They say that ignorance is bliss… That’s very ignorant of them! The simple truth is that ignorance is rarely blissful, especially when you own your own home. Rental tenants are at many disadvantages but one thing that they can rely on is the knowledge that if something goes wrong around the home, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to rectify. Homeowners have no such luxury. They know that they alone are responsible for the upkeep of the home, and thus homeowners quickly become accomplished DIYers. After all, not every household job requires you to reach for an expert repairman. In many cases it’s simply a matter of having the right tools, the right know how and a little patience. If something goes wrong with your home’s water supply, it may be surprisingly easy to fix the problem yourself… But there are some instances where you should always defer to the experts…
Do DIY: Unblocking the sink
It’s a common cause for frustration for plumbers when they’re called out to unblock a sink which the customer could easily unblock themselves. There are many common causes of drain blockages but the usual suspects are grease and cooking fats which cool and harden in the drains, hair and soap scum which congeal in the pipes, food waste in kitchen U bends and toilet paper blockages. In most all cases these blockage can be cleared with some enthusiastic plunging. You may be reticent to use commercial drain cleaning products because of the threat they present to the environment. Fortunately a combination of white vinegar and baking soda can clear even stubborn blockages.
Don’t DIY: Power shower installation
In theory you could install your own power shower, but this is rarely advisable if you lack confidence in your DIY skills. As the experts at Maplewood Plumbing will tell you, installing your own shower may seem easy but there’s a lot that can go wrong. A power shower involves connecting fairly complex plumbing and electrical parts and if something goes wrong with either of these elements it can have potentially serious health and safety implications.
Do DIY: Fixing a leaky faucet
The constant drip of a leaky faucet can be distracting but it’s easily rectified. The cause of a leaky faucet is almost always a worn or damaged washer. Simply turn off the water supply, plug the sink or bath and switch the faucet to the ‘on’ position.Remove the ‘headgear’, and undo the headgear nut with a spanner and levering it off. Then simply prise off the washer with a screwdriver and replace it with a fresh one. Booyah! The irritating drip will soon be a distant memory!
Don’t DIY: Water heater replacement
Plumbing rarely presents a physical risk (though an inexperienced plumber could do some minor damage by exacerbating a leak) but meddling with hot water is a risky enterprise. This is a job best left to the professionals. Best case scenario, your improper water heater replacement can decrease your heating and cooling efficiency by as much as 30%, worst case scenario you could seriously injure yourself.