I think we’ve all done it. We’ve all gotten part-way through a home improvement project that has NOT gone as we wanted it to go and said…well, NOW who do I call? Maybe a plumber? It’s definitely happened to us…more times than I would like to admit! Ha!
Did you know that one in three homeowners regret their DIY home-improvement tasks, according to a report by Zillow? A type of home repair you might be tempted to do yourself is plumbing, especially if the problem appears to be easy to fix, such as a faulty pipe. However, how do you know that you’ll be able to do it without causing greater problems?
A common mistake people make is thinking that their home problems are easy to fix, and if they encounter problems their insurance will cover the damage. Take it from my husband, who makes a living working in homeowner’s insurance, this is not necessarily true! If something goes wrong, you might be denied your homeowner insurance claim, such as if you cause water damage to your home because of your mistakes. So, with that in mind, it’s important to know where to draw the line between DIY and calling in the plumbing pros.
Plumbing repairs you can do yourself
Not every plumbing job is off-limits to you as a homeowner. It can be empowering to be able to fix faulty plumbing, and there are many examples of routine plumbing maintenance and small repairs you can do with ease.
This includes checking that drains work well, as well as checking faucets and shower heads for any buildup of sediment that can prevent a steady stream of water from flowing out of them. These issues are easy to fix. You can clear away drain clogs the natural way, such as by pouring boiling water down them. If the clog is a bit more serious, put half a cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the drain. Put the drain plug in and let the mixture sit for ten minutes, before pouring hot water down the drain. Sediment buildup in taps can be removed by cleaning or replacing their silicone washers.
Plumbing repairs best left for the pros
There are many plumbing repairs that shouldn’t be attempted by homeowners. A common one is frozen pipes. You might think that thawing a frozen pipe with a blow torch is all that’s required, but it’s not always easy to know how to thaw pipes in the right way, so you could be wasting your time. In addition, there’s the risk that frozen pipes can burst. Ones that are most likely to burst are those in unheated interior areas of the home, such as basements, as well as those that are situated outside of the home’s insulation.
If your pipes are frozen, call a plumber who’s specialized in various plumbing issues and repairs, such as copper re-piping. This will save you money by preventing a larger problem, such as burst pipes. In future, it’s good to minimize your risk of frozen pipes by using foam sleeves to keep your pipes warm during the icy months. Here are some other plumbing repairs to leave to an experienced plumber…
Installing new pipes
You might be tempted to install new pipes in your home, but here’s a good tip to find out if you should even try: if what’s causing the problem with your pipes is underground or hidden inside a wall or basement, don’t go there! If you incorrectly repair or install new pipes, you could end up with bigger problems, such as leaky pipes or flooding in your home. Bear in mind that pipes are often within close range of other pipes and plumbing elements in your home’s interiors, so you don’t want to cause problems by touching those.
Water heaters that don’t work
The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety found that water heater failures are one of the leading causes of water damage in homes! When the water in your pipes doesn’t warm up, fixing a water heater can be a complicated process that’s best left to a professional. This is because its repairs will likely require repairs to the main water line. If you repair these incorrectly, it can leave you without a water supply to your home. There’s also the risk of injury when repairing water heaters. You could end up burning your body if the pipes burst, which can rack up medical bills on top of your home repair costs.
It’s good to want to be a self-sufficient homeowner, but it’s important to know when you should try to fix your own plumbing and when you should call an experienced plumber instead. That way, you can end up saving money and prevent larger problems, such as floods, from striking your home.
What’s something YOU don’t DIY at your house? What makes YOU call in the pros?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!