Can do-it-yourself plumbing repairs really cost you extra money? If you’re on a tight budget, you may be searching for ways to cut costs when an unexpected plumbing problem creeps up. Before you pour over how-to’s or spend the weekend watching home reno YouTube clips, take a look at the top ways DIY plumbing repairs cost homeowners money and what you might save with a pro service.
1. Wasted Time
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), plumbers typically complete a trade or vocational school program and a four- to five-year (or 2,000-hour) apprenticeship. The combined years of classroom and hands-on training provide plumbers with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to navigate complex systems, find problems, and repair everything from burst pipes to clogged drains.
Given the number of years of training required to work as a professional plumber, it doesn’t seem realistic that someone could gain the same level of knowledge after reading a few how-to’s or watching a couple hours of video tutorials.
Provided you don’t already have several years of plumbing experience in your educational or employment past, it isn’t likely that you will gain the skills necessary to accurately inspect and fix your home’s system right now. This means the time you spend reading and watching DIY tutorials is money you’re losing in potential lost wages — especially if you need to take time off from work to learn about or try the DIY repairs.
2. Incorrect or Substandard Work
Not only will you lose time and money reading and watching DIY tutorials, misinformation or poorly worded guides could lead you to make substandard repairs. Without the years of knowledge and hands-on experience a plumber has, you may not fully understand complex how-to’s. Even if you do feel like you’ve grasped the material, other issues could arise during the DIY repair process. This can result in partial fixes or the wrong types of repairs.
Failure to correctly diagnose and repair any part of your home’s plumbing system could lead to additional problems or premature breakdowns. The extra issues an improper DIY fix creates could cause serious home damage, such as flooding or sewage contamination. Along with paying extra (on top of the money you’ve already spent on a DIY fix) for a professional repair, you may also have water, mold, or other damage restoration expenses.
Beyond damage to the structure of your house or the plumbing system itself, flooding, backups, and other DIY-related disasters could ruin your flooring, furniture, or other home items. Add on the price tag of a new couch, carpet, appliances, or anything else sewage-field water contacts, and your cost-saving do-it-yourself job could break your home improvement budget.
If a DIY-related issue happens after hours (on a weekend or at night), you may need to pay more for an emergency or 24/7 plumbing service. When you call a professional plumber to begin with, you’ll still need to pay for a weekday, daytime service, but the charge isn’t likely to include an extra emergency fee.
3. Invalidated Warranty
Do you have plumbing fixtures or appliances (such as a hot water heater) that are still under a manufacturer’s warranty? Do you have a home warranty? DIY repairs may invalidate either of these warranty types. Before you try to cut costs with a seemingly budget-friendly do-it-yourself job, review your manufacturer’s and home warranties for restrictions.
It’s possible the warranty will require you to use an approved service contractor or specifically note that non-professional (DIY) repairs void the agreement. A voided warranty won’t pay for costs or partial costs of repairs or replacement parts.
Who should repair your home’s drain backup, leak, or other plumbing problem? Contact Spartan Plumbing Inc. for more information.