There’s potential danger in everything. You can’t avoid it all, but there’s plenty you can do to make your home as safe as possible. Take your home plumbing, for example. When you have a plumbing problem, taking a moment to consider safety can make all the difference.
But what does considering safety entail? It might mean calling professionals, or it might just mean putting proper protective eyewear on. To make following our suggestions easier, we’ve divided them into two sections: “do’s” and “don’ts”. Let’s start with the “do’s”.
Shut off the water before opening anything up.
If you don’t know where your water main is already, it might mean that you’re not ready to tackle any serious DIY plumbing. That said, before you decide to do any home plumbing…
PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. It’s what you wear when taking on any project to make sure you don’t get hurt. The most important parts of your body in need of PPE include your eyes, your hands, and your lungs.
- Eyes: Wearing safety glasses is incredibly important when doing plumbing work. You never know when some sewage or high-pressure water will shoot out of a pipe and straight for your face.
- Hands: Work gloves are key for home plumbing, because your hands could come into contact with chemicals, unclean materials, or sewage. We recommend at the very least wearing latex gloves. If you’re interested in a long-lasting option, go for kevlar or leather.
- Lungs: If your project involves sawing or sanding, you’re going to want to wear a respirator or basic face mask. These can protect your lungs from the particles that are thrown up during these types of projects.
Stop and think before opening drains.
There are things you need to ask yourself before taking apart any type of drain. Which direction does this pipe drain? Is there a clog in this drain that could be holding back some dangerous pressure? Is this drain at an angle that would make gravity push its contents out once it’s taken apart? Find out the answers to these questions as best you can before you proceed.
Know when to call the pros.
Sometimes a project is beyond your particular skill set – and that’s okay! Everyone has different things they’re good at, and plumbing doesn’t have to be one of those things for you. If you’re unsure whether or not you should tackle a plumbing project, err on the side of caution. You can always contact professionals to tackle it for you.
Ignore the smell of gas.
If you smell the telltale scent of natural gas (hydrogen sulfide or rotten eggs), don’t ignore it. Stop whatever it is you’re doing, turn off your home’s gas, and immediately call the gas company. Evacuate everyone from your home, too, just in case.
Taking shortcuts with DIY plumbing might save money up-front, but they can cause a lot of problems later. In most cases, you’ll want to sell your house at some point. Don’t damage its resale value by taking on projects you’re not prepared to do right.
If you try to rush any project you’re working on, you’re inviting more opportunity for things to go wrong. Take your time, research solutions, and don’t hesitate to stop and ask questions. If you’re going to work on a plumbing project, you might as well do it right.
Staying safe, in its most simple form, is about paying attention and being prepared. For the times when you can’t or don’t have the time, call Mike Diamond and we’ll cover you.