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Old 02-16-2014, 04:31 AM   #1
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Default Plumbing, Pros and Cons of Calling a Professional

Personally, I believe that your property is your responsibility, but there are times when it makes sense to hire someone who knows more than you do and can do the job faster than you can. We just moved into a new house and while it's relatively new (built about 10 years ago) it has some minor plumbing and electrical problems that I've fixed myself.

I just spent the last two hours installing a new faucet in the kitchen sink. What a royal PITA. The last faucet had leaked at the base and the bracket holding it on was rusted to the point to where I had to use pliers to wrench the bracket off and there were flakes of rusted steel everywhere as a result. I'd never have thought such a small piece of steel could've produced so much rust. Thankfully, the new faucet was easy to install.

I have several more of these projects, one of which is replacing the hot water heater with a tankless unit. The other projects are relatively minor, replacing more faucets, shower heads, and a toilet.

I'm not sure what it costs nowadays because I haven't hired a lot of plumbers or electricians. Is it worth it to just hire someone to fix the problem? Do you guys generally have good luck with plumbers and electricians or are you mostly DIY?

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Old 02-16-2014, 04:39 AM   #2
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just about a month ago i replaced our water heater. it took me pretty much all day to get it done. yes it would have been easier to call a plumber, but much more expensive. as long as i can do the job myself and am capable od doing it, i refuse to pay someone to do the job for me. i am very mechanically inclined and quite capable and with the internet, i am able to learn quite a lot about things i don't know about.

electrical, i do defer to my father as he was an electrician for many years. he has talked me through figuring out a few electrical issues in the past and helped me get the job done without having to resort to an electrician.

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Old 02-16-2014, 04:49 AM   #3
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Humm? I thought water came out of the ground hot or cold? Do you mean there is a machine in my house making hot water. Damn, what will they think of next. The world is changing so fast. I just heard people back in New York were putting Soft drinks in their whisky.

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Old 02-16-2014, 04:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbd512 View Post
Personally, I believe that your property is your responsibility, but there are times when it makes sense to hire someone who knows more than you do and can do the job faster than you can. We just moved into a new house and while it's relatively new (built about 10 years ago) it has some minor plumbing and electrical problems that I've fixed myself.

I just spent the last two hours installing a new faucet in the kitchen sink. What a royal PITA. The last faucet had leaked at the base and the bracket holding it on was rusted to the point to where I had to use pliers to wrench the bracket off and there were flakes of rusted steel everywhere as a result. I'd never have thought such a small piece of steel could've produced so much rust. Thankfully, the new faucet was easy to install.

I have several more of these projects, one of which is replacing the hot water heater with a tankless unit. The other projects are relatively minor, replacing more faucets, shower heads, and a toilet.

I'm not sure what it costs nowadays because I haven't hired a lot of plumbers or electricians. Is it worth it to just hire someone to fix the problem? Do you guys generally have good luck with plumbers and electricians or are you mostly DIY?
For the water heater hire someone.

Faucets shower heads and toilets are very easy. There is surprisingly little holding a toilet to the floor. I've done more than a few. First one I did was 3 hours mainly cuz there was no youtube at the time just a picture step by step book. I did a complete toilet a few months ago in a rental in about 50 minutes.

With toilets the key is draining all water first and drying the tank. You can use a plunger to force most of the bowl water down the sewer pipe. After that its easy. If you don't get rid of the water first its a unholy mess.
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:00 AM   #5
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I gutted the house we're living in some years ago and did most of the reno work myself, including a lot of the simpler plumbing stuff - install tub, instal toilets, faucets, etc. Raised the showers from where the plumber I hired put it, water purifier, stuff like that. Ran both new and additional lines to the outside, incl. a hot water line.

IMO, most of the challenge with plumbing is just knowing which one of 76,900 fittings will fit onto other fittings. If plumbing parts were standardized, we'd only need 1/2 as many plumbers.

Buy some good "How To" books with photos (Home Depot books) and have at 'er.

ps: If you have all that rust in less than 10 yrs, I'd think you need to have a look at water treatment gear. If so, I'd highly recommend a H2O2 system - awesome iron remover - and a softener behind that. Your fittings should not have decayed that badly in less than 10 yrs., I think.

Good luck.

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Old 02-16-2014, 05:20 AM   #6
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The pros and cons of hiring a professional are as follows. pros for the pro:

If they mess up, it is on them to fix it.
Generally, if it is done by a pro, you know it's done right.
If another part is needed to make it work most of the time they will have it with them.

Cons:

Cost.
having to work with their schedule.

The only advantages to DIY work is the satisfaction of doing it yourself, and lower cost if all goes right. the flip side is that it will almost always cost you more if you DIY, and it turns out to be a Cluster F&%(, because the pro has to undo your mistakes to find and fix the problem.

That being said, if I can do it myself I do. If in doubt, I find a friend who knows what they are doing to help or teach me how. If i know from the start that I am in over my head, I call in the pro.

Note that i don't say expert. X is an unknown quantity, and a spurt is a drip under pressure. I have no need for an unknown drip under pressure.

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Old 02-16-2014, 05:26 AM   #7
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I'm getting a little old but still do plumbing and electrical work around the house. No formal training but most of the work is fairly obvious, especially after doing jobs over the years. Like Axxe said you can find helpful YouTube videos, take a look and you can determine if the job looks too complex before starting.

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Old 02-16-2014, 05:46 AM   #8
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my father said PVC pipe was one of the greatest things ever invented. i have to agree. without PVC pipe and glue, i doubt i could be able to complete some of the plumbing repairs i do take on.

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Old 02-16-2014, 06:12 AM   #9
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I've got an "Extra Special" water line for outside,..3 different 1/2" lines with some pressure behind them....for those "nasty" feral Cats that come around harassing Dogs and domesticated cats...
They get the high pressure line. I have a decent "Aim" with a 30+ Foot stream...I never saw Gator smile so much.....!!!

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Old 02-16-2014, 08:20 AM   #10
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I'm going to ask a simple question.

1. Do you work for a living? If yes, see question 2.

2. Do you carry workman's comp and disability insurance on yourself for your home repair projects? If No, see question 3.

3. Can you afford to live without income?

Hire a pro for the jobs that could hurt you. If they get hurt they have insurance. Hire ONLY licensed and insured contractors. Never be afraid to ask for and verify their coverage. The life you save may be your loved ones.

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