Do I Need to Hire a Plumber?
When something goes wrong with your household water system, the first instinct is to hire a professional to fix the problem.
However, knowing when the best time to do this can save money in the long run. Giving yourself a basic understanding of the systems in your home, and what jobs are achievable with a little elbow grease, can bring a real sense of accomplishment. If you are ever in any doubt of your abilities, it is always best to rely on the advice of a professional plumber, as you could make things a lot worse. By reading through the points and situations raised below, you can make sure the job is something you can take care of yourself, or if you need to call a plumber.
Try it Yourself
When deciding if you can take care of a problem yourself, it is important to consider your ability and experience. Be realistic. We all know someone who has mistakenly taken on a task with a sense of confidence that doesn’t always live up to their abilities. Think about what you already know about the systems involved. If you understand them and know for sure what is causing the problem, then you will be able to decide if it’s within your scope of ability or not. Some people are handier than others, that’s just a fact of life. It’s not something to feel bad about, that’s what professionals are for!
Here are some issues that are usually fixable yourself, even if you have little to no experience:
- Clogged or slow emptying toilet or drain: Most people are capable of unblocking a drain if there aren’t any bigger underlying problems. It is also very difficult to make things worse by attempting to clear it. A good plunger or plumber snake will usually be enough to sort the problem. There are some household chemical treatments that can be useful for clearing kitchen drains. However, always make sure you read and follow any safety instructions before attempting to use these.
- Fixing a sink stopper: This is often an easy fix requiring basic tools most people have at home. If the problem is located in the drain opening, then a pair of pliers is all that’s needed. As this problem does not involve the sometimes-complex pipe systems, if something does go wrong, it is unlikely to cause a major problem.
It’s Time to Call a Professional
While many of us fancy ourselves handy at DIY, if something goes wrong when attempting to fix a plumbing problem, it can have very serious consequences. Apart from the very basic issues mentioned previously, any other issues can have causes that may only be discovered by a trained professional. The most important thing when tackling a plumbing issue is discovering the cause, and often this requires a professional opinion. For the issues described below, it is best to call a licensed professional.
- Low Water Pressure: If you are experiencing low water pressure throughout your home, the problem may be caused by any number of issues. It could be localized, owing to a problem with your pipes or plumbing systems. There could be a blockage, broken pipes, or damage to the water lines in your area—affecting the water supply coming into your home. A good plumber will be able to assess the situation and work out whether it is a problem they can fix at your home, or if it is more widespread and the local authority needs informing.
- Problems with Your Water Heater: Problems with your hot water can have a number of causes. From heater elements to blown fuses, it can be very hard to tell. It may be a quick fix or you may need your water heater replaced. A lay-person is unlikely to be able to determine the cause of the problem, let alone fix it. So, if you are experiencing problems with your hot water then it is best to call a plumber.
- Sewer line stoppage: If your sewer line is backing up and needs clearing, it can be a simple fix or a symptom of a bigger problem with your sewage lines. Some places offer rental machines to clear sewage blockages but in the hands of an amateur, they can damage the sewage lines, leading to costly repairs. If you call a professional, then they will be able to find the cause and deal with it effectively. They will also take care of any repairs themselves if anything goes wrong.
- Frozen or Damaged Pipes: If you are worried your pipes are frozen, then calling a plumber is the best thing to do, even if they aren’t cracked or broken. You could attempt to thaw unbroken pipes yourself but there is still a chance something could go wrong, leading you to more cost and hassle.
As with any problem, if you aren’t sure, it is best to consult a professional. If it is an emergency, then contact our team on the emergency number listed on our contact page. We also offer a free service for Arizona residents that allows you to consult a technician with your problem. This can be a great way to get help with minor issues you may be able to tackle yourself. They will also be able to advise you if a professional is needed.