Tackling a home plumbing project yourself should be easy, right? Although turning off the water supply and wrenching a few pipes might seem simple, there is a reason that plumbers are highly paid. Plumbing work is a specific skill that takes years of education and experience to do well, but there are a few tasks that a home handyman or handywoman can handle. Here’s how to know when to DIY and not to DIY your home plumbing.
Replacing Shower Heads and Faucets
There’s no easier job than replacing a shower head. Just take the old one off and put a new one on. You don’t even have to shut off the water. However, replacing faucets is more complicated and should be left to a professional. Sink faucets contain a lot of complicated hardware like washers and valves that must be installed correctly to prevent leaks. They also come in a wide variety of styles that have different installation requirements.
Put down that bottle of drain cleaner. Those harsh chemicals are bad for your pipes and even worse for the environment, so hire a professional to handle drain cleaning and clogs. A plumber can take your pipes apart and thoroughly clean them instead of just busting up the debris with drain cleaner so that your pipes stay clear and last longer.
Fixing Pipes and Leaks
Most pipes are located within your home’s walls or foundation, which makes accessing them difficult. Even if you can get to them through a basement or crawlspace, doing pipe work can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. These tasks are best left to a plumber, but skilled homeowners can fix leaks in visible pipes like the ones under your sink.
Installing a new sink or toilet is more complicated than setting up a new appliance and should be left to the professionals. Making a mistake can cost a lot more than a plumber’s fee in broken fixtures, leaks and water damage. While some plumbing appliances like washers and water heaters are relatively simple to install, more complicated appliances like tankless water heaters and household water filtering systems should be installed by a plumber.
Although certain plumbing jobs are safe and easy to DIY, keep in mind that your homeowner’s insurance policy may disagree. Insurance companies often refuse to cover damage that results from DIY repairs and upgrades, so always review your policy or call your agent before beginning a project.