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DIY vs. Professional Plumbing Repairs: When to Call a Pro

DIY vs. Professional Plumbing Repairs

When dealing with plumbing issues or embarking on renovation projects, homeowners have to decide whether or not they want professional help with their home’s plumbing system. While master plumbers can complete just about any plumbing project, they can cost a pretty penny. On the other hand, DIY plumbing projects can very quickly go awry, which can make things worse. 

In this blog, we’ll explore common plumbing projects that homeowners can confidently tackle, provide insights into the essential tools needed, and discuss critical DIY mistakes to avoid. Understanding these distinctions not only helps in maintaining the efficiency and longevity of your home’s plumbing system but also ensures safety and cost-effectiveness in your repair endeavors.

Whether you’re planning on handling your home’s next plumbing project or you’re looking for a professional to lend a hand, the Carrollton plumbing experts at Lex Air Conditioning and Heating are here to help. Call us at (972) 217-8955 to schedule repairs with us or learn more about what we can do for you and your home. 

DIY Plumbing Repairs

Common DIY Plumbing Projects You Can Handle

While professional plumbers can help handle a lot of issues, not every plumbing project requires help from a professional plumbing service. Below are some of the most common DIY plumbing projects that homeowners can resolve without the help of a master plumber.

Installing/Replacing Certain Plumbing Fixtures

Most homeowners should be able to install new plumbing fixtures or replace old ones that are damaged or old. Using basic tools, you should be able to effectively:

  • Replace faucet washers or cartridges
  • Replace showerheads
  • Install a new toilet seat
  • Hook up new appliances
  • Replace hose bibbs

Unclogging Drains

You should also be able to fix any clogged drains within your home by using a plunger, plumber’s snake, or natural solutions like baking soda and vinegar. These can often clear clogged sinks or bathtubs without needing professional drain cleaning assistance. 

Fixing Running Toilets

Another plumbing issue many homeowners may be able to handle is a running toilet. Toilets may run more than they should due to a faulty flapper or float inside the tank. Toilet replacement parts are easy to find and often come with easy-to-follow instructions.

Repairing Leaky Faucets

A dripping faucet can not only be an annoyance, but it can also be a waste of water. Leaky faucets can normally be fixed with basic tools and a basic understanding of how they work, making them easy to fix.

Adjusting Water Heater Temperature

If you are able to follow basic safety precautions, you should be able to adjust the temperature on your hot water heater, which can improve your home’s energy efficiency and also increase comfort.

Fixing Minor Leaks in Pipes

For small plumbing leaks, particularly ones at pipe joints, using plumbing tape or a patch kit can be a temporary fix while you decide on a more permanent solution. Repairing broken pipes, however, can be more difficult and may require professional attention.

DIY vs. Professional Plumbing Repairs When to Call a Professional

Tools You’ll Need for DIY Plumbing Repairs

When completing any home repairs, you need the proper tools to get the job done. If you are working on a DIY plumbing project, you may need:

  • Plumber’s pliers (channel locks)
  • Plumber’s tape (Teflon tape)
  • Plunger
  • Plumber’s snake
  • Pipe wrench
  • Tubing cutter
  • Caulk and caulk gun
  • Utility knife
  • Screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Flashlight
  • Measuring tape
  • Bucket
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Knee pads

Most hardware stores will have most, if not all, of these tools available for purchase, and most homeowners will have at least one or more of these tools lying around the house. Having these tools can not only help you complete your current plumbing project, but they can also help ensure you have what you need to handle a plumbing emergency before professional help arrives.

Should You Call a Plumber or DIY

DIY Mistakes to Avoid

When diving into DIY plumbing tasks, it’s easy to get a bit overconfident and make some common mistakes. To help you maintain your home’s plumbing integrity and avoid potentially damaging and costly mistakes, there are a few tips you should keep in mind.

First, be sure to do your research before you get to work. Going into a project unprepared can work in certain situations, but when dealing with your home’s plumbing, it’s important to be prepared. Also, make sure you’re using compatible materials: certain piping materials may be more susceptible to corrosion than others or may not work well together. 

You should also keep safety at the forefront of your endeavors, especially when handling sharp tools or cleaning chemicals. Additionally, don’t forget to shut your water off before starting any plumbing projects. If you don’t know where your home’s shutoff valves are, check around your hot water heater or inside your garage. 

One of the most common mistakes people make when completing DIY plumbing repairs is over-tightening connections. If you overtighten joint connections, you may damage or weaken your pipes or connectors, which can cause your pipes to leak or even burst. 

Another thing to keep in mind is your local building codes. If you are found to not be in compliance with these codes, you may have to deal with failed inspections, issues when selling your home, or even safety hazards.

