Stop right there! Before you find a YouTube video to guide you through that DIY plumbing repair, you need to consider how a small plumbing job can turn into a huge plumbing job. There’s no point taking extraordinary risks when there’s a professional who can do the job with ease.
You might think that changing a washer on a dripping tap and unblocking a toilet may be simple enough jobs for most people, and not necessarily something you’d call in a local plumber to do. The issue is that messing with taps when you don’t know what you are doing can turn to water hammer, which is not only loud and annoying with the potential to cause a lot of damage, but it’ll also require a professional plumber to fix.
By unblocking your toilet, you could simply be moving the blockage further down the pipe. Further down, means more expense to sort out. If you find yourself performing the unpleasant task of unblocking a toilet on a regular basis, it’s a big red flag that you need to call in your local plumber.
Potential Complications from DIY Plumbing
Here at Gladesville Plumbing, we’ve been providing our plumbing services across Sydney for decades and we have seen some serious DIY disasters in that time. We by no means have any favourites, but we certainly have a few stories that highlight the potential complications that will hopefully make you think twice about whether you can DIY it.
- Water Supply
Whatever you plan to do, the first action should be to turn off the water supply. You might be surprised by how many people forget this step and create chaos, even when it’s just a small plumbing job. Take care when turning off the water supply as taps do wear over time and older taps may break – leaving you with two plumbing problems.
- A Tap Change
It sounds simple enough – you can pick up an extending tap at Ikea so how difficult can the change out really be? Well, we had one customer who made the change and when they returned from a weekend away, their home was flooded, and the damage was extensive! It seemed like a simple job, it appeared to be successful but left unattended, the result was catastrophic.
Taps can be tricky and it’s always best to call in the plumbing professionals if you don’t have the necessary experience to do the job yourself.
- Righty Tighty, Left Loosey
Most people think the danger of DIY is leaving fittings too loose, but you can create chaos by overtightening fittings too. When you overtighten pipes and bolts, it creates excess pressure which can lead to cracking. It won’t create an immediate disaster – worse, the chaos will come gradually as a slow leak occurs before eventually flooding. The result is always the same – you need a professional plumber. The damage, however, could be limited by calling in the professionals sooner.
- Overdoing the Drains
Most DIYers will visit their local hardware store and buy a powerful drain cleaner if they’re having issues, thinking it’s a quick and easy solution. The problem is it can create massive problems later. Harsh chemicals might seem like an excellent solution, but they can eat away at your pipes and lead to flooding. There is the risk of slow erosion when you use these products repeatedly, damaging pipes of all types. The first step for a DIYer should be a snake to address the clog. If you don’t have the tools or the know-how, it’s time to speed-dial your plumber.
- Confusing Parts
There are a lot of different working parts in plumbing, and you should know which fittings are used where and when during the process. If you get any parts confused, it could lead to disaster. Not just terrible odours and violating plumbing codes, it could lead to flooding. You can’t jump onto the DIY path without carrying out extensive research, which includes tutorials to understand what you’re doing.
There’s also the risk of realising you’re missing the right parts and tools to finish the job once it’s started. You should always have spare parts in case you uncover other issues while you’re working.
DIY jobs may also make it difficult to claim any plumbing disasters on your insurance if you aren’t qualified to complete the task. We don’t highlight these complications to talk you out of doing DIY you know you can handle. It’s simply to highlight just how many complications there are and how many people underestimate the work required to get the job done efficiently and safely. If in doubt, always ring the professionals and let the experts do the job instead.