Most people want to solve problems around the house by themselves as much as possible—and it makes financial sense. After all, hiring a professional to do it for them can be pretty pricey.
Case in point: plumbing. Did you know that hiring a plumber for one hour can cost you between USD$45 and USD$200? Adding to that price tag is the job in question. Need to patch up some gas lines? That’ll cost you around USD$539 extra. Need to install new fixtures? You’re looking at a total bill by the thousands.
Regardless, unless you’re a plumber yourself, hiring one is crucial. Sure, you can read up about simple fixes in various articles, but only a plumber possesses the correct equipment and skillset to make fixes more long-lasting. If your house is suffering from the following problems, perhaps it’s better to leave them to the pros.
Patching Up Leaky Pipes
Just this March, the Environmental Protection Agency held its Fix a Leak Week, where it urged households to find leaks in their plumbing and have it repaired. A typical household’s plumbing can leak as much as 10,000 gallons of water annually or over 800 gallons monthly. If a family of four pays around USD$70 for 400 gallons monthly, leaks alone can cost twice as much.
You might think patching up leaks is as easy as applying some sealant and calling it a day, and you’re not entirely wrong. However, the first step in fixing such problems is finding the leak, which is harder than it looks. If the problem’s hiding in the wall cavity or underground, you’ll have to pull out a plumbers directory and find the best one in your neighborhood.
Repairing Running Toilets
Running toilets use up a lot of water, between 200 and 6,480 gallons per day if left on their own. Taking the water rate from earlier, the unnecessary additional cost to your bill can reach upwards of USD$1,800 for the month. That’s not even accounting for the damage from the toilet flooding the entire bathroom.
Most cases point to a leaking flapper, which can be resolved by replacing it and the fill valve simultaneously. Sometimes, the problem goes deep into the toilet mechanism or the plumbing running underneath it. More importantly, the repair procedure may vary depending on the type of toilet; pressure-assist ones, for instance, need extra steps due to the air tank inside.
Installing or Replacing Fixtures
If your house is a few decades old, there’s no need to worry about switching out its plumbing. Relatively new constructions call for modern plumbing materials, like PVC and copper, which can stay strong for several decades, and water-saving fixtures.
But in these cities, many households live in homes built before 1940; most plumbing standards weren’t introduced until years after World War II. So, if you live in such a house, a retrofit may be in order. Fixing problems in such antiquated plumbing will only cost more to maintain in the long term.
Handling Gas Line Problems
Repairing gas leaks is several steps above fixing water leaks for several reasons. Unlike water, the natural gas that runs to your heater is invisible, and sniffing out the source is no easy task. Also, the risk to your health increases the longer the smell of gas persists; methane in natural gas isn’t something you should have in your body.
There’s little room for error in repairing gas line problems; gas explosions are real and can leave scores hurt or worse. Fortunately, most plumbing services offer gas line repairs, so it’s better to leave such issues to more capable hands.
Cleaning Out the Septic Tank
Every outgoing pipe in a house’s plumbing leads to the septic tank, which is a water-tight container buried deep below the house. From there, the wastewater slowly drains to the drain field while allowing scum and solids to float or settle. Not all U.S. households have septic tanks, but many in the New England and East-Central states do.
Because they’re underground, it’s easy to forget about septic tanks. However, the deposits can fill it up quickly, resulting in harmful sewage flowing to where it’s not supposed to. Naturally, it’s a dirty job but one that pros can perform.
As costly as hiring a plumbing service appears, failing to address plumbing issues on time will be much more expensive. Doing the repairs yourself might not work in most cases and can even lead to a heftier bill. When push comes to shove, your local plumber will be able to spare your household the trouble of unnecessary expenses.