In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey demonstrates some common plumbing mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. To prevent pliers and wrenches from scratching the finish on plumbing fixtures, use a strap wrench.
2. Wrap the flexible strap around the fixture, securely lock the strap in place, then slowly pull on the handle to turn the fixture.
3. To prevent a pipe wrench from deforming a pipe, be sure the wrench contacts the pipe in three places: at the top jaw, at the bottom jaw, and at the back of the wrench.
4. When fastening plumbing fittings, such as radiant-floor heat plates, to the underside of a subfloor, be sure the screws or nails aren't too long or they'll poke through the surface of the finished floor above.