No one wants, expects, or can plan for a plumbing problem, yet they do happen. You might decide to try to fix small problems yourself, but keep in mind that there might be underlying problems you can’t see. In addition, if you don’t fix a small problem correctly the first time, you will have to fix it again. It could very well be in your best interest to hire a professional plumber to fix even small plumbing problems to make sure they are fixed right the first time and to make sure you are addressing any underlying problems.
If you are the type of person who prefers to try your hand at fixing your own plumbing issues, how can you tell if this is a good idea or if you are better off hiring a plumbing professional?
Do You Know What you are doing?
There are many places online like “how-to” videos on YouTube that make it easier for people to learn how to fix things, including plumbing problems. There are also a lot of professionals, like Bob Vila, who share their expertise online for those who like to do things themselves. If your kitchen or bathroom drains are clogged, you can certainly try to unclog them using a common chemical drain opener or a plunger. If you aren’t sure that you are doing it right, rather than causing more damage, you will want to hire a professional to avoid serious consequences.
Some seemingly common yet complicated do-it-yourself (DIY) Plumbing Projects include:
- Repairing hardware on your toilet
- Installing a new faucet or showerhead
- Clearing stopped-up toilets
- Unclogging minor clogs
- Fixing weak water pressure in the shower
Do You Have the Right Tools
Most people have basic tools like a hammer, nails, and a screwdriver in their home for simple fixes of things that break. However, plumbing tools are often more specific to the task at hand and require the use of the right tools to fix even small problems. There are a few basic plumbing tools you should keep on hand if you are the DIY-type of person who wants to try to fix your own minor plumbing issueslike:
- Plumber’s tape
- Locking pliers
- Basin wrench
- Plumber’s putty
- Needle-nose pliers
- Caulk and caulk gun
Hiring a professional plumber is going to cost you more money than if you are able to fix your problems yourself. They usually charge by the hour in addition to charging for needed materials and labor. Oftentimes, the labor costs are actually more than the materials themselves because you are getting what you pay for – their experience. However, trying to fix something when you don’t know what you are doing can cost you more money in the long run and lots of aggravation as well. You will need to weigh the pros and cons of trying it yourself or hiring an experienced professional.
When it’s best to Call in the Professionals
If you see water or dampness in your house that is not explainable by obvious things like someone spilled something or just took a shower, you should definitely call in a professional plumber. These are typically signs that something is leaking or a pipe has burst. You don’t want to ignore these symptoms because they will only get worse and lead to a lot of damage and cost you a lot of money.
If you notice that the water pressure is low in your bathrooms and kitchen, this can be the result of water line obstruction or a damaged water line. A professional plumber will be able to analyze the issue, find out what is causing it, and fix it for you.
If you are remodeling your bathroom or kitchen and are planning to move or expand your plumbing lines, you will probably be required to get the appropriate permits. This is a situation where you want to hire a professional plumber who will understand how to handle the permits and will also know the building codes in your locality. You want to make sure that everything is done correctly according to code and to make sure your home is safe.
If you have the right tools and know what you are doing, fixing your own small plumbing problems can save you some money. However, make sure you understand your limitations and the situations where you will need to call a professional plumber.
Article Submitted By Community Writer