DIY Plumbing Safety Dos and Don’ts

Making the decision to do DIY plumbing repairs is something you shouldn’t take lightly. Here at Moore Home Services, we would always recommend that you hire a professional plumber. That said, we know that sometimes that’s not possible. Many people choose to try to repair their plumbing themselves, and while we’re not overjoyed about it, we understand that it happens. We would like to be a resource, if you’re going to go at it alone, you know how to keep yourself and your family safe. That’s why we’ve created this simple list of DIY plumbing safety dos and don’ts. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

Why Plumbing Safety Matters

Any and every certified plumber will confirm that safety is the number one job priority. When training, all our learning material surrounds keeping our clients, their family members, and their home protected from potential hazards.
If you’re handling your plumbing project alone, you need to also ensure that safety is your priority. If you think that there’s even the smallest chance of injury or damage, don’t risk it. Hire a professional. Failing to do so could cause harm to yourself, your family, and your property’s value. With that in mind, make sure you follow our plumbing safety dos and don’ts from the start to the end of your project.

What You Should Do

The key to a successful plumbing project – in any context – is organization. As professionals, we’re likely to have completed a project like yours a hundred times. However, this is new to you. As such, you need to know what you need to do, step by step. Before you get going, write down a list of instructions to follow. You should also make note of any potential risks that arise for each step, and what course of action you need to take should danger arise.
You should also gather all your equipment in advance, placing them. So, ensure you have everything laid out in front of you, that all your tools are working, and you know what needs to be done for each step of your project. Then, follow these key plumbing safety guidelines:

Wear Eye Protection

Your eyes are one of the most delicate parts of your body, and when embarking on a plumbing repair project, they need to be protected. Eye protection is an important part of DIY plumbing. It’s important to keep your eyes protected at all times by wearing safety glasses. It only takes a spec of mud or contaminated water to slip into your eye to cause a nasty infection.

Protect Your Hands and Arms

Your most used tools with any plumbing project are your hands. They can come into contact with some strong chemicals and sharp materials, so it’s best to keep them covered with gloves. When working with any machinery, we recommend wearing latex gloves under leather gloves to prevent any bacteria or germs from spreading. Make sure you wear gloves and long sleeves while working on your plumbing.

Know Where the Shutoff Valve Is and Turn Off the Water When Necessary

Before you begin your project, make sure you know where your shutoff valve is. Often, you can find your shutoff valves close to the fixture or appliance itself. For sink faucets, you’ll find the shutoff valves underneath your sink, near to where your water supply tubes run.
For your faucet, you’ll have two valves. One controls hot water and the other cold. If you’ll be working with the water supply at all, it’s advisable to simply switch the water off. If you don’t, you might accidentally release highly pressurized water, and if you don’t know where the shutoff valve is, you’ll find that things go south pretty quickly.

Read the Entire Label

Don’t operate any machinery or touch any substances before you have read through the labels. It might not be a thrilling read, but knowing the information is crucial to staying safe. You must know how each tool or chemical functions and how to use them safely. Make sure you know what's in the chemicals you're putting down the drain.

Call a Professional if Anything Goes Wrong

If you notice that things are going wrong and you’re not sure what to do next, please contact a professional plumber. Often, people feel as though they can’t ask for help if they’ve started a plumbing project alone. This generally causes more harm than it does good. If you’re struggling, reach out for help.

What You Should Not Do

Plumbing isn’t straightforward. It’s not, as so many people think, a Lego-like activity that could be done with a YouTube tutorial. It’s just as important to know what you should not do when practicing plumbing safety. With that in mind, here are things you should never do when you’re trying to repair your plumbing at home:

Forget Building Codes

Building codes were created to keep you, your family, and the general public safe. While they can be restrictive at times, they are all there for a reason, and that reason surrounds the wellbeing of your household. Therefore, you must respect and adhere to them. Don't forget building codes while working on a DIY plumbing project.

Ignore the Smell of Gas

If you catch even the faintest whiff of gas, stop what you are doing straight away. If it’s safe, switch off the gas at the mains, and telephone your gas provider immediately. Don’t try to locate the gas leak yourself, as it’s highly dangerous. Not only are you standing in a property that could be set on fire at a moment’s notice, but the gas you’re inhaling is highly toxic.

Cut Blindly

Before you cut or drill into a surface, take a second to ask yourself whether you know what is behind it. Sometimes there’s empty space, but other times it’s crowded full of pipes, electrical wiring, or ductwork. You must know what’s on the other side of where you’re cutting before you slice into something that cannot be repaired. Blindly cutting into a wall can lead to serious consequences.

Misuse or Don’t Understand How to Use the Tools

Finally, you must not misuse professional tools. Ultimately, it’s dangerous to use them in any way other than what they were designed for. Misusing tools can damage your property, which demands costly repairs. But most importantly, misusing tools can cause severe injury. Make sure you know how to operate your tools and their limitations and ensure they’re all functioning correctly before starting your plumbing project. Always make sure you know how to use the tools for the job. Once again, we can’t stress this enough: if something goes wrong, even a tiny bit, call a professional plumber. They are here to help you. If you’re in need of a professional plumber to take over (or start) your DIY plumbing project, get in touch with a member of our friendly team at Moore Home Services today.