When you need plumbing services, is your first reaction to do an online search for “plumbers near me,” or is it, “I can do it myself”?
At Stronghold Plumbing & Septic, we understand the desire to save money and take control of home maintenance. However, while there are potential benefits to doing your own plumbing, there are also significant risks and drawbacks that homeowners should consider before taking on a project themselves.
Pros of DIY Plumbing
The most obvious advantage of DIY plumbing is cost savings. Hiring a professional plumber can be expensive, and homeowners who take on plumbing projects themselves can save money on labor costs.
Learning New Skills
DIY plumbing can be a great way to learn new skills and gain confidence in home maintenance. Plumbing projects can be challenging and require a level of expertise, but with proper research and preparation, homeowners can learn how to complete projects correctly and efficiently.
Control Over the Project
When homeowners take on plumbing projects themselves, they have complete control over the project. They can choose the materials, fixtures, and methods they want to use, and can ensure that the project is completed to their satisfaction.
Cons of DIY Plumbing
Risk of Mistakes
The biggest drawback of DIY plumbing is the risk of mistakes. Plumbing projects can be complex and require specialized knowledge and skills. A simple mistake in pipe installation or fixture replacement can result in water damage to your home, which could be costly to repair. Additionally, mistakes made by inexperienced individuals can lead to dangerous problems such as gas leaks or sewage backups.
Lack of Tools and Equipment
Plumbing projects often require specialized tools and equipment that are not readily available to the average homeowner. Without these tools, the project may not be completed correctly, resulting in further damage or requiring a professional plumber to come in and fix the mistakes.
Time and Effort
Plumbing projects can take up a significant amount of time, and without proper knowledge and expertise, it may take even longer to complete. Additionally, plumbing projects can be physically demanding and require a level of fitness that not everyone has.
Legal and Insurance Issues
In some cases, DIY plumbing may violate local building codes or safety regulations, which could result in legal issues or fines. Additionally, DIY plumbing may void any warranties or insurance policies that homeowners have in place. If something goes wrong with the plumbing, the manufacturer or insurance provider may refuse to cover the damage, as it was not installed or repaired by a professional plumber.
What Plumbing Problems Can a Homeowner Fix On Their Own?
While we recommend that homeowners hire a professional plumber for most plumbing projects, there are a few plumbing problems that the average homeowner can handle themselves with proper knowledge and preparation. These include:
- Clogged drains. If the sink or shower drain is clogged, the homeowner can try using a plunger or a plumbing snake to clear the blockage. If this does not work, they can try using a chemical drain cleaner.
- Leaky faucets. Leaky faucets are a common plumbing issue that homeowners can fix themselves with a few basic tools. Often, the cause of a leaky faucet is a worn-out washer or O-ring, which can be replaced easily.
- Running toilets. A running toilet can waste a significant amount of water and increase water bills. Homeowners can fix a running toilet by replacing the flapper valve, which is a relatively simple process.
- Loose or worn-out toilet handles. If the toilet handle is loose or not working correctly, homeowners can replace it themselves. This involves removing the tank lid, unscrewing the old handle, and attaching the new one.
It’s important to note that even these seemingly simple plumbing problems can have underlying causes that require professional attention. If the homeowner is unsure of the problem or is unable to fix it themselves, they should seek the help of a licensed and experienced plumber to avoid further damage or potential safety hazards.
Mistakes Can Be Costly
Plumbing mistakes can have serious consequences, and the damage they cause may not always be readily apparent. A seemingly small mistake, such as a loose pipe or a slow drain, can lead to more significant problems if left unaddressed. Over time, even a minor leak can cause water damage, which can lead to mold growth, rotting wood, and structural damage.
One of the most significant risks of DIY plumbing is that homeowners may not recognize the signs of a problem until it has already caused extensive damage. For example, a small leak in a hidden pipe may go unnoticed for weeks or even months, causing water damage and mold growth that can be costly and time-consuming to repair. By the time the homeowner realizes that there is a problem, the damage may be so extensive that it requires professional attention.
To avoid these issues, it is essential to have regular plumbing inspections by a licensed and experienced plumber. Plumbers can identify and fix small problems before they become larger and more costly, saving homeowners time and money in the long run.
Additionally, homeowners should be aware of the signs of plumbing problems, such as slow drains, foul odors, and water stains, and address them promptly to prevent further damage. By being proactive and attentive to their plumbing systems, homeowners can prevent serious and expensive damage to their homes.
While there are potential benefits to doing your own plumbing, the risks and drawbacks outweigh the advantages in most cases. Homeowners should always consider that the cost savings of doing it yourself can be easily offset by the cost of an emergency plumber to fix a problem.
Stronghold Plumbing & Septic
At Stronghold Plumbing & Septic in and near Lakeland, we strongly recommend hiring a licensed and experienced contractor to ensure that your plumbing is installed and repaired correctly, efficiently, and safely.
While it may be tempting to save a few dollars by attempting DIY plumbing, the potential risks and consequences are simply not worth it. By hiring a professional plumber, homeowners can rest assured that their plumbing is in good hands and that any problems will be addressed promptly and correctly.