When faced with the prospect of a costly plumbing repair, it can be tempting to think, “I’ll just do it myself. How hard can it be?” For certain repairs, a bit of Internet research and a resourceful attitude are sufficient to get the job done. But for more complex problems, attempting to do the job yourself may only make the problem worse or even put you in danger. Professional plumbers have the training, experience, and equipment to handle these more complicated issues, and in those cases it is unwise to forego their expertise. We’ve put together a guide to some common home plumbing problems to help you understand when it’s safe to DIY and when it’s best to dial a professional.
Clogged drain – DIY
Typically, a clogged drain is a pretty simple problem to solve. Start by using a rubber plunger or plastic snake on the drain. If that doesn’t take care of the clog, buy a chemical drain cleanser and pour the recommended quantity down the drain. If the drain is still clogged or if multiple drains throughout your home are all clogged at once, it may be time to call a professional – it could indicate a larger problem.
Leaking Pipes – Dial
A leaky pipe may seem like a quick fix – tighten a screw here, apply a pipe patch there – but if it goes wrong, you could find yourself with an open pipe that is gushing water into your bathroom or kitchen. Play it safe and avoid this potential disaster by calling a plumber.
Installing a new faucet or showerhead – DIY
Replacing a faucet is simpler than it sounds. Make sure you turn off the water valves (usually under the sink) to avoid taking an impromptu shower when you remove the head. Once that’s done, simply remove the old faucet or showerhead and replace with the new one.
Remodeling projects – Dial
As much as you may like the idea of remodeling your own bathroom, any project that involves moving or expanding plumbing is best left in the hands of a professional who can ensure the safety of your home and understands building codes and permits. Making a mistake during a project of this kind could flood your home and cause untold damage that would cost you far more than contracting a plumber. A good rule of thumb is that a professional plumber should complete any plumbing work that can’t be accessed without going into the walls.
Overflowing toilet – DIY
The sight of your toilet continuing to fill with water after you flush can be stressful, but don’t panic. It’s actually an easy fix. Simply turn of the shut-off valve on your tank by moving the float arm inside the tank so that the flapper valve closes. If after several adjustments and test flushes the toilet is still overflowing, it’s time to get an expert on the phone.
Appliance replacement – Dial
If any water-using appliances in your home need replacing, such as your sump pump or water heater, hire a plumber. Only a professional will have the skills and tools necessary to handle the replacement safely. If you attempt to take on a project of this magnitude on your own, you risk doing damage to your home or even hurting yourself.
If you’re not sure whether you can handle a plumbing repair yourself, give us a call. When it comes to the safety of your home, it’s better to err on the side of caution.