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Thursday, September 19 2019
Things inevitably break. Homeowners know this best; it seems like every time you fix one problem, two new issues arise somewhere else. A lot of homeowners prefer to save money and fix stuff themselves around the house, while others hire a professional to do the dirty work.
So when should you do it yourself, and when should you put away your tools and hire a plumber like Barner Murphy?
Here’s a short guide on which plumbing repairs you can perform yourself and which ones you should leave to the professionals.
Easy Tasks to DIY
Most simple repairs are DIY-able if you have the right tools and know what you’re doing.
The simplest repairs have to be clogs. Clogged toilets take nothing more than a plunger and a few moments of your time. Following closely behind clogged toilets in simplicity are clogged showers and drains, which both can be unclogged using a wire hanger and some common household cleaning chemicals.
Leaky faucets are a little more complex, but with a bit of research and the right materials, you can easily fix your own faucet.
Other DIY-able tasks include installing a new shower head and a new faucet.
DIY, But Be Careful
As projects get larger in size, they become harder to DIY successfully. We don’t recommend most people doing some of the following unless they’re experiences, DIY plumbers, as incorrect repairs can cause flooding and property damage.
Replacing appliances and fixtures like your toilet, dishwasher, and garbage disposal are generally easy to perform, but do it wrong and you’ll end up with leaks and even flooding.
More difficult are frozen pipes. The most experienced DIYers can usually handle these without breaking them; anybody else should hire a plumber to thaw the pipes.
Lastly, if you’re performing your plumbing on a new property, you should probably call a professional to ensure plumbing’s up to code before doing anything.
Don’t DIY: Call A Plumber
Many of the most complex repairs actually require permits you probably don’t have in order to perform them. Renovations are a big one. Even if you can do them yourself, you’ll be fined if you’re found to have done the work without a permit.
It’s hard to hide that if you plan on selling your home in the future because you’re required to report any illegal work performed on the house.
Moving your pipes and/or fixtures tends to require permits as well, not to mention that these tasks are pretty difficult to do on your own.
But one of the most serious issues is broken pipes. In addition to fixing the pipes, you’ll need the plumber to inspect the rest of your plumbing system and determine what caused the pipe damage in the first place.
We tend to get emergency plumbing calls from people whose DIY attempts went horribly wrong. If you have any doubt in your ability to perform a plumbing repair, even if it’s just a leaky faucet, you should contact Barner Murphy instead of doing it yourself. Our trained professionals can handle even the toughest repairs and get your plumbing back to normal in no time.
Saturday, September 07 2019
The leaves are starting to turn red and yellow, the temperatures are dropping, and stores are stocking seasonal and holiday merchandise.
Fall is almost here. Before you get into the fall festivities, however, you want to make sure your home’s plumbing system is in tip-top shape for the new season. Follow these tips for a smooth plumbing system and a comfortable home this fall.
Insulate Your Pipes
As temperatures decrease, heat from the water in your pipes can escape to the outside world, stressing your plumbing and making it less efficient. Check to see if your pipes are insulated properly. If not, insulate them ASAP to keep the hot water flowing issue-free.
You can use heat tape to insulate your outdoor pipes from the cold air.
Still, pipe issues are typically difficult to do yourself. If you’re unsure about your ability to insulate your pipes, call Barner Murphy and we can do it for you.
Before it gets too cold outside, inspect all your plumbing for leaks. Be very thorough; even the smallest leak can turn into a huge problem once the thermometer starts approaching 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Disconnect Garden Hoses
Your hoses won’t be of any use when it gets cold outside. Disconnect your garden hoses and store them somewhere safe until spring rolls around next year. Doing so will prevent damage to your pipes from frozen water, as well as keep the hoses themselves intact for next year.
Clean Out Your Gutter And Drainpipes
Your gutters and drainpipes exist to safely route water away from your roof and foundation to prevent damage to either of them. When fall rolls around, however, the falling leaves can quickly accumulate in the drainpipes and cause backups.
Clear out your gutter and drainpipes regularly all fall to prevent serious damage to your home.
Clean Your Water Heater
Colder temperatures means more reliance on hot water. Without it, you’d be unable to enjoy hot holiday drinks or take warm, relaxing showers.
You’ll want to clean out any buildup in your water heater to keep it running smoothly. If you have an older water heater and you’ve noticed your water heater struggling to heat your water, it may be time for a new one. Water heaters generally need replacement every 8-12 years. Consider getting a new one if you’ve had your current unit for this long.
Fix Your Sump Pump And Pit
Sump pumps keep the area under your home dry to prevent flooding, while the sump pit is just the pit in which the sump pump is located. Naturally, blocked or damaged sump pumps can lead to basement flooding, causing thousands in damages as well as encouraging mold and mildew growth.
Barner Murphy’s here to help you prepare your house for the fall. Call us today if you have any plumbing issues you need to fix before fall is in full swing!