Some plumbing projects are well within reach of your average do-it-yourselfer. With a little know-how and few specialized tools, a handy homeowner can fix a running toilet, unclog a drain, or tighten a leaking faucet. But when it comes to more complicated plumbing problems, well-meaning homeowners often cause more problems than they solve. Here are some of the very good reasons why you need a professional plumber.
One of the most significant factors in any home improvement or repair project is safety. Whether it’s as simple as hanging a picture or as complex as building an addition to your home, safety always comes first. If you’re just stopping a running toilet, it may not seem like safety is much of an issue. But plumbing is a lot more than toilets and drains.
First, any time you are working with a line under pressure, the risk of damage to you and your home goes way up. If you don’t turn off the water in the right spot, you risk flooding your home and causing thousands of dollars of damage very quickly.
When working on sewage lines, you have to account for the biohazard of wastewater. If raw sewage gets into your home or even spills on your property, cleanup can be unpleasant at best, and potentially dangerous. Professional plumbers have the skills and tools to work with sewer lines in a way that doesn’t risk spills and mess.
When many people think of plumbers, they only think of water. But plumbers also work with gas and steam. If you need to run or repair a gas line to an oven or a water heater, for instance, any mistakes are potentially life-threatening. A leaky pipe can allow toxic gas to fill your home, risking severe injury. Also, if a room in your home fills with gas, even a small spark can ignite a powerful blast with the potential to destroy property and cause severe injuries.
Many older homes and multi-unit properties use steam radiators as their primary heat source. Working with a steam system involves the risk of serious burns, pressure explosions, and dangerous leaks. Untrained homeowners should never attempt to work on a steam system.
Some plumbing jobs require soldering to seal pipelines. Working with a soldering iron is always dangerous, and working in tight indoor spaces is especially fraught. Only a trained plumber should work with a soldering iron on critical pipelines.
Avoiding Damaging Mistakes
Some home improvement projects are more forgiving than others. Hanging a door, painting a wall, and even replacing kitchen cabinets all require some skill, but pose little risk if you make mistakes. But not all DIY projects come with such low risk. Perhaps the most dangerous place to make mistakes is in your home’s electrical system since faulty wiring can lead to shocks and fires. But plumbing comes in as a very close second. Water damage can be fast, extensive, and highly damaging. In many cases, property damaged by water is not recoverable and needs to be thrown out and replaced.
Even something as simple as repairing a sink drain can quickly become a complete mess if you make a mistake. If you turn on the water and the pipes are not properly sealed, water from your sink can pour into your kitchen, where it can destroy everything you keep under your sink and possibly damage other parts of your kitchen, too.
As a DIYer, some mistakes should be anticipated. You just don’t want to make those mistakes with your plumbing. That’s why it’s always best to call a professional plumber for anything you aren’t 100% sure you can do yourself. It’s always better to spend a few bucks on a professional with the right tools, training, and experience than to destroy your home trying to save money.
Tools, Skills, and Experience
Many homeowners keep a toolkit on hand that can handle a wide variety of DIY projects. Essential carpentry tools like hammers, saws, levels, and electric drills cover most of what you need to do in your home. Some additional tools, like wrenches and pliers, are also standard in most homes. From there, tools get more specific. And while many DIYers have an array of special tools, very few have the variety and quality of tools that a professional plumber brings to every job. Plumbing tools are often useless for anything but plumbing, so they are not common parts of most home workbenches.
In addition to specialized tools, plumbers have the skills and experience to diagnose and solve all kinds of plumbing issues. A common complaint from homeowners is that plumbers cost too much. Sometimes a plumber will come in and work for just one hour and charge what homeowners think is way too much for that short amount of work. But what they don’t realize is that the plumber can only perform that service so quickly because of years of training and experience. So it’s not just about paying for the hour of labor; it’s about paying for the skill and experience that plumber has accumulated over a long career.
Licenses, Insurance, and Warranties
If you’re doing anything more than a simple repair, the chances are good that you will need a licensed plumber. Licensing exists to let you know that a plumber has the training, skills, and proper insurance to ensure a job well done. For larger jobs, like building an addition or significant renovations, you may need to pull a permit. Only licensed plumbers can apply for a permit—without a license, you can’t get one. When you work with a licensed and insured professional plumber, you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re protected if something goes wrong.
Part of licensing is demonstrating that you have the proper insurance. Without insurance, if a plumber causes damage to your home or injures themselves on the job, you may be on the hook for thousands of dollars in damage or compensation. A licensed professional plumber must carry insurance covering them and their workers in case of an on-the-job injury, so you aren’t liable. Their insurance also includes a bond, money set aside to cover damage if they make a mistake or don’t finish a job properly.
Many professional plumbers also warranty their work. If you do a plumbing job yourself and something goes wrong after you’re finished, you have no choice but to call in a professional to solve the plumbing issue and any damage from your inadequate repairs. But if you start with a professional plumber and something breaks after they leave, many plumbers have warranties on their labor. They will return to fix the problem, so you know that once you have a professional plumber, the job will be completed one way or another.
If you want to find the best professional plumbers, look no further than TrustDALE.com. The plumbers in the TrustDALE community of trust aren’t just licensed and insured. They are all part of the TrustDALE family, and they have agreed to let TrustDALE step in if a dispute with a customer can’t be solved. And like every TrustDALE business, all TrustDALE certified plumbers are covered by Dale’s trademark $10,000 Make-It-Right™ Guarantee.