It’s no secret hiring a plumber can be a costly endeavor. But so can taking on a plumbing project that’s outside your skill level. You could be doing more harm than good, and you may have to hire a professional after all to fix your mistakes. Here we’ll break down which home plumbing jobs are straightforward enough to do yourself, and which ones are best left to the pros.
Before you begin any project, make sure you know how to turn off the water, not only to the fixture you need to work on, but also your home’s main water supply. Also, know which tools you’ll need to complete the job. You can rent a wide range of plumbing tools from your local equipment rental company, such as plumbing snakes, crimping tools and more.
Knowing how to prevent drains from clogging is your first line of defense. But if you do have a slow or clogged drain, it’s normally simple to remedy. Start with a plunger, and if that doesn’t clear the obstruction, snaking a drain with a cable auger you’ve rented for the day will usually do the trick. Sometimes the problem is with the plumbing vent, in which case you may need to enlist the help of professional plumber.
A dripping faucet is normally a pretty simple fix; it’s mostly a matter of knowing how to take the faucet apart and then replacing the washer. Online how-to videos can be helpful for this, or ask someone at your local hardware store for advice on exactly which replacement parts you will need.
Replace Supply Lines
If you have an older home, the water supply lines to your sinks, toilet and washing machine may be made of rubber or plastic which, after time, are prone to leakage. It’s a good idea to replace these with braided steel supply lines. Once you’ve turned off the water supply, simply unscrew the nuts to the old lines and replace them with the new ones.
For the Pros Only
If you’re having a plumbing emergency and water is flowing quickly into your home, by all means call a plumber right away. If there is an issue with your hot water heater, this is another problem best left to a certified plumber. If you are doing major renovations in your kitchen or bathroom, this is also a good time to call in a plumber to make sure the new systems are installed correctly the first time. Lastly, if the source of your problem is with a pipe that’s connected to a city main line, it’s important to hire a plumber to fix the issue quickly and correctly.