Small plumbing repairs such as fixing a leak can give you the confidence to take on bigger and bigger plumbing projects in your house. However, before you start work, it is a smart move to consider the following issues so that you don't make things worse or do something that will cause trouble down the line.
Determining Whether You've Got the Time
You might have every intention of putting in a new toilet or repairing the garbage compactor in the kitchen. However, if you're not honest about how much time you have, your plumbing project can stretch out over a long period of time, to the chagrin of those in your family. If you cannot commit to getting the work done right away, calling a professional plumber could be the smartest thing to do.
Being Self-Aware About Your Knowledge
If you used a video online to walk yourself through sealing a leak, you may think that you'll just find more online videos and visit internet forums to get the guidance you need to do another plumbing project. However, this can be faulty thinking; as the saying goes, you don't know what you don't know. If you hook a steel pipe up to a copper one, for example, you may have no idea that this could cause a problem going forward. That's because joining metals together can hasten corrosion; you'll need a dielectric union in between the two different pipes if you want to do the job right. Without knowing that, you're setting yourself up for a future problem.
Being self-aware and honest about your own capabilities and knowledge may result in asking a qualified professional to get the work done.
Getting a Permit
One task that might not even enter your head is to make sure that your project is approved by your town. It's your property after all; why would they care what plumbing changes you make? Well for starters, if you are planning to put in an entire new bathroom, your local municipal utilities authority would be very interested in the additional water usage. That's why you should check with the local permits office; they will be able to talk with you about your plans. You can avoid that meeting, but if you are found to be in violation you should expect a number of fines.
It is also a smart idea to determine whether your existing plumbing setup was approved by the permits office. You don't want to be held responsible for work of the previous owners; talking the situation out with a representative of the permits office can help you avoid fines because of the actions of prior owners.
Use these suggestions to help you gather information and make the right choices before moving forward with personal plumbing work. You should be able to complete the work with the information above.