There’s something about plumbing that makes many DIYers want to roll up their sleeves and get to work. While there are plenty of plumbing problems that can be fixed with simple tools, a bit of know-how, and the resources you can find online, there are some that you shouldn’t try to handle on your own.
The difference between the problems you try to handle on your own and the problems you should allow the professionals to handle can be vast. Sometimes DIYers can be overconfident in their own abilities and they can underestimate the problem. But here are some of the plumbing fixes that you should probably never try to DIY.
Problems With Your Sewer
All the waste water you produce has to go somewhere, and most of it will wind up in your main sewer line. This all works out well until it doesn’t and you find that your sewer has a problem. There are plenty of sewer repair red flags that you need to keep an eye out for, and then you should call a plumber about.
These can include sewage and wastewater backups, foul odors inside and outside the house, puddles and sunken areas in the yard, and noises coming from the toilet. If you see these problems, you probably shouldn’t try to fix the problem yourself. Most homeowners simply don’t have the digging equipment to gain access to the sewer line, and even it they did don’t have the tools and experience to internally inspect and repair the various kinds of problems. Getting help is the best way to make sure that sewer issues get resolved.
While you might think that a flood is simple to solve and you just need to get the water out, flooding can be a lot more complicated than that. The clog or issue causing the problem can be far down the pipes and be inaccessible to a DIYer. Plus, as you try to solve the problem, you could damage the pipes and cause more flooding damage to your home. Then there are often also health issues related to bacteria that might be in the flood waters.
If you don’t know exactly what you are doing, then you need to make sure that you are calling for some experienced help to get your home drained. Then the plumbers can work on the root cause of the problem.
Installing New Appliances Or Modifying The System
If you want to do something massive like install a new water heater, reroute a plumbing pipe, or extend your hot water lines, most people should call a plumber for help. You don’t want to delve into the guts of your plumbing system without an expert (unless you are one). Mistakes can cause a lot of problems for yourself and your machines. Replacing pipes, appliances, and other appliances will be extremely expensive, and it is just better for everyone to have a plumber on hand for the bigger repairs and issues.
I once knew a homeowner who was at the tail end of a major kitchen renovation, and the newly-installed 1/4″ water line feeding water to the fridge dispenser sprang a leak at night, when everyone was in bed. By morning the kitchen had several inches of water on the floor, and the finished basement in the level below was ruined. Total cost to get things back to where they were was $100k.
Additionally, whenever you are modifying your plumbing system, a plumber is going to be able to make sure that the house can accommodate the changes that you want. If you have any questions about the changes you want to make, getting a professional opinion is going to be invaluable.
Know Your Limits & Get Help
Asking for help or recognizing when a problem is too big for your current skill set, especially when it involves plumbing, isn’t a sign of weakness but strength. You need to make sure that you can ask for help when it is needed, because that will allow you to solve the problems much quicker.
Plus, you can allow the plumbers to handle all of the big stuff, while you take on the smaller projects you are sure you can DIY yourself!