According to statistics, the average cost to call a plumber to your home is about $250. Of course, the simpler the repair, the lesser the cost. For this reason, many homeowners feel that if they can repair their drains on their own, they can save money on plumbing costs. However, this is not always the best idea. Below are the top four reasons to refrain from DIY drain repair.
#1 – Your Personal Safety
When the kitchen sink backs up, most people reach for one of two things: a plunger or a jug of chemical-based drain cleaner. Drano, Liquid Plumr, sulfuric acid, and other chemicals are available at department and hardware stores around the country, and they can cause serious burns, injury to the lungs, and even death. Do-it-yourself plumbers report to emergency rooms for electric shocks, scalds from hot water, and other incidents. It is best to play it safe and allow a plumber to handle things.
#2 – Homeowner’s Insurance Compliance
If a homeowner unsuccessfully attempts to unclog a drain and damage to the home from flooding should ensue, then that individual’s insurance policy may not cover the damages. Oftentimes, there are clauses in homeowner’s insurance policies that dictate a need for licensed professionals when a home needs plumbing or electrical work. Failure to adhere to those clauses may not only result in being responsible for thousands of dollars in damages, but also in higher insurance premiums.
#3 – Avoiding New Problems
Many do-it-yourself plumbers inadvertently create new problems when they attempt to unclog or repair drains on their own. For instance, they may install the wrong kind of pipe, break a drain line, or even introduce toxic chemicals into the potable water system. At this point, the homeowner will generally need to call a plumber to repair not only the original problem, but also any other new problems. If the flooding is significant, the home may be unlivable until after the completion of the repairs. Staying with friends and family or shelling out money for a hotel room only adds to the overall expense.
#4 – Unknown Blockages
Hardware and department stores sell plumbing snakes in various lengths and sizes. In fact, many stores will rent them out on an hourly basis so that individuals can attempt their own repairs and save money. However, while a snake can certainly cut through certain types of clogs, there are some that it just will not touch. A plumber may need a high-powered jetting system to break through some clogs, and particularly stubborn clogs may need even more intervention. For instance, if a tree root has grown through a drain line and blocked it off, no amount of plunging, snaking, or drain cleaner will solve that problem – and it may actually make things worse.
A good rule of thumb is to call a plumber for any drain repair that is not fixable with a plunger. Not only does this keep the insurance policy intact and prevent personal injury, but it may also save money in the end.