Many people who decide to fix the plumbing themselves inadvertently fail - that's because they do not see the importance of sealing the pipes and hoses properly. It is more difficult than it seems. And it is also crucial to have the right equipement when tackling the plumbing. Never use a sealant that is not designed for what you are doing. Use plumber's putty to seal the sink flanges of a garbage disposal unit. There are specially made wax and grease sealants for use on the base of a toilet.
Shower pipes and spouts should be sealed with caulking, and the list goes on from there. Many people regret substituting the wrong sealant for a particular job. Do not substitute PVC Pipe glue when instructions ask for plumber's putty. If you use these things rather than Teflon plumber's tape on hoses, you will never be able to remove it should you ever decide to replace the hoses. Be sparing but not stingy. It's also important to use the right amounts.
For example, a ¼ inch bead of plumber's putty is sufficient to seal around a sink. Too much will require quite a bit of clean up. If insufficient amounts are used, water will leak under the sink. Remove the excess but make sure not too much is removed. Too much sealant will tend to crack and tear after it hardens. Wipe away the extra using a damp cloth, sponge or even your finger and it should be ok.
In addition, ascertain that all smears are removed before they are dry. Be generous with Teflon plumber's tape. Usually you cannot use too much, but in rare cases, it could create small channels for the water to escape through. The reason it's so hard to overdo it is because it is very flexible and compressible.
Obviously, you don't want to put so much on that it becomes difficult to fit the new pipe or hose on. Wind it in the proper direction. If you are handling hoses, the direction is not a problem, however if you are threading pipes, direction will matter. If it's not done correctly, the tape will twist off.
The tail of the tape should be facing the direction you will be threading onto it. This will create a good seal as the tape stretches in the same direction the pipe is being threaded. If the tape twists the other way, you will not have a good seal at all. Avoid torn ends.
Try to avoid tearing the tape or biting it off with your teeth. It can seem like a good idea if you are working in a cramped space that is hard for you to move around. This can lead to stretching and tearing of the ends.
If the tape has been extended too much before being threaded on the pipe it will not seal properly. If the tape is cut cleanly, it will set in the threads better and not leave any ridges that could cause leaks. This should be done on the front and back of the tape. If there are bumps, it will become small gaps for water to leak from.
If you use the correct sealant for each job and follow the directions when doing it, your plumbing projects will be well sealed and leak free.
Moses Wright loves to work on DIY Home improvement projects during his free time. He sets up a site to provide more resources on Home Plumbing Repair and Kitchen Sink Plumbing at his web site.