It’s tough to find the balance between knowing when to fix something yourself and hiring a professional. Some plumbing problems are easier than others.
There are so many tools required for plumbing issues, so many unexpected factors, and so many things that can go wrong, much more than with other home improvement DIY projects.
So if you can’t resist playing the weekend warrior, experiment with painting a room or pouring a patch of concrete. But when it comes to hiring a professional plumber vs. DIY plumbing repairs, give yourself — and your home — a break. Choose a licensed professional plumber. Here are 7 reasons why.
“Expect the unexpected” is definitely not a cliché when it comes to a plumbing system. It’s the unvarnished truth. Say, for instance, your DIY plumbing project involves adjusting a leaky pipe. Suddenly — surprise! The pipe twists open and water starts gushing everywhere. Why doesn’t YouTube prepare viewers for this type of plumbing emergency! Hope you have the phone number of a good plumber close at hand. (Our emergency plumbing number is 613-519-342.)
As an amateur, you’re likely to have a problem assessing the full extent of your plumbing issue. To illustrate: You may decide that you need shower repair. But what you don’t have the experience and training to spot ahead of time is that the wall behind your shower is riddled with mould. Open up that wall and suddenly the issue is much more complicated than you had thought. Oops. And that’s not even considering the complexities of external plumbing repairs, like frozen pipes or broken pipes.
In the Province of Ontario, you need a permit for plumbing projects, including:
That means you must be willing and able to perform the work in accordance with the Building Codes. It’ll have to pass inspection, as well.
Insurance companies are not big fans of DIY plumbing work. In fact, if your amateur job results in messy plumbing related damage to your home (or your downstairs neighbours’, when you live in a condo), your insurer might be unwilling to accept a claim. Oh well, you have a spare few thousand dollars to fix everything up again, don’t you?
A truly reliable licensed plumber will look at the big picture when working in your home. Beyond doing a similar repair or installation, they’ll protect your home’s plumbing and water supply for the long term, by using quality materials and expert techniques. They will also warn you if they detect potential problems, so you can get them fixed before they turn into a big plumbing problem.
Do-it-yourself plumbing seems like a great way to save money, until you add up all the incidental costs. Professional plumber’s tools are pricey, though, and not something the average layperson is likely to have lying around the garage. A “real” plumber will own this equipment, though. They’ll also have access to hard-to-find replacement parts, like 10-year-old toilet hardware. In addition, they will be up to speed on the latest and greatest plumbing materials.
In addition to their proper training, master plumbers have vast experience backing their work. They know home plumbing systems like the back of their hand. And over the years, they’ve learned how to produce trustworthy, great-looking results for customers like you.
That being said, there are certain minor repairs suitable for wannabe home plumbers, so you can develop your skill set with small projects without too much potential for harm. Good luck!
To fix a clogged drain, remove any standing water. Then try plunging or snaking that slow running household drain. Help clear out blockages with BioOne, a cost effective, safe biodegradable drain cleaner. Its microbes eat the gunk that is clogging your drain, without endangering your pipes — not to mention your family and pets!
Replacing a bad faucet is a little more challenging but still within the skill level of an ambitious DIY fan. Be sure to turn off the hot and cold water valve under the sink before you begin. It’s simplest to install a new faucet yourself if the connection points line up with the existing holes in your counter or sink.
For your plumbing needs, including complex projects like backwater valve installation, turn to Out Of This World Plumbing. We are licensed expert plumbers serving the Ottawa region 24/7.