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May 2, 2018

When Household Plumbing Issues Become More Than You Can Handle

You pride yourself on your DIY ability and you should. There’s no dispute there. The problem is some of the things around the house that go wrong might be more than you can handle – no offense! For example, you wouldn’t attempt to replace your roof, so why do you attempt to replace your toilet? Did you know that one of the most common reasons professional plumbers are called for help is to fix do-it-yourself projects? Yeah, sometimes it’s best to leave the big stuff to the pros.

Things You Can Handle

This isn’t to say you should call a plumber to fix your leaky kitchen sink faucet. You can probably replace the tap yourself. Certain household plumbing repairs are pretty easy. For example, if your toilet runs sporadically day and night, chances are the flapper is leaking. Turn off the water supply to the toilet, flush it, and then lift the lid off the tank. Grab the flapper, dry it, and take it to the hardware store. This is an easy fix once you buy a new one, which shouldn’t cost you more than about $10.

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Something like that, even replacing the toilet’s entire innards is a day-off DIY job. Replacing faucets is also something that is fairly straightforward, and you can probably unclog your toilets and drains if the clog is minor. When facing a plumbing problem, ask yourself one important question: Am I comfortable handling this? If you feel even the slightest hint of reticence, don’t attempt this at home. Assess what you can and cannot handle, and don’t try to be a hero. Be realistic.

Things You Probably Shouldn’t Attempt

More intensive plumbing work like system replacements, fixture replacements, and water damage is best left to the pros. One reason why is additional unseen issues you might not realize are there. Imagine a pipe bursts. You catch the problem quickly and cut the water to the house. Your spouse and you stare at the wet spot on the wall and discuss what to do next. You can rip out the drywall yourself, replace the pipe, and then install new drywall and paint. Sounds like a project, but it’s easy enough.

Here’s the thing, though. What if you don’t see all the water damage and mold growing inside your wall? Are you prepared to deal with the dangers of mold? No, you’re not, nor should you ever want to. For major stuff, such as burst pipes, leaking systems, and dead or dying hot water heaters, it’s best to call for help. Even if you want to upgrade your kitchen and bathroom, don’t save money by installing new appliances and fixtures on your own. Many things can go wrong if you DIY major plumbing projects.


The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should know your limits. If you have previous experience in a plumbing situation, you can probably handle it. If you’ve never replaced a water heater, you shouldn’t attempt it. Assess the dangers associated with the job, as well. For example, a water heater repair or replacement involves electricity, gas, or both. Don’t become a tragic statistic. Take care of the easy stuff and let someone licensed and certified play with electricity and gas.
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