DIY or Call a Pro Plumber? 4 Questions to Ask to Decide

A leaky faucet, a broken water line, and faulty hot water heater—all of these are common household plumbing problems. You may be tempted to take the DIY route with every little plumbing repair issue that comes up, but there are times when calling a professional plumber is best. Here are a few questions to help you decide which would be the best decision. 

How long will the repair take you to complete?

Plumbing is a fickle thing where repairs are concerned. Sometimes things look super easy and turn out to take a really long time. For instance, taking out an old drain line and putting in a new one should be easy, but if you discover halfway through that the attached lines are deteriorating as well, you could be looking at an all-day job. Carefully examine any repair that demands attention and decide if you will truly have enough time to handle it appropriately. 

Is it possible you could make the problem worse?

Before you roll up your sleeves and get to work, make sure you fully understand the risks involved in any plumbing repair endeavor. If there is a possibility that you will make the problem worse because of lack of knowledge or equipment, it is a better idea to call a plumber. A good example of this would be if you have a leak in the main water line outside. If you go digging around and make the leak bigger, it could be harder and more expensive to fix. 

How much will parts cost for the repair?

As a general guide, plumbing jobs that do not require costly parts can oftentimes be assumed to be pretty simple. For example, fixing a leaky faucet may only require you purchase a small o-ring to replace one that's broken, and o-rings or faucet seals are cheap. If the parts for making the plumbing repairs are pretty expensive, you may be looking at a more complicated task. 

Does the repair involve getting your hands dirty?

As much of a surface-level problem as it may seem, some homeowners really do not like getting their hands dirty with certain plumbing repairs. Sadly, many of them only figure this out after they are up to their elbows in grime, sewage, or a stinking mess. If you don't usually have the stomach strength to handle gross things, there are certain plumbing tasks best left to a professional, such as cleaning a severely clogged drain or replacing a wax seal under a toilet.