When it comes to plumbing, we usually say to call a professional, but there are some tasks you can do yourself. However, there are a few things you should always know if and when you’re trying to do something at home.

Although this may seem an excellent way to save money, if plumbing maintenance isn’t carried out correctly or safely, it could lead to bigger problems, major repairs, and even some injuries.

Here are our top safety tips for DIY plumbing maintenance.

Why Safety Matters During DIY Plumbing Maintenance

You may think that you know what you’re doing when it comes to plumbing, but a lot can go wrong — and when it does, you could find yourself left with more than a foul smell and a wet carpet.

For starters, the pipes sometimes contain more than water. Gas, sewage, and other organic compounds can all cause serious accidents to your home and body.

Secondly, pipes can also pose a health hazard, especially if made from lead or surrounded by asbestos.
If you’re planning to do some DIY plumbing maintenance, there are a few things you should take into account to ensure that what you’re doing doesn’t result in an accident or injury.

Top Safety Tips for DIY Plumbing Maintenance

Always Protect Your Eyes

Plumbing maintenance can cause water and other dangerous liquids to spray and splash in all directions, so wearing protective eyewear is essential at all times.

If you wear prescription glasses, then you’ll need to look for a pair of safety glasses that easily fit over them.

Hammering, drilling, and dealing with pipes can all cause debris to enter the eye if you aren’t wearing safety goggles. You may feel a little silly, but the protection could save your sight.

Protect Your Hands and Arms

When attempting any plumbing repairs, it’s important to protect your hands and arms. This means wearing protective gloves, long sleeves, and a long-sleeved shirt. You might get a bit hot and sweaty, but at least you’ll be saved from any cuts and scratches.

Know Where the Shutoff Valve Is and Turn Off the Water When Necessary

Turning off the water at the valve will limit any damage if you leak. Most valves are located on an outside wall near a water faucet. Turn them clockwise until they stop. If you are working on your sink, there is probably one under it that will stop water from flowing to that fixture.

Read the Labels Properly on Chemicals and Machinery

Chemicals and machinery always come with instructions. If you don’t read these labels in their entirety and follow safety instructions, you risk causing an accident.

You should use a product for its intended purpose only as directed by the supplier. Many chemicals, for example, could cause burns to the skin or damage to the eyes if not handled correctly. In addition, some chemicals can be dangerous if mixed, which is why reading the labels is a must.

Think Long and Hard Before Opening a Drain

You should never open a drain if you are unsure about the contents and pressure of the water inside. Furthermore, never stand in front of the drain.

If the pressure has built up, even a small amount of water can be strong enough to knock you off your feet. And if you don’t know what’s in the drain, you could be knocked over by a wave of unpleasant sewage!

Call a Professional if Anything Goes Wrong

Plumbing issues can be an expensive undertaking. It’s important to get things right the first time; otherwise, you could be shelling out more money than necessary to fix mistakes.

If you are unsure how to handle specific plumbing issues, we suggest calling a professional local plumber.

What Not to Do When Working on Your Plumbing

Forget Building Codes

It is crucial to abide by building codes when doing anything in your home.

These laws are there to protect you and your property in case of unforeseen circumstances. For example, if a pipe bursts or you’re dealing with an overflowing sink and you have not followed the code, you could end up contaminating other water supplies.

Ignore the Smell of Gas

Ignoring gas smells can have serious consequences. Gas leaks can be harmful to both your home and the people living in it.

If you were to cut a gas line or notice a gas leak. It’s important to evacuate the area and call a professional to help as soon as possible.

Cut Blindly

You should never start cutting a pipe or drilling a hole in the wall without knowing what else is behind the surface. You risk cutting or drilling into electrical wires or other pipes, causing serious damage.

Misuse Tools

Misusing tools risks damage to your home and personal injury. Only use tools for their correct purpose, and make sure you adhere to all safety instructions.

If you need plumbing repairs, it’s always best to call an expert. Contact JW Plumbing, Heating and Air for professional help.

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