DIY Red Flags

If you plan on becoming a DIY plumber, there are several red flags that might signal that a particular project requires professional attention. First and foremost, if you encounter a problem that involves the main water lines, gas lines, or sewer lines, it’s wise to step back. Mistakes here can lead to significant issues like major leaks or backups, which are not only inconvenient but also potentially health hazards.

While it may be easy to deal with a single clogged drain, if your home has multiple slow-draining sinks, tubs, or toilets, you may have a bigger problem on your hands. Plumbing systems with significant water pressure issues may also require more than a basic fix.

Additionally, if your plumbing repairs involve extensive alterations to your existing plumbing system—such as moving pipes, installing new fixtures in different locations, or repairing multiple faulty components throughout your home—these are usually tasks best left to professionals. 

While it may be uncommon in the Carrollton area, if you are dealing with frozen pipes, you may want to call a professional. Dethawing pipes can be difficult, and you run the risk of breaking your pipes, which can lead to costly repairs and replacements. 

A professional plumber will have the proper knowledge necessary to complete the repairs and ensure your home is safe from damage. 

DIY vs. Professional Plumbing

When It’s Time to Call a Professional Plumber

While there are a number of small plumbing issues that DIY plumbers are capable of handling, there are a number of larger issues that require a professional touch. If you begin experiencing any of these issues, it may be time to seek help from a professional plumbing company like Lex Air

One clear indicator that you need professional help is if your plumbing issues are not responding to DIY interventions. You may have a larger underlying issue that could be causing a number of smaller issues throughout your home. Treating these smaller issues will not solve the root cause of the problems, so you may need to hire professionals to help diagnose and fix these problems once and for all.

Professional plumbers can also handle any issues involving gas lines or major water supply lines. These tasks not only demand specialized tools and training, but also pose significant risks if not handled correctly. The same goes for sewer line issues. 

If you are renovating your home or installing a significant number of new pipes, fixtures, or appliances, you may want to call a professional plumber. They can ensure everything is done correctly up front, helping you avoid plumbing problems down the road. 

Finally, if you’re experiencing an emergency plumbing situation, like a broken pipe, you need immediate professional intervention. In these instances, every second counts, as these issues can cause extensive damage to your property and can even jeopardize your family’s safety.

DIY vs. Professional Plumbing Costs

When deciding between DIY and hiring a professional plumber, financial considerations often play a pivotal role. At first glance, DIY plumbing repairs appear more cost-effective—there are no labor costs, and you have control over the selection and purchase of materials. This approach can be particularly appealing for smaller plumbing issues where the cost of professional help might seem disproportionate to the job at hand.

However, the initial savings of DIY can be deceptive, especially when dealing with more complex plumbing issues. Without the proper tools, experience, and understanding of plumbing systems, it’s easy to turn a minor repair into a major problem. Incorrect fixes can lead to persistent leaks, property damage, or even complete system failures, all of which require expensive repairs to remedy. 

In short, while you may save money upfront when choosing DIY repairs over professional repairs, if something goes wrong, you may spend more money in the long run. Plumbing emergencies can be incredibly costly, so it’s better to hand over the project to a trained professional who can guarantee quality results.

Benefits of Professional Plumbing Services

When you hire a reputable plumber to fix your plumbing issue, you are hiring an expert with specialized knowledge in this field. Not only will they be able to provide you with proper installation and repair services, but they will also be able to diagnose and repair just about any plumbing problem you may be dealing with.

Professional Plumbing vs. DIY Projects

Choosing the Right Carrollton Plumbing Professional

If you are looking for a professional plumber in Carrollton or the greater Dallas area, look no further than Lex Air Conditioning and Heating. Our experienced professionals are trained to handle a wide range of plumbing problems and will provide you with the necessary repairs, all at a great price. 

Plumbing Services That We Offer

There are a number of professional plumbing services that we at Lex Air have to offer. We can help provide you with:

In addition to residential plumbing services, we also offer commercial plumbing services, ensuring your place of business is protected from plumbing problems. Dealing with an urgent plumbing problem? We provide homeowners and businesses in Carrollton with emergency plumbing services, ensuring you have the help you need whenever you need it the most.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

Plumbing Issue? The Professional Plumbers at Lex Air Are Here To Help

Whether you’re facing a simple leak or a complex plumbing challenge, the team at Lex Air Conditioning and Heating is always ready to provide expert assistance. Our experienced plumbers combine skills, knowledge, and the latest technology to ensure your plumbing issues are solved efficiently and effectively. 

We understand the intricacies of plumbing systems and are committed to delivering solutions that not only fix immediate problems, but also help prevent future issues. If you’re unsure about tackling a repair, our professional plumbers at Lex Air are just a call away and are ready to tackle any of your plumbing needs.

Call us at (972) 217-8955 or contact us online to schedule professional plumbing work today.

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