Hiring a plumber for one’s home may be an added expense, but professional services are worth it. A substantial number of catastrophic water damage occurrences result from homeowners self-troubleshooting their plumbing problems. Experts also share that most of the self-troubleshooting work ends up as a short-term solution at best since it is only a stop-gap measure to contain a plumbing issue. Most of the Do-It-Yourself work end up badly, worsening what could have been an easy repair work for a professional.
So why do homeowners resort to self-troubleshooting?
The usual reason a homeowner has for trying to repair his plumbing trouble is the budget. Most would like to save on the professional service cost, because to their minds, they can do it on their own. The numerous Do-It-Yourself guides and videos uploaded in the Internet fuel a homeowner’s enthusiasm further. The problem with tutorials, though is that not everyone can follow instructions to the letter. Moreover, not everyone who could upload a video is a plumbing expert.
So when should a homeowner hire a plumber for his home?
There are plumbing issues that a homeowner may try to handle first before calling in the pros. Here are some of this type of situations:
- No water supply. If there is no water supply, the first thing a homeowner can do is to check if the main valve has been accidentally turned off. If it is not, then the homeowner can check if there are any announcements from the local water district about a supply interruption. If all else fails, then he can ask a neighbor if they are experiencing a supply interruption as well. If the neighbors do not have water supply too, then, there may be something wrong with the local water supply. If in case the neighbors have no problems with their supply, then it is time to call in a plumber to diagnose the problem.
- Low water pressure. When there is a sudden occurrence of low water pressure at home, a homeowner should check if the water pressure is lo9w in one source, or all over the house. If the pressure is low for the whole house, then he can check if there is an announcement from the local water district about a small water pressure advisory for the neighborhood. If there is no announcement, then the homeowner can check with his neighbor if they are also experiencing the same thing. If the neighbors are, and there are no local announcements, then the best thing to do is to report the matter to the water district office.
If in case the neighbors are fine with their water supply, then the homeowner should report the issue to a plumber. There may be a significant leak or a problem with the water main. If in case the low water pressure problem concerns just one outlet, then most likely it is because of a sediment build-up within the plumbing fixture. The homeowner can try cleaning up the faucet, the showerhead or the bidet with a vinegar-water solution, and brush off the sediments. If the situation persists, then call in the pros.
- Runny toilet. A runny toilet can cause water bills to skyrocket. It is best addressed at once. Usually, though it is just a problem with the flapper. Before calling in a plumber, the homeowner can look into the flushing mechanism to see if everything is in order: no loose chains, no loose parts. If the chain is loose, then the homeowner can reconnect it and see if water continues to run through the toilet. If the problem gets fixed, then well and good. If the issue persists then call in a plumber. The service cost is well worth the expense incurred by the leak.
- Slow drain. Before calling in the pros, a homeowner should try to extract the clog using a plunger. If the clog dislodges, then it is good. If not, then use an auger if it is available at home. If the slow drain is becoming inconvenient, then call a plumber to address the concern.
The four concerns mentioned above are relatively simple to deal with. There, however, are plumbing issues that homeowners should never resolve by themselves. These issues could suddenly morph into a plumbing catastrophe and can be considered a brewing water damage crisis.
Here are some plumbing problems that should only be resolved by a plumber:
- Bursting pipes. The best thing a homeowner can do is to turn off the primary water source and call for emergency plumbing service. A homeowner should never attempt to resolve this issue because any wrong step could worsen the problem and cause home flooding.
- Sewer trouble. Any issue involving the sewer and the sewer line should be resolved by a professional. It is unpleasant and harmful to the health of humans and animals. Any wrong step leads to a category three water damage – or black water damage. If there is any sign of sewer issue, then call a professional for immediate help.
- Water heater issues. A homeowner should never attempt to repair the water heater, no matter how confident he has become after watching internet tutorials. Water heaters are complicated and would merit the expertise and equipment of an expert plumber who has a background with water heater installation and repair.
Apart from these repair issues, homeowners should never take upon plumbing projects on their own. Installing or upgrading plumbing fixtures like piping, toilets, heaters, tubs, sinks among others should solely be done by a licensed plumber. Any project that will require a local permit should likewise be only carried out by a plumbing contractor. Safety and efficiency can only be guaranteed by expert work. There is no cost for the peace of mind of knowing that the plumbing system in one’s home is professionally done.
Moreover, professional work safeguards the home against water damage. There is no room for error, and if an issue comes up, there licensed contractors can be counted on to pay for the damage. Moreover, DIY work will never be appealing to a prospective buyer should the home be put up for sale.