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When you’re on a budget, it can be tempting to attempt a DIY plumbing repair. However, many problems are simply too tricky to rectify unless you’re a professional plumber. Furthermore, your efforts could actually cause damage to your system and lead to much more expensive repairs further down the line. So, it’s important to know which plumbing jobs you should never try to do yourself, so you can call a dedicated professional instead.
1. Unclogging Your Sewer Pipe
If your sewer pipe is blocked or leaking, you should never try to fix it on your own. Your sewer line is crucial to your home’s plumbing system, and sewage can be harmful to your family’s health. So, it’s too hazardous to try a DIY repair. A professional will have the expertise and protective equipment necessary to unblock or mend your sewer pipe safely.
2. Installing a Water Heater
Water heater installation is one of the most dangerous plumbing jobs to try to do yourself. If you make a mistake, you could be seriously burned by scalding water. Gas water heaters are especially risky for DIY installation because they require fuel that could cause a fire or even an explosion if you don’t know what you’re doing. Furthermore, if your setup isn’t properly ventilated, you could end up with a lethal carbon monoxide leak in your home. Carbon monoxide has no tell-tale odor and inhaling it leads to brain damage and is often fatal. So, don’t take the risk and call a plumber instead.
3. Rerouting Pipes
One of the most expensive and time-consuming aspects of remodeling your kitchen or bathroom is moving the plumbing fixtures. Changing the position of your sink, shower, or toilet means that you’ll need to reroute your plumbing system to supply them with water. Many San Antonio, TX homeowners try to save some money by rerouting their own pipes, but this is such a complicated process that you’re unlikely to be successful.
One of the main risks of rerouting plumbing yourself is that you will inadvertently mess up your water pressure or fail to seal off the plumbing line correctly. This could lead to catastrophic leaks and serious damage to your home. So, pipe rerouting is a job that you should always hand over to a plumber.
4. Extending Hot Water Lines
If you buy a new dishwasher or washing machine that needs a hot water supply, you’ll probably be able to connect it yourself without any issues. However, if you need to extend the hot water line to supply your new appliance, you should call in a plumber. Otherwise, you could cause a water pressure imbalance or inadvertently breach mandatory plumbing codes.
Flooding inside your home is always alarming, and it’s not unusual for homeowners to panic and try to unblock the faulty pipe themselves. However, you won’t be able to clear blockages deep in your system without professional equipment. A DIY attempt is likely to damage your plumbing and make the flooding even worse, costing you more in the long-run. If the flooding is caused by something else like tree roots or a burst pipe, you almost certainly won’t have the skills to deal with it. Either way, it’s best to call a professional if your home floods.
6. Gas Leaks or Gas Line Rerouting
Hopefully, you’ll never experience a gas leak in your home as this is a relatively unusual problem. However, if you smell gas, the only safe course of action is to evacuate all people and pets from your home and call an emergency plumber experienced in dealing with gas leaks. Attempting to deal with gas pipes or leaks yourself is highly dangerous because inhaling gas is harmful. In the worst-case scenario, you could even cause a major explosion.
7. Icy Pipes
Frozen pipes in the winter is a common and annoying plumbing problem. When water turns to ice inside your pipes, it expands and may cause cracks and leaks. Many people assume that the best course of action is to try to thaw the pipes themselves by pouring over hot water or applying heat using a hairdryer. However, this can weaken your plumbing and lead to burst pipes or flooding. If your pipes are frozen, an expert plumber can thaw them out safely and take steps to avoid them refreezing in the future.
8. Unpleasant Odors
A foul smell coming from your fixtures could be caused by bacteria thriving inside your pipes due to clogging, or even by sewage backing up into your home if you have a blocked sewer pipe. Either way, you’ll need to reach deep inside your system to clean out the pipes, and you could cause serious damage if you don’t know what you’re doing. Furthermore, you could be risking your health if the stink is caused by sewage. A plumber will have the protective gear and specialist equipment needed to clean out your drains safely and without damaging the pipes.
How to Avoid Plumbing Problems
You can take some simple steps to protect your plumbing system and avoid costly repairs. One of the easiest is insulating your pipes to stop them from freezing in the winter. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t flush items into your system that could cause clogs. For example, try to avoid letting food debris fall down your sink plughole, and place feminine hygiene products, diapers, and wipes in the trash instead of flushing them down the toilet.
Call a Trusted Local Plumber
Your home’s plumbing system is complicated, so most repairs are best left to a trained professional. To fix any issues quickly and safely, call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, TX to book a visit from one of our expert plumbers. We can help with all aspects of home plumbing, from drain cleaning and leak repair to plumbing rerouting and remodeling.