When Should You “DIY” Your Plumbing Problem?

Jeff Palady
President
Budget Rooter

Website

Leaky faucets. Basic toilet clogs. Installing a new fixture. Stopping a running toilet. Most homeowners have dealt with issues like these at one time or another. Many minor plumbing fixes don’t require you to call a plumber, but knowing when to call and when to “do it yourself” is still a fine line. If you attempt to fix something outside the realm of your experience, you can actually make the problem worse and more expensive to fix.

So when is it time to call a professional, and when is it okay to “DIY” your plumbing issue? You can always call a plumber when in doubt, of course, but let’s look at a few examples of when you’re probably okay handling the problem on your own.

When Common Sense Makes the Answer Clear

If a toilet clogs immediately after someone uses it, common sense tells you to grab the plunger. When you notice water drops accumulating around the faucet handle, common sense tells you a couple of turns of the screwdriver will probably stop the leak. Minor issues like these are usually five-minute fixes that you can handle yourself. However, if your common-sense solution doesn’t immediately fix the clog or the leak, it may be time to call the plumber rather than get in over your head.

When You Have Some Basic Handyman Experience

If you’re handy enough around the house, you may already have some experience with minor home repairs. For example, if you’ve had some experience cleaning out the kitchen drain pipes after someone put too many potatoes down the garbage disposal—and if you have the right tools for the job—simple fixes at the point of the problem may be well within your range of expertise. The only caveat: Don’t get cocky and overestimate your skills, or you could create more problems for yourself.

When Should You NOT Do It Yourself?

Perhaps more important than knowing when you can “DIY” it is knowing when you can’tor shouldn’tdo so. Examples of plumbing symptoms you shouldn’t try to tackle on your own might include:

  • Backups in multiple basins or toilets.When more than one unit backs up, it’s a sign the clog is deeper in your system than most people are qualified to handle.
  • Corroding pipes.Worn out plumbing should always be replaced by a professional. There may be local codes to consider, and even if you have the right tools, it’s almost never “just one pipe” that needs replacing.
  • A major plumbing reconfiguration.When you’re moving the location of a sink or toilet, for example, you need a professional plumber to ensure the changes are safe and in compliance with building codes.
  • Anytime you feel you’re in too deep.When in doubt—call the plumber. It’s that simple. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, the odds are high that you’ll actually create more problems. At that point, calling the plumber is usually the least expensive option.

As always, Budget Rooter is always here to help with any plumbing problem, large or small. Give us a call to schedule an appointment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Palady, RMP is the President and co-owner of Budget Rooter Plumbing & Drain Cleaning.  This family owned plumbing company has been serving their customers for more than 25 years, and makes customer service and quality of work their priority.

Jeff started working in the field at the age of fifteen under the tutelage of his father, who owned a Philadelphia-based plumbing and drain cleaning company.  At the age of eighteen, Jeff and his mother decided to open their own shop in their home state of Delaware.  For the first few years, Jeff was Budget Rooter’s only field technician, and was often out on calls until late at night while going to school to earn his Master’s License.  As Budget Rooter grew, Jeff trained new technicians, researched and purchased the best equipment, and today he manages the operations of the company.

Known for being dedicated to Budget Rooter, Jeff is one of the first to arrive in the morning and is usually the last to leave.  In his spare time, Jeff enjoys fishing, modifying his truck, and spending time with his wife and two sons.  

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