Photo By da-kuk at istock
Tackling some do-it-yourself, better known as DIY, projects, can be a great way to learn new skills, save some money and achieve a sense of accomplishment. Being able to take care of some minor repairs and upgrades in your home without calling in a professional can be exceptionally satisfying, but it can also be risky.
Unfortunately, when it comes to plumbing, DIY projects don’t always go as planned. No matter how easy a job looks on that YouTube video, there’s always a risk that something will go wrong, and not only can that be frustrating, but plumbing mistakes can be costly.
Water can cause an incredible amount of damage to your home in less time than you might expect, and there’s always a risk of leaks following a DIY plumbing job. When leaks do occur, not only will you have a tremendous mess on your hands, but you’ll also wind up with a hefty bill for an emergency plumber.
Before you decide to start your own DIY plumbing project, take a look at the three most-common DIY projects that often require professional repairs by a plumber:
1) Shower Head Replacement
Let’s face it – builder-grade shower heads look and feel cheap. They’re made with low-grade materials and deliver a less than satisfying experience in the shower.
Thankfully, there’s plenty of high-quality replacement shower heads available from big-box stores, plumbing supply outlets and even medical supply shops. Shower heads now come in a huge range of sizes and styles, with features such as variable pressure settings, multiple massage features and even waterproof LED lighting.
One of the most popular options when replacing a shower head is the installation of a handheld shower head. Not only are these fixtures fantastic for anyone with long hair, but they make cleaning up the bathroom, the kids and even the family dog quick and easy.
What Can Go Wrong?
At first glance, replacing a shower head seems simple enough. After all, there’s no need to turn off the water supply, and accessing the fixture doesn’t involve removing access panels or squirming through crawlspaces, so you might decide you don’t need to call in a plumber.
What you do need are the correct tools, otherwise, you risk damaging the pipe that the shower head connects to. Using too much force when removing the existing fixture can strip the threads off the pipe, and that means your new fixture will likely leak behind your shower wall. This causes a loss of pressure in your shower while leading to the rapid development of dangerous mold.
It’s also not uncommon for homeowners to wind up breaking the pipe that connects the shower head to the water supply, and when that happens, you’ll need a plumber right away. Repairing a broken pipe is a major job that involves turning off the water in your home and tearing out walls, and yes, a big repair bill.
2) Toilet Replacement
Replacing a leaking, outdated or downright ugly toilet can be a great way to spruce up your bathroom, and it’s common for homeowners to try to do the work themselves rather than call in a professional plumber.
Just like with shower head replacement, installing a new toilet can seem relatively simple because the fixture is readily accessible, and there’s no lack of DIY videos online that describe the process in a way that makes viewers feel they don’t need a plumber. Better yet, the supplies needed to replace a toilet are readily available to anyone.
What Can Go Wrong?
Unfortunately, there’s a number of things that can go wrong during a DIY toilet replacement job. As with all plumbing fixtures, your toilet uses a lot of water, and forgetting to turn off the water valve is a common issue among homeowners who decide to do the work themselves.
Another common issue is that the water line from your old toilet may not match up with your new toilet. When that happens, not only will you need to make another trip to the hardware store, but your simple toilet replacement job just got a lot more complicated. Anytime you start replacing water lines, you run the risk of damaging threads, and that means you’ll wind up needing help from a professional plumber.
And even if your DIY toilet install goes relatively well, there’s always a risk that the flange won’t seal correctly, or that you’ll wind up over-tightening the bolts, and both of these scenarios can render your new toilet unusable.
3) Installing a Dishwasher
Despite the fact that your big-box retailer might tell you that you don’t need a plumber to install your new dishwasher, this is one of those DIY projects that really should be left to the professionals.
What Can Go Wrong?
Installing a dishwasher might look relatively simple, but whenever you involve water and electricity, you really need to call in a professional. Replacing your old built-in dishwasher with a new one is a major project. Appliances are heavy, big and filled with sharp edges, and there’s multiple water and drain lines involved.
There are also electrical connections that need to be made, and even the slightest mistake can quickly escalate into a serious problem. A professional plumber has the skills, experience and specialized tools it takes to ensure that all of the water lines are leak-free, and that the electrical connections are safe and code-compliant.
In fact, many dishwasher manufacturers won’t honor the factory warranty unless the appliance was installed by a licensed plumber, which means that doing your own dishwasher installation could wind up voiding your warranty.
Leave Your DIY Plumbing Projects to the Pros
If you’d rather not risk causing serious water damage in your home by tackling a DIY plumbing project, we’re here to help. Contact us today at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain to connect with a skilled, experienced plumber in your neighborhood.