Thursday, March 11, 2010

Is it Time to Call the Plumber?

New homeowners especially may be quick to call for repairs if even the slightest thing in their house goes wrong. The last thing anybody, regardless of how long they have owned their home, wants to deal with is the plumbing, and while some problems may appear easy to fix, it can be tricky. What could start out as a minor tweak could involve calling a professional plumber before the day is done.

How do you know when to call a plumber, before you discover the house is full of water? Some kitchen and bathroom jobs may look easy, but before you grab a wrench and try to tackle it yourself, please do some serious inspection to determine whether or not you should pick up a phone instead. Ask yourself these questions:

Is wiring or electricity involved? If the problem lies with an electric heater, it may take more than a simple poking around the panels to fix the situation. If you have no experience with heaters, you put yourself, as well as your home at risk. Best to bring in a licensed and bonded professional who knows his wires.

Are your pipes frozen? If so, this is definitely a job for a pro. If you try to thaw out the pipes on your own you risk further damage. Professional plumbers are trained to properly seal cracks in such pipes.

How bad is that backed up toilet? If a regular plunger isn't doing the trick, the problem could lie deeper in the sewage lines, which could require some digging to fix. Before you tear up your yard, make the call.

Does a part need replacing? If something as complicated as a heater or water pump is not working, it could mean you need a new part for it. Before you attempt to do the work on your own, it may be better to have a professional assess the problem.

Simple jobs like minor clogs and leaky pipes that need an extra twist may work fine if done on your own. More complicated task, however, require the care and expertise of a trained workman. You might think calling a plumber is expensive, but you'll find the cost is worth it if you don't have to pay for further damages incurred by a do-it-yourself job gone wrong.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach plumbing and Virginia Beach handyman services.

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