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Since we’ve been in Tampa for over two decades, Ben Franklin has seen more than our fair share of horrific DIY plumbing disasters. With so many do-it-yourself websites, TV shows and books, it’s easy for adventurous homeowners to get in over their heads with seemingly simply plumbing jobs.

So, before you reach for your toolbox in search of DIY glory, make sure you aren’t biting off more than you can chew. And while it may sound self-serving, you’ll definitely want to call our plumbing professionals instead of attempting any of these repairs yourself.

Dishwasher Installation

This might seem like a simple installation you can do yourself, much like your laundry appliances. But due to the fact that dishwashers are sequestered in between cabinets and underneath counters. It can be hard to make sure that the water supply lines and drainage line are installed properly. Kinks in the water lines or improperly sealed connections in the drain can lead to leaks, clogging and even drain-water backups or overflowing.

Pipe-fitting or Welding

Anytime you’re dealing with major changes to the plumbing infrastructure in your home (e.g., your pipes), you want to think very carefully about the consequences of getting such plumbing repairs wrong. A new pipe joint or weld might look perfect, but you can’t see it once you replace the plumbing fixture or plaster up the wall. New joint can weaken and start to leak over time. Then you have moisture damage and even mold-growth hidden in your walls, which can turn into an expensive repair and cleanup later on.

Serious Drain Blockages

Don’t believe the idealized commercials for liquid drain-clearing products. You always want to take care clearing drains, especially if you live in an older home. Some products can corrode pipes, and using tools to try and clear drains can poke straight through already corrode metal and plastic lines.
If you have an object stuck in your toilet, sink or other drain, you definitely want to call a plumbing professional who can extract it safely, without damage to your pipes or significant alteration to your home. Leaks are the lease of your problems; serious damage can lead to water damage to your walls, floor or ceiling.

Water Heater Installation

A DIY water heater install gone bad can be even more damaging (and potentially dangerous) than a dishwasher or clothes washer. Many water heaters operate on natural gas and require specialized fitting for gas lines, which you definitely shouldn’t do yourself. Then there’s the exhaust to think about… And improperly installed heaters can leak hot water and steam, which can quickly lead to mold-growth and serious water damage to the surrounding part of your home. There are a lot of things that can go wrong here.

Water Treatment Installations

More and more homeowners are putting in whole-house water filtration and softening systems to deal with contaminants and hard water. Florida in particular has hard water issues. The problem with installing them yourself is that you’re often making alterations to your water system at the very point it’s entering your home, tapping into main water lines and maybe even making new fittings and welds. We’ve already talked about how troublesome those can be.

What’s a DIY-er to do?

If you do decide to replace a garbage disposal or install a new faucet, it’s doable as long as you have the right tools and follow the instructions. Above all, if you ever (ever!) feel like you’re getting in over your head, stop and call Ben Franklin Plumbing. We’ll help you figure things out and help you make the repair without the worry of water damage or future maintenance problems.


Amanda Peters writes for Ben Franklin Plumbing on topics ranging from home improvement to plumbing to energy saving tips. When she isn’t working, you’ll find her in her workshop, sawing, gluing or hammering something.


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