02.3 - when to call the plumbing pros

To DIY or Not to DIY: Common Plumbing Problems

As a homeowner, you’ve probably faced a few plumbing hiccups, from a stubborn clog to a dripping faucet. These minor issues often tempt us to put on our DIY hats and tackle them head-on. While some plumbing problems can indeed be handled by the savvy DIYer, many still require the expertise of a professional plumber. Let’s explore which common plumbing problems you can safely DIY and which ones are best left to the experts.

The Truth About DIY Plumbing

Before we dive into specific plumbing problems, it’s essential to understand why DIY plumbing can sometimes lead to disaster. Plumbing is like a hidden labyrinth beneath your home, and one wrong move can result in leaks, costly repairs, or even hazardous sewage backups. So, while that plunger might be your trusty sidekick, it’s not always enough.

Common Plumbing Problems and DIY Potential

1. Clogged Drain

When it comes to a clogged drain, the good news is that many times, you can indeed tackle this one yourself. Here’s how:

  • Drain Plunger: Opt for a drain plunger, not your regular toilet plunger. Roll it onto the drain, fill the sink slightly with water, and plunge away until the clog gives in.
  • Plumbing Snake: If the plunger doesn’t cut it, a plumbing snake could be your hero. Insert it into the pipe and work it through the blockage. A bent coat hanger can also serve in a pinch.
  • Natural Solution: Avoid harsh chemical drain cleaners and go for a safer option. Mix ½ cup of baking soda with ½ cup of vinegar, followed by boiling water to clear the clog.
  • P-Trap Removal: For the bravest DIYers, you can disassemble the P-trap (the U-shaped part under the sink) to remove the clog manually.
2. Dripping Faucet

A dripping faucet is a common annoyance, and it’s typically a DIY-safe fix. Examine whether it’s caused by:

Worn-out Sink Cartridge: Most faucets have cartridges beneath the handles controlling water flow. You can often replace the old cartridge with a new one yourself.

Worn-out Compression Faucet Washer: If it’s an old-fashioned compression faucet, replacing the worn-out washer can stop the dripping.

For more complicated issues or if you’re unsure, it’s wise to call in a plumbing professional.

3. Kitchen Sink Installation

Installing a kitchen sink might seem tempting, but it’s best to resist the urge. It’s a meticulous process involving plumbing hookup and potential adjustments, not to mention the risk of damaging your countertop. For a successful kitchen sink installation, rely on the expertise of a licensed plumber who can also guide you on the best fit for your space.

4. Showerhead Installation

If you’re just swapping out your showerhead for a similar one, DIYing is an option. Here’s how:

  • Unscrew the old showerhead and clean the threads.
  • Apply new seal tape.
  • Screw on the new showerhead.

However, if you’re upgrading to a different type of showerhead or making complex technology changes, professional help is recommended.

5. Toilet Replacement

Replacing a toilet may seem straightforward, but it involves heavy lifting, precise plumbing connections, and potential damage risks, therefore it’s not recommended to be DIYed. Incorrect installation can lead to costly plumbing issues. Calling a plumbing professional ensures proper installation and the detection of any underlying plumbing problems. They can also assist with adding features like bidets.

6. Gas Line Repair or Installation

Gas lines are a big no-no for DIY projects. Any mistakes in gas line installation or repair can result in dangerous gas leaks or worse, explosions. Always rely on a licensed professional for any gas line services, whether it’s installing a new line or addressing an issue with an existing one.

Other DIY-Friendly Plumbing Tasks

Apart from the issues mentioned above, there are some minor plumbing tasks you can likely handle by yourself:

  • Sink stopper adjustments
  • Clogged toilet
  • Toilet flapper fill valve replacement
  • Disposal jams
  • Pipe insulation
  • Faucet aerator replacement
  • Caulking
  • Faucet head cleaning

However, if you’re uncertain about your plumbing prowess or suspect a more significant issue, don’t hesitate to call a plumbing professional.

When it comes to most plumbing problems, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t risk costly repairs or leaks by attempting DIY plumbing solutions if you’re unsure. Instead, trust the licensed professionals, such as those from BJC Plumbers North Bergen. We’re just a phone call away at (201) 389-9959, or you can conveniently book an appointment online. With us, you can ensure that your plumbing is in good hands. Contact us today for reliable plumbing services and peace of mind. Your home and wallet will thank you!

Don’t gamble with DIY plumbing; choose expertise and reliability. Contact BJC Plumbers North Bergen today!