Safety Tips for DIY Home Plumbing Projects | Mr. Rooter

Some plumbing projects may seem straightforward enough to handle on your own, but one mistake and you could be left cleaning up thousands of dollars of damage from a flooded house or a fire. Follow these safety tips to reduce your chances of error in your DIY plumbing project:

  1. Plan out your entire project in advance, which includes ensuring you have all the right tools for the task. Most plumbing projects will require any combination of the following tools: plunger, basin wrench, pipe wrench, slip-joint pliers, plumber’s snake, Teflon tape, silicone sealant, tape measure, and a flashlight.
  1. Use proper protective equipment. Along with the tools listed above, it is absolutely imperative to use the proper protection for your eyes, head, hands, and lungs during any plumbing projects.
  • Eye protection: Safety glasses can keep unwanted debris out of your eyes, especially when using a saw, drill, or hammer, or when snaking a drain because this can cause the shattering of pipe components.
  • Head protection: A helmet is necessary if you will be completing a project while lying on your back in the event that the plumbing structure collapses.
  • Hand protection: Heavy-duty rubber gloves are a must-have for every plumbing project because you may come in contact with dangerous, contaminated fluids and particles. Do not touch your face at all during your task.
  • Lung protection: Finally, a face mask will protect you from breathing in hazardous particles, especially if you will be doing any sawing or sanding.
  1. Practice proper safety procedures: Read all labels and instructions for any tools, equipment, and chemicals you will be using. If you are attempting a project for the first time, it can be helpful to watch a video detailing the steps beforehand.
  1. Check out local building codes and plumbing regulations: Every area has specific codes for building and plumbing projects, and the law requires that some tasks only be completed by a professional. This is for safety reasons, as the effects of any mistake can be far-reaching. Hitting a utility line can result in severe problems affecting your whole neighborhood, and forgetting to reattach a vacuum breaker can pollute the drinking water supply for an entire area.
  1. Know the location of your home’s main water supply valve and shut it off before you start any projects: Tremendous water pressure can be released after a drain or pipe is unclogged and can be very dangerous.
  1. Act quickly if you smell gas: If you even slightly suspect a gas leak, stop your task immediately, leave the house along with any other family members or pets, and contact your gas company. Do not attempt to find the leak yourself.
  1. Know when to call in the professionals: Many issues will be too extensive for you to handle effectively on your own, and mistakes can lead to serious damage to your property or your health. Some plumbing errors can cause the flow of black water into your home, a noxious mix of sewage, bacteria, and other toxic contaminants that are extremely dangerous to the health of your family and require expensive services from a professional cleaning crew. Drilling into a gas main or an electrical line can cause fire, electrocution, or even an explosion.
If you have any doubts about your ability to fix a plumbing issue in your home, seek professional help right away. Avoid costly damage and potentially fatal accidents by contacting the experts from Mr. Rooter. Call us today at (713) 581-9048 to discuss your situation and schedule an appointment.