So, you’ve got a pesky plumbing problem that’s causing you and your housemates or family members a great deal of frustration. Of course, the first course of action usually involves resorting to the trusty plunger or even a drain snake if you have one handy. However, some plumbing problems are a bit more challenging to fix and there are instances where you’ll feel as though calling a plumber is your only option. That is until you start thinking about the cost of labor and wondering whether you can do the job yourself. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider leaving the serious plumbing jobs to a professional.
Plumbing Isn’t as Simple as it Seems
There’s a reason why plumbers charge a decent fee for their labor – it can get sweaty, grueling, stinky, and downright unpleasant, and as an amateur DIYer, there’s no guarantee that all that hassle is going to pay off. Properly navigating through the pipes with a drain snake/auger is easier said than done, so there’s a learning curve to conquer as well. Here are some of the things you might have to learn and/or figure out during a plumbing project:
- Finding the cause of the plumbing problem and selecting an appropriate solution
- Navigating pipe systems with a manual or electric auger
- Disassembling and reassembling sinks, drains, tubs, toilets, and other plumbing fixtures
You’ll also have to become knowledgeable about the way chemicals and temperatures affect pipes to avoid damaging your pipes. You may also need to learn how to cut PVC pipe and, perhaps most importantly, how to accurately diagnose the problem, to begin with.
The Importance of Using the Right Tools
Apart from experience and knowledge, many novice do-it-yourselfers aren’t properly equipped to handle a significant drain clog, which may require the use of an electric plumbing snake/auger. You might feel inclined to simply purchase your own electric drain cleaner so that you can do the job in the future. However, doing so can cost more than simply paying a plumber to fix your current issue, and if you install a garbage disposal and practice proper usage of the plumbing system, you probably won’t be using the electric snake very often. A drain camera may also be needed if the clog is difficult to find. Thus, it’s important to ask yourself whether you really want to invest in plumbing tools.
Possible Consequences of Doing the Job Wrong
Another important aspect to consider is the possibility of accidentally damaging pipes or other components due to inexperience. You may have to accept the fact that there could be some trial and error to overcome. Aside from the risk of a mishap, you could literally be stumped by the problem, in which case you’d wind up calling a plumber anyway, and then you’ve invested in the tools and wasted time for no reason. You might also discover that the root of the problem is too expensive or difficult to fix independently (i.e. – a septic or sewer line issue) and will require the assistance of a professional plumbing service.
Investing in your Personal Skill Set
With all of the above covered, it’s worth looking at the opposite side of the coin. If you do decide to buy your own plumbing tools and become a proficient DIY plumber, you’re equipping yourself with a skill that could prove to be useful and money-saving over the years.