You don't always have to DIY

How to Know When to Leave It to the Pros

When it comes to calling in the pros, it can seem like it’s going to be an even bigger headache than the problem they’re coming to fix. First you’ve got to track down the right pro to check your drains and then you’ve got to worry about whether they’re going to drain your bank account.

But FYI: not every project is a DIY. Here are just a few questions to ask yourself before you decide to cut out the middleman between you and your latest household catastrophe.

1. Are you ready for this?

Before you try to fix the problem yourself, you need to ask yourself honestly if the “you” in DIY is up to doing it. Do you have the patience you’ll need to get it done right, not just quickly? Do you know all the steps involved? Are you ready to deal with the frustration? Do you have the tools you need? The time you’ll need? If your answer to any one of those questions is “no,” pick up the phone.

2. Do you have estimates?

Before you start worrying about how much getting a pro is going to cost, call or email around. Because before you start worrying about breaking the bank, worry about how you could break everything else.

3. Is it urgent?

If you’re not already a certified plumber, it’s a little late to learn when your basement’s in the process of becoming your new indoor pool. Still, there are some low-urgency fixes you might be able to make yourself, including: replacing washers, soaking an aerator that’s choked with calcium to improve flow, replacing a toilet’s flapper and patching leaks until a professional can get to them. And if it’s just a slow-flowing or clogged drain, you can use Liquid-Plumr®!

4. Is it dangerous?

There are some plumbing fixes you should never attempt yourself, no matter how confident you’re feeling. Call in a pro whenever you’re installing new pipes, sinks or tubs; replacing a water heater; septic tank leaks; or sewer line breaks. And the same goes for any electrical or heating work. Plus: if you’re expanding or adding on to your home, the new work may require residential permits.

5. Do you have a backup plan?

Even the best-prepared DIYers sometimes can get in over their heads (literally so when pipes break). So even if you’ve thought things through and you think you’ve got everything you need, have a professional’s number ready just in case your project takes a turn for the worse.

Fortunately, not all tough jobs automatically need professional help. For stubborn clogs, you can use Liquid-Plumr® Full Clog Destroyer™ to do exactly what its name promises to do. Because sometimes, the only call you need to make is picking up a bottle.

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