Unless you’re a qualified plumber yourself, there are a number of jobs around the home that’ll you need to call a plumber in for, even if it seems like an easy or quick job. This is because there are many rules and regulations that govern everything to do with plumbing and gas waste on a property –from waste and stormwater drains, backflow prevention and gas outlets.
It’s a good idea to find a reliable and professional plumber that you can call on a regular basis, especially if you’ve just moved into a new property or need renovation work done.
We asked expert Steve Neale, who is a what he would recommend when it comes to plumbing, and when it might be best to call a plumber.
A plumbing emergency
So what constitutes an emergency? Generally speaking, if the problem you’re experiencing is causing damage to your plumbing or gas systems or to the surrounding area, or poses a danger to people in the vicinity, then it’s an emergency and you should call your local plumber as soon as possible.
Typical examples of these in the home include suspected gas leaks from bayonets or gas appliances, overflowing waste or stormwater drains, blocked pipes and seized taps that won’t shut off.
Other emergencies may involve failures in critical systems such as the hot water system failing or a toilet not working. These can completely disrupt your normal schedule and require the fast services of a plumber to get you back on track.
Don’t forget that if you’re not sure if it’s an emergency or not, you can always call your plumber to make sure. Many offer around the clock emergency support so you can contact them any time of the day or night.
If you’re planning on a bathroom, laundry or kitchen renovation. The sheer number of shows on renovating properties on tv these days shows how popular it’s become to give your home a makeover. What they don’t generally show you is the behind the scenes planning and activity that happens between the professionals – the plumbers, electricians and other tradies.
Essentially, it may seem easy to run a renovation project by yourself, but it’s not. Having a qualified plumber come in and help you with planning your bathroom, laundry or kitchen design can save you money and stress down the track.
They’ll be able to help you design a room that makes best use of the existing plumbing, so you won’t have the expense of moving pipe work and drains. They’ll also be able to help you choose the appliances that will best suit your needs, as well as save you money on running costs.
Outdoor plumbing can cover a wide range of activities, and generally it’s the little projects that you think you won’t need a professional for that you probably will need the most. For example, pools, water features, ponds and other outdoor landscaping may require a plumber to ensure the connections are correct and that there is no risk of backflow (where water can be unintentionally reversed in a pipe due to water pressure changes).
Backflow can mean that contaminated water, such as that from a pond or fountain, can be mixed together with the water from the drinking water supply, posing a serious risk to health. By law, all properties need to have adequate backflow prevention measures to prevent this from happening. This also means that any outdoor plumbing you undertake on your own should at least be checked by a qualified plumber.
Always call a professional plumber
One of the main reasons people try to fix things themselves is cost. People are trying to save themselves a few dollars by attempting DIY plumbing which is always more expensive in the long run – especially if you don’t have the right tools, equipment and expertise.
Thinking you can handle plumbing or gas issues on your own can lead to the job being time consuming, frustrating and even dangerous. Most plumbers will tell you that they’re often called in by DIY’ers who have attempted to solve a problem on their own, only to have it cause even more issues or end up damaging the areas around it. Don’t second guess yourself – if you feel like you need the help from a professional, don’t hesitate to call in a plumber.