Most plumbing companies will tell you that much of their work comes from the do-it-yourselfers (DIY). Yes, it was cleaning up the mess left behind from a plumbing project that went wrong. Of course, we want to save a few bucks, myself included, but in some cases, it would have been better left to a professional. It’s up to us to know the difference. With that said, there are plenty of plumbing issues that the average homeowner and DIYer can tackle without creating a plumbing disaster. For example, clearing a toilet can easily be completed by the homeowner, including snaking a drain. But know your limits because even snaking a drain can cause problems if the clog is deep within the drainpipe.
The Worst Lies We Tell Are The Ones We Tell Ourselves
You can avoid the plumbing disaster by knowing what you’re capable of doing. The worst lies we tell are the ones we tell ourselves. No matter how hard you try, you can’t always duplicate someone else’s success. For example, so many people seem to think that making a plumbing repair is as simple as finding a video on YouTube and following the directions. If that were true, we would all be rich. It really boils down to your abilities and the degree of difficulty the project is, no matter how many videos you watch.
The fact is, there are so many variables to installing a garbage disposal that a video doesn’t always show you. For instance, using the right amount of plumber putty and ensuring the disposal gets properly sealed to the sink. These things come from experience. Then there is the other side that says, “How will I know if I don’t try?” But, again, that will be about knowing yourself and your abilities.
Second way to avoid the plumbing disaster
You are ready for DIY. Make sure you completely educate yourself about the plumbing problem and watch different videos on the subject from different experts. The most attempted products homeowners will try to install themselves are garbage disposals, toilets, or faucets. You could find some of the best instructional videos for installing these products at your local home center website. Always remember: If something does go wrong, Big B’s Plumbing is just around the corner.
Third, Be Thoroughly Prepared and Have All The Right Tools
It’s best to have all the necessary tools, supplies, and equipment to accomplish the task before you start. There’s nothing worse than starting a project only to find out you don’t have all the right tools. Every product you purchase for installation has a page within the instructions with a list of tools needed. Some manufacturers will even supply the tool. But, if you’re clearing a drain, you’ll need a plumber’s auger, also known as a plumber’s snake. You can purchase an eight-foot hand toilet auger at your local home center for just over fifty dollars and a small plumber’s snake for your drains for just over thirty dollars. Both of which are great to have around the home.
Fourth, Your Success Is In The Details
Much of your success when installing any faucet, fixture, appliance, or toilet will be found in the details. Use plumber’s putty when necessary. It will seal sink drains and bathtubs. Plumber’s tape will seal threads around your washing machine bibs, dishwasher connectors, showerheads, and any place you’re making a plumbing repair with threads. Another plumbing detail that often gets overlooked is over-tightening. Most plumbing fitting only needs hand tightening. However, over-tightening has been found to warp rubber fittings, increasing the risk of leaks.
Lastly, Be Willing To Call Your Plumber If something goes Wrong
There is no shame in giving a plumbing project your best shot and not having it work out the way you planned. However, there are some things to keep in mind when starting a plumbing project. Number one is the safety factor. Never dive into a project that has safety risks, such as water heaters and gas lines. If you’re going to try your hand at something, clearing drains, installing a toilet, faucet, or garbage disposal is a safe bet, and remember we’re only a phone call away.