboy » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:30 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:09 am
Probably you distorted the compression fitting when tightening. You have to try again. You put in 12 valves. Not all failed. You can over tighten the fitting and thus have distortion and a leak. This is not rocket science. Take it off and try again. Pretty much simple as that. That is what a plumber will do, for $100.
Doubt there is a plumber who is going to do a house call, reseat 12 valves and only charge $100.

Replacing existing plumbing isnt difficult, there isnt much thought involved. New construction plumbing, thats a different story.

retire2022
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by retire2022 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:35 pm

Op I caused a major disaster in my coop building flooding the two elevators and easily over 150k in damages.

Luckily I have homeowners insurance and my neighbors did not sue my butt.

Somethings can be beyond one abilities.

Good luck

PS: Also plumbers have liability insurance, make sure before you give them a deposit to start work, you get them to put your Name as it matches your legal title as "additionally insured" so that in case something does happened, you are covered under their policy. It is a good way to separate the amateur unlicensed professionals without insurance from legit.

The DIY work, your insurance policy may or may not cover those repairs, if anything does happen.
Last edited by retire2022 on Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

renue74
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by renue74 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:51 pm

Even plumbers have leaks. The one good thing is you have immediate feedback if you screwed up.

Sometimes it's as simple as using a different 1/4 turn valve and fitting. Or simply, cleaning the copper with emery cloth a few more times.

We all make mistakes. One time my wife called me at work and said the A/C was broken. She was working from home at the time. I told her to check the breaker box for a flipped breaker. Nothing was flipped. She waited all day and finally at 5:30, the HVAC showed up. (it was a super hot day) He went to the sub panel and the breaker was flipped there. $150

Flushable wipes in a 3" main drain. $250 for plumber to snake it. (rental house...I told the tenants to never use flushable wipes.)

I have about a dozen 'screw ups,' that are learning experiences for home stuff. You will too.

michaelingp
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by michaelingp » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:41 pm

Actually, in my experience, plumbing is getting easier and easier for the DIYer. I used to HATE plumbing projects, but lately they've become so easy. As others have mentioned, Sharkbite is the way to go. No more compression fittings for me. The other big advance in materials in my mind is braided flexible hose. I use it to connect all faucets, toilets, the dishwasher and the ice machine. I just replaced a toilet valve and I couldn't believe how easy they've made it. No tools required at all and it just worked. I would still call a plumber to replace a gas-fired hot water heater.

rebellovw
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by rebellovw » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:21 pm

I had a similar issue - where the main water feed valve into my house was leaking right at the valve. I figured - no problem - I'll buy a new valve and solder it in.

So I turned off the water main - cut off the old valve and attempted to solder on the new valve. That didn't work because the main water cutoff would not completely cut the water off - which caused water to slowly enter and cool the copper pipe and not allow it to heat up enough for the solder to suck.

I tried stuffing the pipe with white bread (neighbor suggested it) - but the water came in too fast.

Had to call a plumber.

seychellois_lib
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by seychellois_lib » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:43 pm

flossy21 wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:27 am
The shark bite products are fantastic if you aren't comfortable with solder joints or compression joints. All you need is a clean cut off pipe in copper, PVC, cpvc, pex, etc. No special tools required. They are more expensive but a no brainer for a DIY'er/weekend warrior type.

https://www.sharkbite.com/
Strongly agree. I was so impressed with sharkbite during a shower panel install, I used the PVC pipe and press fittings to replace the fresh water plumbing in my boat. Two years, seven thousand miles of sailing, and not a drop of leakage.

With regard to DYI. I assess the difficulty of a project and farm out the tough ones. We live in a home with an 18 inch crawl space. If there's a problem down there it gets farmed out immediately. With the aforementioned shower panel, I did the panel install and associated plumbing but found my home main water shut off valves were not fully closing. I had a professional do that replacement.

emoore
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by emoore » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:09 pm

seychellois_lib wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:43 pm
flossy21 wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:27 am
The shark bite products are fantastic if you aren't comfortable with solder joints or compression joints. All you need is a clean cut off pipe in copper, PVC, cpvc, pex, etc. No special tools required. They are more expensive but a no brainer for a DIY'er/weekend warrior type.

https://www.sharkbite.com/
Strongly agree. I was so impressed with sharkbite during a shower panel install, I used the PVC pipe and press fittings to replace the fresh water plumbing in my boat. Two years, seven thousand miles of sailing, and not a drop of leakage.

