Seasoned plumbers from https://www.colepepperplumbing.com and other expert plumbers for that matter are fully aware of how some homeowners can turn a simple repair into plumbing emergency. What could have been a $20 fix may just become a major plumbing project running into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. These are instances where homeowners overestimate their do-it-yourself (DIY) plumbing abilities and realize too late that they have bitten off more than they can chew. While there are a few plumbing projects that many homeowners can take on by themselves, it is best to know when and how to DIY and when to call in the pros. Here’s a DIY plumbing repair guide to help you decide when to take on a plumbing repair, how to go about it and when to call in a plumber.
Before you take on a plumbing project, make an honest assessment of your skills. While the fix may appear simple, it will be foolhardy to think that all plumbing repairs are intuitive because most are not. If you really believe that you can repair the problems on your own, make sure that you have the right tools for it before jumping in. Some of the more simple DIY plumbing repairs you can take on are unclogging drains and toilets, fixing a leaky faucet and fixing a toilet bowl that continuously runs water.
Unless you are an actual plumber, you should start looking for one when you notice the following:
- Low water pressure
- Frozen pipes
- Faulty water heater
- Dripping water
- Water damage
Keep your hands off your pipes when you see these symptoms and call your plumber immediately.
As mentioned earlier, you need to be honest with your plumbing skills and have the right tools. If you are installing or replacing a fixture, make sure that you also have other important materials that the project may require such as a plumber’s Teflon tape or caulking.
Another general rule when taking on a plumbing project is to shut off the water valve that is closest to where you are making the repairs. Open the faucet nearest the shut-off valve to drain the remaining water and pressure in the pipes before disassembling fixtures. Knowing where the shut-off valves are will also be helpful in cases of emergencies such as burst pipes to stop the flow of water immediately. When in doubt, however, you can shut off the main water supply to the whole house before making the fix.
In case of a clogged drain where you need to disassemble it or remove a clean out, think of where the drain’s content is going to spill. It is best to have a bucket nearby to catch anything that spills out.
Whenever you are installing a new fixture, make sure to read the instructions before you begin the project. It may look intuitive, but always assume that there’s an important step or two that you may miss.
If the plumbing repair happens to be a major undertaking, it is best to know the existing code. Codes are in place to ensure that a building’s occupants, which in your case happens to be your own family.
Again, this article cannot begin to express the importance of knowing what type of DIY plumbing repairs that you can safely take on. Perhaps the most important guide for any DIY plumbing repair project is that, when in doubt, don’t.
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