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Plumbing Projects: When Can Do Them Yourself And When Should You Hire A Pro?

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An essential part of being a homeowner is being able to do a little home improvement (well it should be an essential part anyways), you do not want to have to go call an expert every time you have a small issue that you can fix with a few hours of hard work and some cheap supplies from the local hardware store. But, you have to be careful not to let successful plumbing projects go to your head; some people think that because they unclogged a drain or fixed a shower head they are a home improvement wizard. Remember that professionals, like plumbers and carpenters, have to go through certification and training. Professionals will have much more knowledge on the topic and will have access to much better tools. It is very tempting to tackle plumbing jobs yourself, after all plumbers can be expensive, and what they do does not look very complicated from the outside. But, if you make a mistake while plumbing you can cause serious damage to your house, and you can spend thousands, if not tens of thousands, repairing the damage you did.

So with that being said, before you ever start doing a home plumbing project, consider asking yourself “can I do this project, or should I call a plumber”? To help make answering that question easier, here is a list of plumbing projects that you can do yourself, and a list of projects that you should save for a professional plumber.

Plumbing projects you can do yourself

Installing a faucet

Installing a faucet is relatively straightforward plumbing projects and not very expensive. You can walk into pretty much every hardware store and find tons of different faucets to choose from. The first thing to do when installing a faucet is to turn off your house’s water, then all that’s left is to unscrew the old faucet and put in the new one. Many faucets will even come with instructions; so even the most unhandy person in the household can simply follow the instructions and install the new faucet. If you want to make it even easier, get a faucet that has the same connection points as your old one. You should never really need a new plumber to install a faucet, the only circumstances where you might need a plumber is if you discover some serious damage to your sink or pipes while removing your old faucet.

Installing a new washing machine hose

Washing machines with old hoses can burst very easily. A burst washing machine hose is not a pretty sight, it will discharge a huge amount of water, and can cause a lot of damage in the right circumstances. Thankfully, the process for replacing the hose is simple. Buy a new hose from a hardware store, make sure it will fit your washing machine. Completely turn off your washing machine and then unplug it. After that it is a simple process of removing the old hose and attaching the new one. This is something you can do, and should be doing every 5 years or so.

Repairing Your Toilet

Toilet issues are good things to do on your own. The replacement parts, if you need any, are very cheap and widely available at any hardware store. So if a part of the toilet is broken, or the toilet seat is not on properly, or the toilet itself is not installed perfectly, you can usually solve these problems pretty quickly on your own. Even slightly more complex toilet issues, like your toilet not flushing when you press the handle, or the toilet just refusing to get rid of waste, can be easily solved at home with minimal investment on your part. The only time you really need to call a plumber when dealing with toilet issues is if you need to get a whole new toilet installed (there are guides about how to do that yourself floating around the internet, but it is recommended you at least consult a plumber first).

Replacing small sections of copper piping

Replacing small parts of copper piping in your house looks challenging at first, but once you learn how to properly sweat copper piping, it is not that difficult. All you need to do is clean the copper well, add some flux, make sure the joint is heated, and then apply the solder. Once you know how to sweat copper piping, replacing small parts of your houses’ piping becomes easy. Now if you need a lot of piping replaced, it is still recommended that you go to a professional.

Plumbing projects you should leave to a professional

Plumbing projects outside your house

So because of natural disasters or freak occurrences, the pipes connecting your house to outside piping lines may become damaged. If so, never, under any circumstances, attempt to fix this damage on your own. When dealing with damage outside your house call a professional ASAP.

Installing sprinklers

Lawn care is important for a lot of people, and a good sprinkler system is an essential part of a good lawn. You should always consult a professional when installing a sprinkler system. There are a lot of factors to consider and a lot of plumbing work that will need to be done to properly install a sprinkler system, so just let the professionals handle it.

Expanding your plumbing

If you are doing any sort of home renovation that requires expanding your plumbing (like adding a sink, or a bathroom), then do not try and the plumbing yourself. You want to avoid damaging your home while doing this, so just make sure you at least consult a professional plumber before attempting to expand your home’s plumbing.

Anything involving septic tanks

If you live in a rural area, septic tanks are essential for your family’s hygiene. So get an expert to install septic tanks or service them if they are damaged. A poorly installed septic tank can cause great damage to the land, your house, and your family’s health.

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