With regard to DYI. I assess the difficulty of a project and farm out the tough ones. We live in a home with an 18 inch crawl space. If there's a problem down there it gets farmed out immediately. With the aforementioned shower panel, I did the panel install and associated plumbing but found my home main water shut off valves were not fully closing. I had a professional do that replacement.
+1. Sharkbite has changed the game for DIY plumbing. So has PEX. Newer houses have PEX but most other house have copper and sharkbite has saved me thousands of dollars.

renue74
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by renue74 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:11 pm

rebellovw wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:21 pm
I had a similar issue - where the main water feed valve into my house was leaking right at the valve. I figured - no problem - I'll buy a new valve and solder it in.

So I turned off the water main - cut off the old valve and attempted to solder on the new valve. That didn't work because the main water cutoff would not completely cut the water off - which caused water to slowly enter and cool the copper pipe and not allow it to heat up enough for the solder to suck.

I tried stuffing the pipe with white bread (neighbor suggested it) - but the water came in too fast.

Had to call a plumber.
How did the plumber fix it?

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Kenkat
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by Kenkat » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:15 pm

Every once in awhile, you stretch your skill level a little too far and a project goes south on you. It happens, learn from your mistakes and remember there’s nothing wrong for calling in the pros for certain jobs.

dsronfire
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by dsronfire » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:32 pm

I still remember shortly after buying my first home, cutting a hole in the bathroom ceiling to add a needed vent. I felt like I someone was going to come in and arrest me. From there I feel like I've done everything; more than I can remember. And I usually found IF I could find a contractor to do a job, on the bigger jobs, it saved me approximately 70% to do it myself and many jobs it was so much more. Over time, I developed those skills and I continue to make pocket money doing handyman work in retirement.

My points are, it is a worthwhile investment of your time and money. Like you did, try to learn as much ahead of time that you can, it actually can and will save you some headaches (certainly not all) and $$. Invest in the right tools. Continue to learn from your mistakes, that is how we all improve our skills. It is ok to get frustrated and curse and vent, but in the end the job well done will provide you satisfaction and confidence for the next project.

In the end, I too had some of my most challenging experiences with plumbing work; I once went to the hw store 5x (in the same day) to complete a shower replumb. Continue to utilize web, talk to the man behind a plumbing specialty store counter, stick with it and I bet you'll be successful!

banhbao
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by banhbao » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:11 pm

I wouldn't beat yourself up. Like others have said, maybe it was just over tightened. Try hand tight, then 1/2 turn with the wrench, turn water on slowly and watch for leaks, if yes turn a bit more, repeat if necessary.

jharkin
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by jharkin » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:27 am

The thing about DIY is to start on small, simple projects and work your way up. Especially if you didn't grow up in a family of DIYers or contractors.

One of the easiest thing for newbies to start with is interior painting. From that I moved on to light electrical, and some simple woodworking. Plumbing I will only touch if I dont have to sweat copper (soldering). Not that its inherently complicated but there is an art to a good joint that takes time to master.

Things I dont touch:
gas piping
Drywall
roofing
Exterior painting that requires going higher than an 8ft stepladder
Anything that requires specialized tools that cost as much to rent as hiring out the job

bluebolt
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by bluebolt » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:54 am

Lots of good advice here. I've tried lots of DIY projects. I'm most comfortable with electrical stuff & appliances, not so comfortable with plumbing.

The plumbing projects I've tried, I've always had a backup plan. "Will it be OK if I have to shut off the water to this toilet for a couple of days until I can get a plumber?" If I don't have a good backup plan, I just call a plumber straight away.

WhyNotUs
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by WhyNotUs » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:01 am

Google "growth mindset"
https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/2 ... k-mindset/

far more important than whether you call a plumber or not.

I have screwed up many projects and learned from each one. Now I am good at some and less bad at others :sharebeer
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

rebellovw
Posts: 529
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Re: New homeowner wants to DIY, but disappointed today

Post by rebellovw » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:03 am

renue74 wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:11 pm
rebellovw wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:21 pm
I had a similar issue - where the main water feed valve into my house was leaking right at the valve. I figured - no problem - I'll buy a new valve and solder it in.

So I turned off the water main - cut off the old valve and attempted to solder on the new valve. That didn't work because the main water cutoff would not completely cut the water off - which caused water to slowly enter and cool the copper pipe and not allow it to heat up enough for the solder to suck.

I tried stuffing the pipe with white bread (neighbor suggested it) - but the water came in too fast.

Had to call a plumber.
How did the plumber fix it?
Just experience and did it super fast where I took much too long. Likely a more powerful torch too.

The funny part was that I battled that copper pipe and even enlisted my father. We were out into dusk trying to fix it but the water kept steaming and cooling the pipe. In the end it only cost about a 100 bucks for the plumber to fix it.

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