Plumbing is perhaps one of the most important services in a building, whether in residential or commercial spaces. Aside from the most commonly known item, water transmission, plumbing also involves installing and maintaining heating systems such as boilers and furnaces. Other everyday appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers also benefit greatly from plumbing services. There are many plumbing services such as cleaning drains, sewer line inspection, management, and repair, detecting and repairing leaks and clogs in drainage, septic tank plumbing, and tons of other services.
Plumbing services can be costly, prompting people to find ways of handling the issues themselves. With so much information on the internet, many people are also feeling equipped enough to handle the plumbing challenges that they may encounter. DIY projects have become very popular as they are pocket-friendly, eliminate labor costs and feel very rewarding. They are also a good way of learning new skills and identifying hidden talents. While DIY plumbing might seem fun and fulfilling, here are a few myths surrounding it that will help you decide if it’s as easy as it seems.
No expertise required
While there are basic plumbing issues that are relatively easy to solve, expert plumbers are better suited to handle more complicated issues. DIY plumbing may handle issues at the point where they arise but fail to address the root causes. Simple problems such as clogging may result from more complicated issues with drainage and may not be resolved by taking out the few grains of rice that went down the kitchen drain. Expert plumbers can design unique tools for fixing specific problems that may not be available in the market, while DIY plumbing relies on available tools. While DIY plumbing may save some money, higher costs may be incurred later due to poor connections, using the wrong materials, or failure to address the underlying problem. Experts invest in years of training and on-the-job experience before they get good at it and with good reason. Plumbing involves intricate connections such as plumbing codes which DIY plumbers may fail to understand. There are also complexities such as best materials to use, measurements, and water texture.
Safe And easy
Most DIY plumbing activities seem very simple and easy. On the contrary, plumbing can be labor intensive and very demanding. Plumbing requires accurate measurement of items such as piping which may require lots of time to get and customize to meet specific needs. Drainage and clog repair may be gross and quite difficult to handle by oneself. They also involve high exposure to waste material which may result in health problems if not well handled. Plumbing services involving heaters like boilers and furnaces pose a risk of physical harm to DIY plumbers with little to no experience.
Cheaper Plumbing Alternative
The main reason why people opt for DIY projects is to eliminate the cost of paying someone for their services. This, however, may be the opposite when actualized. DIY plumbers have to invest money in products and parts that may be harder for them to access than expert plumbers. They also spend a lot of time on the project and figuring things out. They also have higher chances of causing more damage to their plumbing and subsequently incurring higher expenses to fix the bigger issues. Some common issues during DIY plumbing include incorrect fitting, material, and damage due to wrong techniques.
Anyone Can Be A Plumber
DIY plumbing has most people believing that they can be plumbers and do whatever plumbing is necessary for their property. However, some regulations require certain tasks to be done by qualified and licensed plumbers. Some DIY plumbing work, such as those done during renovations, can be reported and illegal. Moving pipes and fixtures, installing water heaters, and renovations should only be done by professional plumbers with the proper permits such as JL Wagner Plumbing services.
While plumbing may seem straightforward and simple, intricate details may be missed during DIY plumbing. To stay safe and comply with set regulations, professional plumbers should be brought on board to handle most plumbing issues. DIY plumbing can be applied in minor plumbing issues such as replacing showerheads, fixing jammed disposal, unclogging your toilet, or fixing a leaking tap.
- So you decide to do plumbing work. What should you do next?
- What to avoid when doing plumbing work?
- Frequently Asked Questions
So you decide to do plumbing work. What should you do next?
Should you decide you have the skills, tools, and knowledge to do some plumbing work around the house, follow our recommendations for excellent results.
You don’t just go and open pipes; do some thinking first and go over the steps. Think about what could be in the pipes or whether you have to shut off the water first. It can be crucial not to end up in a disaster.
Don’t open drains randomly
Don’t separate drain parts or remove cleanouts unless you’re 100% positive that the pipe’s contents will drain in your direction. Typically, there’s not much pressure in the drains. However, a clog can add a lot because of the weight behind the clog and gravity.
gather the information about regulations
Before embarking on a plumbing project, you have to get all the information you need about the local building and plumbing codes. Find out what plumbing work you can do on your work and what requires professional servicing. If the plumbing project requires a permit, make sure you get it before doing any work.
Shut off water
Stay on the safe side and shut off the water if your plumbing work is near a water supply. Even if a cap or knob looks less functional, it could hold back pressurized water. You don’t want to find out the hard way that that button wasn’t only for the aesthetics of your home…
Shut off gas lines and power too
Water, combustibles, and electricity don’t make a good combo. Should you smell gas, you need to evacuate and call professionals for further assistance.
