With an increase of people at home (and more time to do odd jobs around the house), it is important to be aware of the dangers of DIY, especially when it comes to plumbing.
DIY plumbing may cause injury, void warranties and compromise insurance claims —and some are just outright illegal to do yourself.
Here are four things you should consider before planning your next DIY project.
Your personal safety
You might have heard a lot about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the last few months relating to hospitals and health care providers. But if you’re doing a DIY project, you need PPE too.
The majority of DIY injuries come from falling from ladders, lack of PPE, improper use of tools or machinery and poor ventilation. Workplace health and safety is part of the culture of being a plumber: You’ll notice that tradies wear gloves, masks, safety glasses and workwear that is designed with safety in mind. Don’t put your safety at risk for a quick and temporary fix – leave plumbing to the professionals.
In Victoria, it is illegal to do any plumbing work more than changing over a water efficient shower head or replacing tap washers. Fines can be in the thousands. This is done to help prevent unnecessary injuries or deaths due to an inexperienced person attempting to do work that is better left to professionals.
Tradies are required to hold current licenses for good reason – they have been appropriately trained and are aware of any changes to Codes and Standards. Plumbers, drainers, gasfitters & electricians are all deemed specialist tradespeople, so you should never attempt to take on any plumbing, draining, gas fitting or electrical wiring work yourself.
If there’s something serious happening within the pipework of your home, you could waste a lot of time and do a lot of damage trying to fix it up yourself. Although it might seem like a cheaper option to do it yourself (all you need to buy is the materials, right?), a project that doesn’t meet legal requirements can cost you thousands in fines, let alone the cost of repairs by a professional to fix the original issue and whatever damage your DIY work caused. Save your time and money and go straight to the professionals.
Certain plumbing work requires certification that it complies with state legislation. Unless you’re a registered tradesman you’re not going to be able to provide the certification. Whilst it may not prove an issue initially, if there’s an accident that results in insurance claims and assessments, you may find yourself in trouble. If your DIY plumbing work leads to a burst pipe and substantial water damage, it is unlikely to be covered by your insurance.
Don’t risk a financial crisis, call a plumber for a certified installation that won’t void your insurance.
When it comes to plumbing, many DIY solutions are only temporary and do not fix the source of the problem, only the symptoms. A professional plumber is a small price to pay for peace of mind and the safety of your home.