Plumbing jobs can be handled by most DIYer’s, with a little plumbing knowledge and the right tools. Installing new plumbing on any DIY plumbing project is easier and cleaner than repairing old plumbing or unclogging drain problems, so don’t be afraid to tackle these projects. Keep a few items in mind before you get started and your plumbing job should go smoothly.
Formulate a Plan
Before you begin any DIY plumbing project, make sure that you have a plan to follow. When you are running water supply lines and drain lines within the same wall space the placement may get a little tight. It is often best to run your drain lines first and then run the smaller supply lines in the remaining space. Marking your hot and cold lines with colored indelible ink will help you to keep them from getting mixed up during the installation process.
Know the Plumbing Codes
Before you add any plumbing to your house, make sure that it all meets your local code requirements. Your local building department will have all the information that you need to design your plumbing system. You can work with a licensed plumber to design your plan and help you with any installation items that you don’t feel comfortable completing on your own. The portion of a plumbing project that gives most people the biggest problem is the venting system, so make sure that you understand the code requirements for the venting
DIY plumbing jobs will require that you have a passable skill in soldering copper for your water supply lines. With just a little practice, you can confidently run your supply lines without fear of leaking. Drain lines are commonly run with ABS black plastic pipe which you can easily cut with basic hand saws or power saws. Having a set of various sized pipe wrenches and standard hand tools in your tool box will permit you to handle almost any plumbing jobs when you are building your own home.
If you want to get into using PEX tubing for your supply lines there a whole different set of tools that go along with this material. The main advantage of PEX is that it’s moderately forgiving in positioning it around studs, walls, ductwork, etc.
DIY plumbing projects don’t present any safety problems, but if you are not diligent about making sure that your connections are water tight you will spend a lot of time redoing connections. This is especially true with solder connections, as it can difficult to drain the water out of a pipe in order to resolder a leaking joint. In the same vein, always test your drains and supply lines before you close in your walls. It is much easier to find and repair any leaks early in your construction project. Many DIYer’s have learned this lesson the hard way, please don’t be another one them.