Fixing things around the house yourself is generally cost effective and can give a sense of pride as a handyman (or woman). This confidence may lead you to take on more projects, and there are plenty of fun home improvement ideas. Be aware, however, that no matter how sure you are of your skills, there are some repairs that you shouldn’t attempt yourself. Plumbing repairs are often among these off-limit jobs.
Little things like clogged drains are a nuisance and may be handled with the right products. You may be able to tighten a loose pipe now and again or support it with tape as a temporary fix. Anything beyond quick, easy fixes like these, though, should be left to professionals. Attempting more complex jobs can have big consequences for your home and your personal safety. The following list consists of some relatively common plumbing issues that you should never try to fix yourself.
This issue is largely based on location, so you may never have to worry about it if you live in a warm climate. In northern areas, however, frozen pipes during the winter can be a common occurrence. There are ways to protect against this, but you may find yourself with a frozen pipe anyway. Generally, if you’re only getting a trickle of water from a faucet, and there are no apparent leaks anywhere, then you know you have a frozen pipe.
In this case, you should turn off the water supply to help prevent more pressure from building in the pipe, which could cause it to burst. If the temperature is rising, you can wait for the pipes to thaw on their own, although pipes that thaw and refreeze get weaker over time. Your best bet is to have a plumber assess the situation and offer advice based on the age of your pipes and their condition.
Low water pressure can be an infuriating issue, and you’ll likely want it fixed as soon as possible. The problem is that low pressure can be caused by any number of things. It could simply be clogged pipes. It could be a city issue. Cracked pipes, hidden leaks, and a mix of other problems could also be at the source. Trying to pinpoint and fix the problem yourself, especially if it has multiple causes, could easily set you up for worse problems down the road.
Water Line Damage
Speaking of things like freezing pipes, drain clogs, and low pressure, it’s important to regularly check the condition of your pipes. If you are having frequent plumbing issues, you’ll need to get on top of things before you need an entire water line replacement. This is a very costly and time consuming process in itself, and if you let things deteriorate too much before contacting the plumbers, you could easily face flood damage on top of the repairs. Signs of rust or other damage over time are huge red flags that you can’t put off addressing.
Water Heater Issues
Issues with your home’s water heater definitely can’t be ignored, but you should never attempt to fix it yourself for both financial and safety reasons. One of the most common problems with water heaters is the buildup of sediment on the bottom of the tank. This occurs naturally when water stands still, and the sediment can harden over time. Water can be trapped in this sediment, and when it’s brought to a boil it will reduce the effectiveness of the water heater and produce a low rumbling noise.
If left alone, the pressure built from the boiling water can cause the water heater to explode, resulting in catastrophic damage to the home, not to mention the potential for injuries and worse. To even check a water heater for problems, it will need to be at least partially drained, and this water is hot enough to cause injuries. Always leave this process to the pros to avoid unnecessary hospital trips or calls for home reconstruction services.
Finally, whether you’re remodeling your entire home or adding to a specific area, it’s never a good idea to attempt any plumbing renovations yourself. You should generally employ a combination of professional remodeling services along with plumbers to handle the installation of any new additions. Any remodeling or renovating is likely to be a pricey affair, and the last thing you need is to ruin it with poor decisions.