Making a decision whether to hire a plumber or do a plumbing job yourself requires an honest assessment of your skill set. While many homeowners can learn how to replace a worn-out washer in a dripping faucet, others may rather spend a Saturday afternoon on other household tasks and leave the disassembly to a licensed professional. One thing is for sure: A certified plumber will always get the job done right.
So before you take out a wrench in the face of any plumbing project, weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether it’d be better to do it yourself, or hire a skilled plumber.
Unclogging A Sink Or Toilet
A clogged sink or toilet is a real annoyance, since it puts the fixture out of commission until the clog is resolved. One of the pros of unclogging it yourself is that you won’t have to wait for a plumber to arrive. There are many tricks and tips to unclogging plumbing, such as using a plunger, boiling water, a drain snake, which are all worth a try.
However, if those efforts fail, you’d best call a local plumber. Licensed professionals have special equipment to dislodge stubborn clogs. You don’t want to damage the pipes with sharp objects or caustic chemicals.
Leaking Faucets And Toilets
The most common cause of leaking faucets is worn washers, which, with a little skill, can be replaced by a determined DIY-er. Think twice, however, if you have a particularly expensive faucet or are unsure you’re up to the task. Better to call in a professional to fix the problem than have to spend hundreds of dollars replacing the expensive fixture you scratched or couldn’t put back together again.
The most common cause of leaking toilets is old toilet flappers, which are easily replaced by a DIY-er. But if replacing the flapper doesn’t solve the problem, or you see water pooling around the base of the toilet, you may want to call in a plumber to make sure the source of the leak is being correctly identified and repaired.
No Hot Water
If you suddenly run out of hot water and it’s not due to a utility cut-off, the likely culprit is your hot water heater. Unless you’re skilled in appliance repair, you’d best call in a plumber to diagnose the problem, especially if you discover rust, pitting, or cracks in the tank.
Although you can stop a leak in a metal pipe with epoxy putty, it’s only a temporary fix. Leaks in old metal pipes are usually due to long-term corrosion. If you find yourself plugging leaks often, you may want to forgo any more DIY repairs and call in a professional to assess the state of your plumbing before a pipe bursts.
If your basement has suddenly turned into a swimming pool because of a split in your hot water tank, a ceiling has collapsed because of a busted pipe, or sewage is spewing out of your first-floor toilet, your best move is to make an emergency call to a plumber. The time you spend trying to figure out how to stop the damage yourself may cost you dearly. A licensed plumber will know the precise steps to take to mitigate the damage, clean up the mess safely, and be able to advise you as to where you’ll have to go from there.
While many small plumbing issues can be repaired at home with a little skill and know-how, it’s never a bad idea to call in a trusted plumber to be sure that the job gets done right.