The DIY test: can you repair your own plumbing?

Dec 20 , 2014
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For many Los Angeles residents DIY projects are fun. Sure, they represent a chance to roll up your sleeves and improve your home in some way, but they also provide an escape from our day-to-day jobs. Whether you regard them as hobbies or necessary efforts to preserve your home value, DIY enthusiasts love to take on all manner of projects – including plumbing.

Plumbing repairs are like a siren song for homeowners who love any chance to break out their toolkit. From leaky pipes to clogged drains and backed-up toilets, plumbing work can be a fun distraction. However, despite our best intentions, not all of us have the skill to adequately address problems around the house.

To determine if you’re up to your next task, ask yourself these questions:

What’s your level of experience?

Some residents grew up around tools. Those types are comfortable with hammering, drilling and manual labor in general. So when a drain clogs or the pipes need to be fixed, they don’t shy away. Instead, they jump in headfirst. Whether they hit the internet for basic tips, or apply knowledge based on their own experience, plumbing issues aren’t intimidating. They may know the appropriate solutions and steps before they begin, or they might just be able to successfully wing it as they go (the latter category is truly impressive).

If you don’t have prior experience working with pipes, water, and clogs, you may want to tread lightly. Sometimes skill isn’t matched by ambition. While it’s certainly possible that aspiring DIY heroes may be able to figure it out as they go, you should start with small jobs before tackling the big issues.

Can you think on your feet?

Anyone who’s ever taken on a medium to large scale DIY project knows that they rarely go exactly as planned. You can outline your work, consult professionals and buy all the anticipated materials, but inevitably something surprises you along the way. True DIY’ers can handle a curveball or two. They may even delight in discovering something they didn’t know before. But that’s the best-case scenario.

The more common scenario is that you discover another problem that needs to be fixed. Whether you’re fixing a dishwasher or remodeling a shower, you should always be prepared for unforeseen issues that may be related or even caused by your project, and most importantly, be ready to change course and re-organize the project if priorities shift.

Can you tell when you’re in over your head?

A typical project at home for ambitious handymen is copper repiping. Many homes in our city – Brentwood in particular – were built with copper. However, though the material can last for many years, it eventually fails and requires repairs or even replacement. But repiping isn’t to be taken lightly. If not performed correctly, you could misalign pipes or even cause a flood. If this happens, you are officially over your head and should call the best plumber in Brentwood. Hammer Plumbing & Drain can repair all kinds of pipe problems (even ones caused by human error).


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