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  • Writer's pictureHandsome Hank

How “Doing” it Yourself turns into “Disaster-ing” it Yourself


All the self pep-talks in the world won't save this guy.

Plumbing repairs can be costly and if you’re on a budget, dropping hundreds of dollars to fix a leaky roof or clogged toilet can really set you back. It’s why people with very little aptitude for home repairs throw on their flannels and tool belt, then do their best Bob Vila impersonation. Unfortunately, Youtube “how to” videos are no substitute for years of hands-on plumbing experience, and very minor fixes mutate into major repairs. Your best intentions for your bank account turn into a gaping financial chasm because you over estimated your “fix-it” skills.


Consider Megan Drew your expert voice of reason, helping you avoid the following classic ‘DIY’ plumbing mistakes.


Not Going ‘Green’ with Your Drain Cleaner


The Problem: A large part of Megan Drew's identity is linked with eco-friendly plumbing practices, so when customers tell us they use chemical drain cleaners, it tends to raise our eyebrows. Drano is a quick fix, and when you have a busy schedule you want to take care of a clogged drain as quickly as possible. Sadly, not only are the caustic chemicals in Drano horrific for the environment, but they have long term negative effects on your plumbing, causing pipes to corrode and leak over time.


The Solution: Plumbing augers are similar to a drain snake, neutralizing most clogs without a plumber or caustic chemicals. Employing natural products works as well. You can sprinkle a slow drain with baking soda, then pour vinegar in the drain. After it sits for a couple of hours it can neutralize the clog. Then when you’re done, flush the homemade concoction out with hot water.


If neither of these methods work, professional plumbers such as ourselves have our own green-friendly methods to take care of slow or clogged drains.


Failing to Shut Off Your Water


The Problem: If you want a one-way ticket to Floodsville, don’t turn off your water when working on a home plumbing project. Your pipes will gush, your floors will flood, or at the very least it’s going to be a water park in your home.


The Solution: Turn off the water at the local shutoff valve. If you're unsure of where to find your local shutoff valve, turn it off at the water main.


Not Doing the Paperwork


The Problem: Particularly for rough-in work, homeowners usually need to file for permits when starting massive plumbing jobs in their home. If you have unpermitted work in your home, it can drastically devalue your property and leave you open to fines.


The Solution: Many regions require contractors to pull permits instead of homeowners themselves. Either way, before embarking on a massive plumbing project on your own, do the research on your local plumbing bylaws. Permits enable local building officials to have oversight over home improvement projects, assuring every home improvement project in the community adheres to code. Permits will protect you from fines while ensuring that your plumbing work is done properly.


You know the best way to avoid ‘DIY’ mishaps? Calling a licensed professional plumber, such as Megan Drew, to take care of the job with ease and proficiency. If you’re dealing with a frustrating, inconvenient plumbing or mechanical snafu, contact us today!

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