Do You Hire A Plumber Or DIY?
When do I hire a plumber and when do you DIY(do-it-yourself)? Let’s be honest with ourselves; with few basic tools, a homeowner or renter can handle minor plumbing issues. Even if you’re somewhat handy, you can tackle small plumbing problems such as replacing a drain cover, clearing a clogged sink, changing a toilet flapper, or unclogging a toilet. Everything you ever want to fix is a click away on the internet.
DIY Maintenance Checks
If you want to avoid costly plumbing repairs, the best place to start is regular maintenance. Now, some articles suggest getting a periodic home inspection. But let’s be realistic with ourselves; most, if not all of us, aren’t going to order a home inspection unless we’re moving into a new home. With that said, there are some things you can do to avoid critical plumbing damage. First, make yourself a schedule and each month check the following:
Check the base of your toilets for moisture. For example, if you have ceramic tile in your bathroom, the grout lines may be darker because of moisture. You may need a new wax ring. The same is true for wood, the wood around your toilet will show signs of moisture. For vinyl floors, it’s a little tricky. You’ll need to press on the vinyl around the toilet if the vinyl is pulling up or has lost its adhesive. You probably have a leak.
Get a flashlight and thoroughly check the pipes for any signs of water. Even if your pipes or shut off valves are dry, it still doesn’t mean you don’t have a leak. Look for mineral deposit build up around the connections. The most telling sign is the bottom of your cabinet is stained, and in some cases, molded. The smallest leak over time can result in a big expense. Repeat your effort throughout your home including the kitchen sink.
Inspect your ceiling downstairs. Know where your bathrooms are upstairs and occasionally check the ceiling directly under them for stains or bulging drywall.
Inspect Your Water Heater
Your water heater should be checked every month for leaks. Inspect the copper piping as well as the water heater.
Inspect the property around your home for puddling. If you have an irrigation or pipe leak, you’ll notice areas with an unusual amount of water compared to the rest of the yard.
Full Proof Leak Check
Most leaks go unnoticed until it’s too late. If you want to check for water leaks then shut off your water to your home and write down the number showing on your meter. Wait 30 minutes then recheck your meter. If the meter number has moved then you have a water leak. Wait, don’t stop there! Now, turn the irrigation valve to ‘off’, then wait a short time. If the water meter stops moving, then the leak is in your irrigation. If it continues, then the leak is in the home.
Regular maintenance check can go a long way. On average you may spend 30 minutes a month checking your sinks, toilets, yard, and water heater and I can assure you, it is worth the effort. So when do you hire a plumber? Only you know the answer to that.