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DIY Dad’s Biggest Plumbing Fails

Whenever something broke around your house when you were a kid, did you immediately holler for your dad? Even now that you’ve grown up and bought your own home, you probably still have your dad on speed dial for when something goes wrong.

Dads are the protectors of our home and family, so it makes sense that they’re our first call when something goes wrong. For Father’s Day this year, let’s revisit a few times when we called for dads' help, but even with his best efforts, sometimes it ended in plumbing fails.

Toilet Installation Mishaps

personalinjuriesHome improvement stores usually sell toilets, so installing them can’t be the world’s most challenging task. However, even with the best-laid plans, things can still go wrong.

If your plumbing dad decided to replace the toilet because it was leaking, hopefully, he did a thorough inspection of the floor before installing the new fixture. If water has leaked under the toilet, there could be water damage that compromises the structural integrity of the floor.

It’s not safe to install a new toilet on a weak base, so it’s smart to have a professional replace a leaky toilet. Installing a toilet on an uneven floor is a challenge, even for a professional, but it can be nearly impossible for your DIY dad to get it installed correctly.

If your dad’s solution to the fixture’s persistent wobble is just to crank on the floor bolts, he could end up stressing the flooring or cracking the porcelain bowl. A pro will be able to level the toilet properly without over-tightening the bolts.

Duct Tape Disasters

pipeducttapeDuct tape is dad approved for pretty much any repair, but dad’s stamp of approval doesn’t actually make it the right tool for every job. If you discover a leak and bring it to your dad’s attention, the last thing he should do is try to seal the pipe with some of his handy duct-tape.

Leaks are a symptom of a bigger problem, such as high pressure inside the pipe. If your dad seals the leak but doesn’t address the underlying issue, you could end up with a flooded home when the pressure becomes so great that the pipe bursts.

A repair will be much more significant after the pipe bursts than it would have been if he’d called for help right away. Encourage your dad to use his duct tape on crafts and temporary fixes only.

Drain Snaking Misadventures

snakedrainingTrained plumbers snake drains all of the time to clean drains with great success. However, it takes practice and a light touch to snake pipes without damaging them, especially if they’re older pipes.

If your dad goes after a clog with a snake, but he isn’t sure what he’s doing, he could end up doing more harm than good. As he pushes the snake down the drain, it may feel like he’s found the clog when, in fact, he’s only encountered a curve in the pipe.

If he starts to crank the snake too soon, he could mistakenly drill a hole in the side of a pipe rather than the clog. Even if he can clear the clog, if he’s too rough with the snake, he can scratch and crack the pipe.

Scratches can rust, and tiny cracks can spread. It could take a while, but eventually, a pipe can start leaking from these little scratches and cracks. The longer a pipe leaks, the more damage it will cause. If the leak is deep in the pipe, it might drip for quite a while before anyone discovers it.

Learning from Plumbing Dads

Something we value about our DIY dads is their curiosity and desire to learn new things. Seeing our dads persevere through a challenge is a valuable life lesson; it teaches us to be curious and tenacious.

However, seeing our dads learn from their failures is also an important message. This Father’s Day, thank your dad for all of the lessons he taught you, especially that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.