When to DIY and When to Hire a Qualified Plumber

a DIY plumber attempting to install a faucet into a kitchen countertop
Some plumbing jobs can be done by the homeowner with the right tools and know-how. Others are best left to the experts. Installing an appliance, such as a dishwasher or washing machine or replacing or repairing taps, ball valves and plugs, are all jobs that can be done yourself. However, we all depend on the safe delivery and removal of water. Poor plumbing can result in sickness and even death. That’s why, for some plumbing jobs, it’s best to hire a qualified plumber. Depending on your skill level, plumbing problems such as clearing simple clogs, fixing a leaky faucet or installing a bathroom sink, a washing machine or another complicated plumbing fixture, can be done by a determined DIYer with the right know-how. But is this the best option for you?

Have You Got the Time?

If you’re doing a plumbing job for the first time, you need to consider if you have the time it takes to learn it, whether you have the right tools for completing the work and how comfortable you are undertaking it. Often, the deciding factor about whether or not to hire a professional plumber comes down to time. A professional plumber will have the right tools and experience and will be able to finish a repair or an installation in an hour that may take you three hours to do.

The Risk Factor

Whenever possible, many people would prefer to save money on plumbing repairs by doing it themselves. This may seem like a good idea but can lead to problems over time. Do-it-yourself plumbing repairs bring with them a certain level of risk. Water leaks can cause a great deal of damage to your home. Having a professional plumber handle repairs will provide you with an extra level of certainty that the job’s been done right and that any leaks or other issues you may not have even been aware of have been resolved.

Avoiding Plumbing Disasters

Learning to fix your leaks or replace your toilet can save you money, but DIY plumbing can quickly turn disastrous. Some problems can be avoided, but if you have old or poorly installed plumbing, problems are inevitable. The most important single tip for do-it-yourself plumbing repairs is to know where your home’s main water shut-off valve is located and to shut it off before undertaking any repairs. If you have a more modern system, you might even have shutoffs for each bathroom. Turning these off will reduce the risk of leaks and any water damage that could result.

Remodeling Renovations

Permits will probably be needed if your next plumbing project involves moving plumbing or expanding it. A professional plumber is familiar with handling permits and knows the building codes for your area. Hiring a plumbing contractor to take care of installations or replacements will guarantee that the connections are done correctly.

Sump Pump Repair

A sump pump removes water that has been drained into basins and pumps the water to outside places like a storm drain. It’s usually found in the basement. Like any other plumbing fixture, a sump pump will begin to wear out and need to be replaced. A plumber can come in to clean, check, repair or replace it to make sure everything’s working correctly. Plumbers have the proper equipment needed to properly fix equipment such as this.

Internal Plumbing Repairs

You may be having plumbing problems due to an internal plumbing issue. An expert will have a good idea of how to find the problem in the first place and which walls need to be opened up to affect a repair.

External Plumbing Repairs

Sometimes a plumbing problem lies outside the home, in the ground. Pipes that connect to major city lines can become damaged over time. They can be damaged from sudden shifts in the earth, such as an earthquake, or be damaged by tree roots. Finding out where the problem is and excavating the ground to get to the problem, is a big job that should only be undertaken by a professional.

Why You Should Call a Professional

Any homeowner has the tools to deal with minor problems like clogged drains but, when it comes to major plumbing jobs, such as installing pipes, you need a skilled professional. Some jobs require that you work in a small cramped space for hours and some problems require a mathematical approach, specialized tools and the specific skills to use those tools. Trying to replace a toilet yourself may seem like a cost-cutting solution but many people don’t realize that a toilet that’s incorrectly installed can lead to leaks that will cause damage to your floor or sub-flooring. Plumbers know what they’re doing because they’ve done it all before and, sometimes, they’ve been doing it for years. Also, a bill from your local plumber is better than one from the contractor you need to hire because of water damage.

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