6 Plumbing Repairs You Should Never DIY. Pro Tips To Stay Safe

(Last Updated On: December 23, 2023)

Everyone wants to be the king of DIY. On top of that, you need to fix something around the house every now and then. And it’s not like you’ll call a contractor for something you can handle on your own. However, by all means, certain tasks should always be conducted by pros. Most of these are somehow associated with plumbing as one of the crucial systems inside your home. Therefore, a lot of things can go wrong if you attempt to DIY them. Today, we’ll introduce you to the six plumbing repairs you should absolutely never DIY.

Chrome bathtub faucet and hand shower.

DIY Nope #1: Drain or sewer line clogs

Typical misconception homeowners are likely to support: you can repair clogged drains on your own, and there’s no need to call anyone.
That’s not so surprising once you hear all the promises found on the bottle of a typical drain clear. They’re not so costly, yet they claim they’ll quickly deal with all your plumbing-related worries. Also, your local hardware probably has plumbing snakes in stock. That being said, why shouldn’t you give it a try?
Well, here’s the thing: while the chemicals found inside the cleaner are bound to do something with your clogged-up debris, they’ll also do some damage to your pipes, and that’s what you want to avoid.
What about snakes? They can help you deal with clogged drains, but you can bet pros possess better tools to handle the issue.

Lastly, sewer line clogs can’t be fixed by non-professionals since they require you to employ special machinery and not your classic DIY plumbing tools. Also, you most likely don’t have access to them.

A clogged sewer line is something that should be left to professionals.

White colored food grease causing a partial blockage of a sewer line.
White colored food grease causing a partial blockage of a sewer line. A typical homeowner’s plumbing snake will not reach this far. Also, something is likely causing the grease to block the flow of grease past this location and that is the real problem that must be solved.


DIY Nope #2: Handling your water heater

Here’s another one you should leave to the pros: replacing your water heater. They say one should be cautious when trying to replace a faulty water heater.
Among other things, you’re dealing with a combo of water and electricity that can potentially cause mayhem and endanger a DIY plumbing amateur. One wrong move, and you’ll wish you had transferred the task to someone else.
Do you have a gas fueled water heater? See #5 below. Additionally, many gas water heaters also have electrical components.

Frozen plastic water pipe leak.
Frozen pipes are standard in places where winter temperatures tend to get nasty, such as Minnesota. This is very common in older houses and manufactured homes.

DIY Nope #3: Frozen piping, anyone?

Let’s say you’re planning to settle in Minnesota. Needless to say, the weather out there in the winter can get pretty chilly. Minnesota cold isn’t something you’d want to mess around with.

Furthermore, the piping inside your new home will be quite prone to freezing. If you don’t take all the necessary precautions your professional plumber would suggest (insulating the pipes with foam, etc.), you’re bound to end up with frozen pipes.

In the worst-case scenario, you can even end up with a cracked pipe. If that were to happen, call a professional plumber immediately. Fixing a burst pipe is too much of a project for a DIY amateur.
And speaking of your long-distance Minnesota relocation, you’ll also want to let experts get you there. Going DIY is also not recommended in that scenario.


DIY Nope #4: What about pipe replacement?

Even though it mightn’t sound like the trickiest plumbing issue out there, fixing a faulty pipe is quite a task for someone with little or no experience in the field. Here’s why: DIYers usually revert to patching leaks. However, that’s not something your pro plumber would suggest since they’d discard such an action as a temporary fix.

In other words: there’s no guarantee that that will do you good in the long run. So, what would they suggest you do instead? Most of them would recommend you replace a leaking pipe, without any doubt.

Now, if you were to try a DIY pipe replacement, there’s a good chance you’d mismatch pipes and create a bigger problem. Therefore, reach out to professional plumbers in your area and don’t think twice.

Water leaking from a copper water pipe.
Water leaking from a copper water pipe.

DIY Nope #5: You don’t want to mess with a gas leak, ever

We all know that a gas leak does not happen every day. Nevertheless, they’re as dangerous as they are rare. Once you notice something’s wrong, it might be too late. If you notice a rotten egg smell in your home, you should evacuate it immediately.

One doesn’t need to underline the importance of handling gas pipes in the safest manner possible. This ever-present danger surrounding gas pipe leaks is there for a reason, so you should definitely refrain from fixing it yourself.

If you’re dealing with any gas-related issues, reaching out to pro plumbers is your best and only – bet.

Never try to fix a gas leak. Instead, evacuate your home’s premises.

House explosion caused by a natural gas leak in Marshall MN. Gas leaks are the most danferous plumbing repairs you should never DIY. Image credit: Dakota News Now
House explosion caused by a natural gas leak in Marshall MN. Image credit: Dakota News Now


DIY Nope #6: Issues with standing water

Last but not least, on our list of plumbing repairs you should never DIY, let’s talk a little about issues with standing water.

So, each time you stumble upon standing water in your yard, basement, or any other part of your home, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to find the root of the problem immediately, if at all. The whole scenario might happen because of many things:

● a clogged sewer line (our DIY Nope #1)
● leaky or faulty pipes. See our DIY Nope #4.
● cracks in the foundation.
However, you don’t want to assume. You want to know what’s causing the issue. Needless to say, a professional plumber will help you obtain such knowledge and solve the issue.

Lastly, keep in mind that you shouldn’t waste time once you notice standing water. It might lead to other, bigger problems. Hire plumbing services ASAP!

Wet carpet is usually caused by a leaking water pipe or water leaking through basement walls or concrete floor.
Wet carpet is usually caused by a leaking water pipe or water leaking through basement walls or concrete floor.

Final words on the subject of plumbing repairs you shouldn’t DIY

These were some of the most common plumbing repairs you should never DIY. Hopefully, this helped you make solid decisions instead of trying your luck with DIY home improvisations. All in all: always rely on someone who knows better than you the mysteries of your home’s plumbing system.

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