Any homeowner knows that things can, and will, go wrong with their property at some point. Fortunately, very often these issues are minor and can be repaired by the owners.

DIY is a very popular and useful hobby. Sales from hardware stores alone hit a record high of over $61 billion last year. With all the people in the US actively involved in home improvements and DIY, it is not surprising that many opt to do their own repairs.

Is this always the right choice though? When it comes to plumbing is it always feasible to make your own repairs? Are there times when the professionals should be called, or can you just do it yourself?

Do you need to use a professional plumbing firm?

Many small plumbing problems can indeed be handled by someone with a certain amount of skill and knowledge. But there are instances when you will need professional help with plumbing, for example, if gas is involved.

There are plenty of plumbing jobs that might be a step too far for many DIY enthusiasts. Fitting water heaters, replacing pipes, repairing sewers, and any major leak, will probably all need professional help.

What are there that you need to call in the professionals?

Many areas can go wrong with plumbing. Freezing weather can cause pipes to burst; clogged drains can make that dreaded gurgling sound from the toilet.

Here below are several reasons and signs that it is time to call the plumbers in:

  • Burst pipes
  • No water at all
  • No hot water
  • Sewage smells
  • Low water pressure
  • Gurgling from the toilet basin
  • Backflow from sink
  • Water not draining away
  • When you need a new water heater
  • Taps keep dripping
  • Toilet is overflowing

Often things such as blocked drains and toilets can be fixed with a plunger. And leaking faucets and taps may just need a new washer. It is when these simple problems persist that it may be time to call a plumber.

Even the seemingly smallest problem such as leaks can turn into a much bigger one if ignored. Every US household on average leaks around 10,000 gallons a year according to EPA. This is a waste of a valuable resource and is not only costly but can lead to household damage too.

Can you fix your own plumbing problems?

There are many valid reasons to want to fix your own plumbing problems. For many, the expense of calling out a professional plumber is unattractive, to say the least. Then for some, there is pride and the belief that they don’t need any outside help.

There are frequent mistakes people make with plumbing and these are unlikely to be made by professionals.

To do your own plumbing repairs you will need the right tools, and the knowledge to know how to fix a multitude of problems. Plumbers don’t just fix leaks. A good plumber will have years of experience and be fully trained in all aspects of plumbing.

What should you seek in a professional plumber?

The truth is that if you are calling a plumber out, you very possibly have an emergency. So there are things to look for when you need a plumber in a hurry, such as do they offer a 24/7 service?

Other things to look for are what guarantees they offer, are they certified or licensed, how long have they been operating.

The main things you probably want to know are, can they diagnose and repair the problem you have and are they punctual? If you have an emergency, you want a plumber to arrive swiftly, and be armed with the skills to rectify the issue at hand.

How to find a professional plumber

Once you have decided that your plumbing problem is more than you are capable of fixing, you will then need to know how to find a quality, professional plumber.

Reviews online are very popular these days and can offer an insight into a business. Check to see if they are on Yelp, and look how high their Google review scores are. Ideally, you want something as close to 5/5 as possible from a lot of reviews.

Check their social media for comments from former customers. This means Facebook and perhaps even YouTube if they have a channel.

You could also look to see if they have been vetted and approved by Home Advisor.

Although you will want a plumber to arrive quickly in an emergency, taking a couple of minutes to quickly verify their credentials and customer reviews could make all the difference.


Many DIY enthusiasts and homeowners are perfectly capable of replacing a washer or tightening a bolt or two. Plenty of people can go a lot further and replace faucets and carry out other plumbing repairs and maintenance jobs.

However, there are some jobs involving sewers, drainage, and water heaters, that require the skills of experienced professionals. Ignoring problems and patching them up with duct tape could lead to a far more serious problem in the not too distant future.