Don’t skimp on the protection
You will need more than goggles to protect yourself when doing plumbing work.
When doing plumbing work, put on safety glasses, especially if you suspect a risk of damaging your eyes. Snaking a drain, using a reciprocating saw or a drill, hammering, or working under the sink can end in injuring your eyes. Additionally, drain gunk and sewage splashing into your eyes are contaminants that can cause health problems.
You also need to wear the proper work gloves for hand protection. You will touch various materials and chemicals when doing plumbing work and wearing gloves will reduce the risk of injuries. If you use a drain machine, put on latex gloves under the leather gloves. You don’t want germs in drain lines to get on your hands.
It’s also essential to protect your lungs when trying to fix your pipes. Therefore, you should put on a face mask. Should you have to sand or saw, you can also add a disposable mask. You don’t want to inhale any dust particles.
Some may wonder how will feet be at risk when doing plumbing work. However, when you do plumbing work, you walk in slippery puddles. Make sure you wear slip-resistant shoes to protect your feet and to reduce the risk of falling. You can find boots that are resistant to waste products.
Plumbing work can generate plenty of loud and sharp noises. Even if you might not feel severe damage from hearing them once, the noises can affect the hearing when not correctly protecting your ears.
Read the labels
Always give the labels a good read when using machines and chemicals. This is no place to get loose, so follow the instruction carefully and accordingly. Also, read the warning labels on any equipment and products you use. Make sure you know what to do if anything goes south.
Practice tool safety
Power tools are excellent for plumbing work, but they require some skills and attention. We recommend you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on safe use. When you use a powerful drilling machine to drill ½ drill, the risk you’re taking is significant. The drill bit/cutter shouldn’t bind during the drilling. If it does, the drill won’t stop.
Pay attention when soldering/using heat on pipes, especially if you’re near insulation or a wall. Also, protect nearby combustible materials with a heat shield if you’re working with a soldering torch.
Keep emergency contact information within reach
Should anything go wrong with your DIY plumbing work, you should have the number from a reliable company within reach. Professional plumbers will know who to call: the electric, gas company, the building supervisor, and the homeowner (if applicable).
What to avoid when doing plumbing work?
From a distance, plumbing looks like effortless work, but it’s entirely the opposite. One thing to keep in mind with plumbing work is to take your time. Think through your work and see that you control as many aspects as possible.
Here’s what you shouldn’t do when doing plumbing work:
Don’t cut/drill into a wall, floor cavity, ceiling before you know what’s behind that surface. Cavities may hide electrical wiring, plumbing pipes, and ductwork. You don’t want to cause any damage to anything.
Forget about code requirements
Plumbing and building codes are made to keep everyone and everything protected and safe. You should never, under any circumstances, ignore the regulations. For instance, never leaving a vacuum breaker in the water supply line is a standard code requirement. It’s because it can cause contamination of the public drinking water.
Misuse equipment and tools
You should use the tools and equipment exclusively for the intended purpose. When you’re not using the tools/equipment correctly, you can injure yourself and cause damage to the instrument or your house. Also, take care of your equipment to ensure its efficient performance. Always examine your tools and equipment before using them and see that they’re in good condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is plumbing a dirty job?
You don’t need to be a physics professor to know that plumbing is a dirty job. If you’re considering becoming a plumber, you should know that houses will always require plumbing work. Plumbers have work to do even if there’s a worldwide pandemic going on. Pipes aren’t made to last forever.
Are the plumbing services expensive?
You may pay for plumbing work anywhere from $175 to $450 for a regular job. The cost per hour ranges from $45 to $200. You can hire professionals to fix toilets, faucets, bathtubs, or sinks. It all depends on the job and some plumbers will charge a flat rate/service fee of $300 on average.
Plumbing work is pricey. Why is so?
Plumbing services are expensive because professionals have specialized training and thousands of hours to master. Additionally, plumbers take house calls and come whenever you call them. They use specialized equipment, tools and spend gas for driving to you. On top of everything else, plumbers have insurance and overhead expenses that add to the cost of service.
What’s a plumbing emergency?
Sewer back up, flooding because of a damaged sump pump, water shut off valve failure, etc., are some plumbing emergencies. Flood damage can cause significant damage to your home’s structure and poses a risk for safety. You shouldn’t wait another minute to call the professionals in case of flooding.
How do you know that you deal with plumbing problems?
If you turn on the faucets and the water is green, yellow, or brown, the pipes could be corroded. Don’t postpone hiring the professionals for plumbing work; you might be only days away from pipes leaking or bursting. Rust in the water pipes makes the water yellow or brown. Similarly, excessive corrosion in copper water pipes will make the water green.