Neighborhood Plumbing

DIY vs. Professional Plumbing: When to Call an Expert


So there’s been a plumbing emergency in your home, and you want to proceed in a way that is most cost and time effective to you. It makes sense that you’d want to try a hand at fixing your plumbing issues and save some of your pennies. Many issues sound worse than they are, and if you can fix them, then it makes sense. It’s always important to know when you’ve overestimated yourself, and when issues need a delicate, professional touch.

How do you know when you should call a plumber vs. when you can do it yourself? Let’s discuss.

A Clogged Drain

Using a simple rubber plunger or a plastic snake could fix the problem at once, and make sure that the water is flowing smoothly through your drains again. If that doesn’t work, chemical drain cleaners are available at many stories, and as long as it isn’t too harsh, you and your pipes should be fine. A chemical drain cleaner isn’t a good long-term solution, and if this is an ongoing or repeating issue, the best move would be to call a professional to check it out.

Make sure you haven’t been pouring oil, fat, or grease down your sink, or blocking it up with other debris like food or hair. If you’ve been watching what goes down a drain and using a drain screen that catches a lot of the heavier debris and your drain continues to clog, you should probably stop doing it yourself and call a plumber.

A Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet doesn’t always warrant a call to the plumber. You can fix this yourself with online knowledge and a good toolkit. It’s very straightforward and often sounds more complicated than it is. It’s an easy fix.

Whether it’s raising your water bill or simply dragging down the look of your refurbished bathroom, replacing your faucets, or simply checking them for any issues is an easy fix, and you can try this on your own before thinking about making a call.

Hot Water/Water Pressure

This one, I’d leave in the hands of professionals. Dealing with hot water or water pressure can be dangerous, and you’re risking personal injury by not knowing what you’re doing. Although you might have been capable of previous issues around the house, this is one of those times that it’s better to get a second opinion at the very least, as admirable as your internet research skills might be. If it’s a temperature issue, then there might be a problem with your water tank, then a plumber could come and take a look around to check for leaks or cracks. It is possible that the entire system is too old or too broken to function correctly, and a plumber will help you replace it.

If it’s an issue with your water pressure, then that most likely has to do with your pipes having a leak or cracks, in which case once again, it’s better to call a professional plumber to take a look around and replace whatever parts need replacing. You don’t want to hurt yourself by taking up projects that are beyond your scope, and it’s never a bad thing to need help, especially when it comes to things like your plumbing systems. To make sure that no damage is done to your home, it is best to leave this in the hands of someone who is professionally trained.

Renovation Projects

It may be tempting to DIY a much better-functioning plumbing system for yourself and be able to have full control, but it is not recommended to go about huge projects without any type of professional help. Plumbing systems can be very complex, and without proper knowledge of the way they work, you are putting both your health and the value of your home at risk. You could cause more issues than fix them if you’re going about redoing an entire plumbing system, which can lead to more issues around the house. Fixing a plumbing issue could cost you more money overall than it would have to have a plumber do it in the first place since it requires years of knowledge and experience that you are unlikely to possess.

Repeating Issues

A good rule of thumb is to call a plumber if a problem keeps persisting after your first and second attempts to fix it. Even if it’s something as dismissible as a bad smell or a running toilet, if you couldn’t fix it properly on your own, then call a professional. They can help you track down the source and resolve it.

It’s tempting to test your limits, as you may feel like you’re saving yourself the trouble by fixing it on your own, and admittedly there are things you can try on your own before calling a plumber. In the end, you don’t want to cause more harm than good to your home. Plumbing systems are complex, so call a plumber.

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