Clogged drains and leaky faucets can sometimes be handled by a resourceful hand. There are plenty of plumbing problems that you can solve yourself with a bit of patience and ingenuity. But there are other kinds of plumbing problems that should be left to the experts, because a DIY can cause damage or future problems down the road.
Plumbing Issues to Leave to the Pros
Opening up a wall or digging up a pipe is a really complicated process. It’s hard to do the remodeling necessary to get things back in place and make it look nice. If you’re not confident that you can put it back, don’t open it up in the first place.
Cold Temperatures: Frozen Pipes
Don’t try to thaw frozen pipes on your own! If you have frosted pipes that need to be thawed up, you can accidentally weaken their integrity while warming them up which can cause the pressure to make the pipes burst. This can be dangerous, but it also can be really expensive. Leave it to the pros.
Appliances for Plumbing
Some plumbing appliances, like water heaters, use a ton of electricity. It’s really dangerous to try to put them in yourself. Trying to repair the appliances isn’t a good idea either, even with the electricity off, because a mistake can cost you a new water heater.
Any Kind of Standing Water
Water just sitting around in your yard or house isa really bad sign. Usually it comes from a clogged line or pipes, or even a problem with the foundation. Getting rid of the water won’t get rid of where it came from! Standing water is a reason to call a plumber right away.
This may seem obvious, but your pipes run under the ground. If the problem can’t be solved at the surface of the drain, then it’s probably not a problem that you should take on yourself. Any kind of underground repair requires professional health. Additionally, digging up pipes sometimes requires that you contact the city to make sure you aren’t hitting other lines and pipes! You’ll need someone who can find the right information and permission to dig.
It’s tough to tell the difference between a basic drain clog and something deeper down. You can certainly clear out hair at the surface and possibly free up the water that isn’t draining, but this may not solve the problem. Especially when you don’t know why the drain is clogged, DIYing it can leave far more problems down the road.
Things to Keep in Mind
Simple DIY projects on your house are fine. But if you do more expensive plumbing work you’ll have to make sure that it is up to the building codes of your Florida city. If it’s not, this can cause fines, penalties, and a hassle when a home inspection reveals it. Putting the process of selling your home on hold because you’ve done rogue plumbing that doesn’t meet code is no fun—trust us.
The Problem Could be More Extensive
The biggest problem we see though is this: well-meaning DIY plumbers who don’t fully understand the problem. When you’re trying to fix plumbing yourself in your home, usually you’re trying to fix a symptom. For example, a drain isn’t working or a faucet is leaking a little bit. You aren’t really concerned with why that part is malfunctioning, you’re concerned with fixing the symptom itself.
But if a faucet is leaking because of improper water pressure, or if a drain isn’t working because of a sewage backup, you could make the problem worse over time. Best to get it done right the first time.