The providers of online video tutorials and home improvement shows on TV have emboldened homeowners to try to perform many of their own home repairs and upgrades. Theoretically, amateurs should be complete many of the same tasks as professionals, given the proper tools and adequate instruction.
Unfortunately, theory and practice are often very different, and many jobs are much more difficult than they appear. This is because of unplanned obstacles that can only be discovered through extensive experience in a specific field. Plumbing is one of those fields that look simple on paper (or video), but are fraught with unforeseen — and often unpleasant — difficulties.
Here are a few examples of supposedly simple plumbing tasks that can vex the average amateur plumber enough to wish they had never seen a DIY plumbing video.
Changing a Faucet
The mechanics of changing a faucet are relatively straightforward. You must first disconnect the supply lines, then the retaining nuts that secure the faucet to the sink. The new faucet is connected by reversing this process.
While these are the basic steps for changing a faucet, the job isn't quite as easy as you might think.
The first issue would be the fact that you must lie on your back inside your sink cabinet with your lower back bent over the edge of the cabinet floor to disconnect the old faucet. The connections are in a narrow recessed area under your sink and are barely accessible even with professional plumbing instruments such as sink wrenches.
If the old faucet has been in service for several years, rusting is likely to have occurred, which will require additional force — along with complimentary knuckle-busting when wrenches slip — to remove the connecting nuts. All of this effort will be accompanied by a gentle shower of rust flakes in your face.
When the old faucet is finally disconnected, you will be treated to a foul mixture of plumber's putty and putrid water as the faucet is lifted from the sink. This material must be thoroughly cleaned before the new faucet can be installed, then it's back on your back under the sink to make the connections.
Clearing a Drain
With this plumbing project, at least, you expect to encounter unpleasant sights and smells. However, the closeness and the intensity of this encounter may come as a shock to an amateur who is determined to "go the distance" all the way to the sewer line if necessary.
Plungers are often the first line of defense against a clog for the average homeowner. However, using a plunger to remove a drain clog is only effective when standing water is present, and many amateur plumbers have been rewarded with having their face and body splashed with foul water as the plunger slips during vigorous plunging, causing the water to spurt upward from the clogged drain.
Clearing the sink trap below a clogged sink is also theoretically “a piece of cake." A sink trap is only held in place by a threaded nut at the bottom and a compression nut at the top, but it is filled with a nasty mixture of dirty water and sludge from the remnants of long forgotten food, toothpaste and other biodegradable materials that enter your sink drains.
And if the blockage isn't in the sink trap and you still wish to proceed, you may soon believe that you've opened a portal to Hades as you attempt to use a drain snake to clear your sewer drain line.
A drain snake is a flexible steel cable with an auger tip. It has a coiled, spring-like design that is used to snare an offending clog and pull it out of your sewer line. The cable is fed into the pipe until the auger reaches the blockage, then retracted with the drain clog attached.
However, the cable itself will be covered with raw sewage, which has an extremely unpleasant odor and texture. Raw sewage may also contain harmful bacteria that could result in serious illness.
In short, you work hard for your money, so why not pay a professional plumbing company to work hard for you on your plumbing needs? In the Jeffersonville, Indiana area, rely on Brian Scroggins to take care of your faucets and drains.