If you’ve ever experienced even a minor plumbing issue, you know about the importance of plumbing. When the bathtub clogs up, or a pipe bursts, you feel the impact immediately. While it may be tempting to try some DIY plumbing to save money, it’s not always wise. There are some DIY plumbing tasks you can do, but there are many that require the services of a professional.

If you’re facing an issue at home, consider these resources for determining your next steps.

When you need to know the risks of DIY plumbing…

If you opt not to call a professional plumber, it’s important to understand the risks involved in the project you’re tackling.

  • You may not be able to properly assess the problem or tell how severe it is.
  • You may not have the skills and knowledge necessary to fix the problem.
  • If you make a mistake, it could lead to water damage and/or bad pipe connections. This will end up costing you significantly in the long run.
  • There could be safety hazards or threats that you are unaware of.


When you’re determining whether or not to hire a professional…

There are some projects that should be left to the pros. Others can likely be done by DIY plumbing enthusiasts. It’s important to know the difference before you make any decisions.

  • If you suspect any problems with your sump pump, sewage system, water heater, or pipes, these are all examples of tasks that require a professional.
  • However, if it’s a leaky faucet, running or clogged toilet, or clogged drain, you may be able to sort the problem out yourself.
  • If you’re looking to upgrade your bathroom for accessibility (installing a roll in shower or a walk-in bathtub make sure you hire the pros to handle installation. Plumbers or contractors with CAPS certification (Certified Aging in Place Specialists) are best for accessible home improvements.
  • Then there are projects that fall in the gray area that you should approach with caution if you choose to DIY — examples of these include replacing a toilet, installing a dishwasher, and installing a garbage disposal.


When you’re getting your tools and equipment together…

There are certain tools and pieces of equipment that you must have on-hand if you want to perform DIY plumbing repairs.

  • One of the most quintessential plumbing tools is a pipe wrench which is pretty much an adjustable wrench on steroids.
  • A closet auger (AKA “toilet snake”) can come in handy when you need to unclog a toilet.
  • You will also need a good flashlight for visibility when you are working in dark areas, such as the inside of a vanity.
  • And to loosen or tighten an object without damaging the finish, it’s a good idea to have a strap wrench laying around.
  • Moreover, plumbing tape can prove useful for preventing leaks at threaded connections.

Plumbing is one type of work where you shouldn’t assume that you can fix everything. Even if it’s something as simple as replacing a faucet, such projects can take up a lot of your time and energy. And if a mistake is made, it can end up costing you big-time. When it comes to the more extensive projects, it’s definitely wise to bring in a professional. Consider the ideas and resources listed here, and carefully go through your options before pulling out that wrench.

Guest post provided by Ray Flynn of DIYGuys.net

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