Proper installation of plumbing fixtures is essential to a well-maintained system. But it’s also important to make sure that plumbing fixture connections are tight and secure. Otherwise, leaks may occur, causing water damage on nearby surfaces, and compromising the structural integrity of your home.
However, making the connections too tight is a common mistake for DIY plumbers, who only hope to keep leaks at bay. So if you’re doing any plumbing repair on your own, it’s crucial to know how to tighten plumbing fixtures without damaging them.
How Making the Connections too Tight Can Damage Your Fixtures
Many DIY-ers tighten plumbing fixture connections as much as possible, fearing leakage and water damage.
But doing this actually risks damage to the fixtures by stripping the threads in the fitting. It may put unnecessary stress on the pipe and fitting, and warp the rubber fittings inside the pipes. This can lead to cracks—and over time, leaks.
You can also risk cracking the toilet if you tighten the bolts holding it in place. For fixtures made of plastic, you can crack them during installation if the fittings are tightened too much.
Unfortunately, you won’t notice the problem right away. So it’s important to take the time to learn how to tighten the plumbing fixtures just right, especially if you’re doing your own repairs, to avoid any damage.
How to Tighten Plumbing Fixtures without Damaging Them
As a rule of thumb, the connection must be snug but not too tight. Forcing them once you feel any resistance may cause damage. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Shut off the water source to make the process easier and less messy.
2. So you can feel the resistance, go slowly when you’re using tools (such as pliers) to tighten parts. Don’t force them to go any further once they stop moving.
3. After tightening pipes, secure them with a plumber’s tape. This tightly seals pipes and other fittings after installation and repair. Aside from providing a good seal, it also protects against leaks.
4. When pipes running against exterior walls leak, they’re more likely to freeze, burst, or crack. Keep them warm and protected against harsh weather by wrapping them in magnetic insulation.
5. Avoid scratching chrome fittings by adjusting a wrench for a snug fit over a microfiber cloth (or anything that may help in gripping), then tightening the fitting. As soon as you feel resistance, it’s tight enough.
Leaky plumbing fixtures? Contact us!
Some leaks happen more often than others, but they can still run up your water bill and damage your home. If you’re unsure of your ability to make the necessary repairs on your own, reach out to us and we’ll take care of it!
Our experienced plumber can fix leaky plumbing fixtures as quickly as possible, so your home is safe and comfortable once again, and you won’t have to worry about unexpectedly high utility costs.
We also provide other plumbing installation, repair, and maintenance services. It’s quick and easy to schedule an appointment online and through our app.