Bathroom plumbing and avoiding the hidden problems of a DIY job

Express Plumbing on 23 August 2016

There are some plumbing jobs that you can do yourself, such as clearing a blocked drain, fixing a leaking tap or installing a new shower head, which are relatively easy. However, other plumbing work can be difficult to complete and may require a licensed plumber so that it complies with Australian standards.

When is it time to call a plumber?

If you need to replace your toilet, install piping or connect a hot water service, you need to call a licensed plumber. This type of work can only be carried out by a trained professional due to the removal of waste and the supply of water to your home. If you get these installations wrong, it can cost more to repair any damage, and it can adversely affect your health.

For instance, one homeowner decided to fix a broken pipe in the floor of his bathroom. He'd read thousands of DIY magazines, and watched even more YouTube videos, so he thought he was now able to put his knowledge into action. The homeowner removed everything from his bathroom, all except the toilet, which was left perched high above the now dugout bathroom floor. The owner found the pipe and tried to replace it, but his repair was inadequate and caused a far greater water leak. Now left with a flooded bathroom and not knowing how to put his bathroom back together, the man called in a plumber. The plumber was shocked to see nothing but bare brick walls, a dirt floor and a toilet sitting on a crate high above a pool of water when he arrived. Surprisingly, the toilet functioned well. But, the repair bill to reinstate the bathroom was way more than it would have originally cost if the homeowner had contacted a plumber in the first place.

How can connecting bathroom fittings be costly?

It may seem straightforward to replace a bathroom sink, toilet or even taps in your bathroom. But if the new fitting does not use the same diameter pipe, or the pipe location is different to the original fitting, this can cause all sorts of issues and escalate costs. Another common problem encountered by DIY experts is a lack of equipment or having the right tools to carry out the job. Using tapes and joiners that are not made for plumbing or other devices to make a fitting work can have detrimental consequences - leaks that cause rot and attract white ants, as well as flooding.

While it can initially sound expensive to use a plumber, they are often able to carry out their job quickly, with precision. Plus, they can save you additional expense. For example, it might cost you $100 to have a leaking tap fixed, but the drip can waste more than 10,000 litres of water in a year, and that amounts to hundreds or possibly thousands more in water costs. So rather than DIY, call a professional plumber. They will save you time, money and effort.