4 Reasons Why DIY Plumbing Is A Bad Idea
We have talked previously about the potential dangers of DIY electrical work and why homeowners should avoid doing it. But, we have yet to do a similar post covering why DIY plumbing work is bad. Plumbing, along with electric work, is probably one of the most popular things for DIYs to tackle.
Now, we will admit that DIY plumbing work is a bit less dangerous than DIY electrical work, mainly because the potential for death by electrocution does not exist when working on plumbing, but that does not mean that there are not any issues with DIY plumbing work.
As we will explain in this post, even though doing your own plumbing work is not as dangerous as doing your own electrical work, it is still a good idea to leave most of the work to the professionals.
1. It may be against the law
If you read our earlier post on DIY electrical work or if you have some knowledge of local laws in Australia, then you know that the law is incredibly strict when it comes to DIY electrical work. If you are not a licenced electrician, then you basically are not allowed to do anything with regards to electricity.
For those are not familiar with the law and who have not read our previous post, the gist of it is that the law lets you do very simple jobs like changing a light bulb, but anything beyond that is strictly prohibited. This is done to help prevent unnecessary injuries or deaths due to an inexperienced person attempting to do electrical work that is better left to professionals. Likewise, the penalties are very steep, and people who do their own DIY electrical work could face some serious fines and even jail time if the electrical work malfunctions and hurts someone.
Well, the laws governing DIY plumbing work are very similar to those governing DIY electrical work. The Queensland government released a small article detailing what plumbing work an unlicensed person is actually allowed to do. As you can see, the list of jobs that a non-plumber is able to do is very small. You can change showerheads, replace small valves in faucets, and do some other minor work, but anything serious is supposed to be left to professionals.
So, the biggest reason why DIY plumbing is a bad idea is that it is simply against the law. While the law above only applies to Queensland, all the Australian states have very similar laws regulating DIY work, so it is safe to assume that the laws in your state are very similar to the ones found in Queensland.
2. You lack the technical know-how to diagnose problems
A big part of being a professional plumber is knowing how to properly diagnose what is causing an issue. For example, a toilet that keeps running is an issue that many home owners encounter.
Now, many home owners may think that they can solve this issue on their own, but many lack the knowledge necessary to diagnose what is causing the toilet to run constantly. There are lots of different reasons why a toilet can start running, and if you do not diagnose the correct reason why, you could end up spending money buying a new part for your toilet and waste time installing it, only to find out that it is not what is causing your toilet to run.
The same goes for other common plumbing problems. Leaky pipes, for example, can have a wide array of causes ranging from plant roots strangling the pipes to blockages causing leaks to occur. Plumbers have the mixture of experience and knowledge that is necessary to correctly diagnose problems, thus ensuring that you do not have to waste time and money figuring out what the actual issue is.
3. It is very easy to make mistakes
One of the main reasons why you should avoid doing DIY plumbing work is that it is extremely easy to make mistakes while doing plumbing work. Now, normally making little mistakes is not a big deal, but when you are doing plumbing or electrical work, little mistakes can lead to bigger issues down the line.
For example, say you attempted to replace piping on your own. And say that as part of replacing your piping, you use two different kinds of pipes made out of different metals. Now, that may seem like a little mistake but can actually lead to a big issue later on. See, when pipes that are made of two different kinds of metals are placed so that they are touching each other, a chemical reaction occurs. This chemical reaction causes the pipes to start corroding. So, what may seem like a small mistake, can lead to you having leaky or burst pipes down the line.
4. It could end up costing you more down the line
Let’s be honest, one of the main reasons why so many homeowners engage in DIY work is to save money. They believe that plumbers are going to take advantage of them and give them very high quotes because they know that homeowners have no other options. Even if this were true (it isn’t), doing DIY plumbing work could lead to you having to spend more money down the line.
See, the problem with DIY work is that it can take a potentially small problem and make it into a much larger one. So, whereas before the plumber would only have to fix the small issue, they will now not only have to fix the original issue, they will also have to fix whatever damage your DIY work caused.
This is not even counting the money you will have to spend to buy the necessary tools and materials, which are extremely expensive. It is also not counting the fact that you may have to end up paying money in fines if it ever gets out that you did illegal DIY work. So, no matter which way you slice it, DIY work just ends up costing you more money.