Here at ASI, we always recommend hiring a professional to work on your plumbing. Of course, there are times when you can do things on your own.

If you’re ready to get your hands dirty, make sure, before you do anything, you know the plumbing safety rules. Remaining safe is the single most crucial aspect of any DIY project.

So, with that in mind, use our plumbing safety guidelines that outline the dos and don’ts for every DIY plumbing maintenance project.

Why Plumbing Safety Matters

All plumbers know — and will tell you — that every plumbing task is underpinned with safety measures. If something isn’t safe, it’s not done. Ultimately, the safety of your family, household members, and yourself is more important than the project at hand.

Here at ASI, we always recommend hiring a professional to work on your plumbing. Of course, there are times when you can do things on your own.

If you’re ready to get your hands dirty, make sure, before you do anything, you know the plumbing safety rules. Remaining safe is the single most crucial aspect of any DIY project.

So, with that in mind, use our plumbing safety guidelines that outline the dos and don’ts for every DIY plumbing maintenance project.

What You Should Do

Don’t start a plumbing project until you’ve taken a considerable amount of time to think it all through. Outline the steps you’ll need to take from start to finish, writing them down to remind you once you’ve started.

Do your research and highlight potential problems in each step, as well as what you need to do to fix them and remain safe. Gather your equipment in advance, so you don’t need to try to find them in a panic frantically. Once you’re organized, follow these plumbing safety tips:

Wear Eye Protection

Whenever you’re doing anything that involves plumbing, never risk the safety of your eyes. Wear safety glasses at all times, especially when using a drill, hammer, or saw.

Even looking under your sink can cause an injury. It only takes a spec of muck from your drain or sewage water to spill into your eyes to cause severe infection. So, for your safety, wear eye protection. The risk is simply not worth it.

Protect Your Hands and Arms

When undergoing plumbing projects, your hands come into contact with a whole host of chemicals and materials. As a result, your skin can become red and itchy, and you can burn yourself or get splinters.

As such, it’s best to keep your hands covered with gloves. For simple home plumbing repairs, a basic pair of work gloves should do the trick.

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

Before you begin your plumbing project, make sure you know where the shutoff valve is. Often, the shutoff valve is near a fixture or appliance. Sink faucets, for example, tend to have shutoff valves underneath, near your water supply tubes.

You’ll usually have two valves for your hot and cold water. If you’re working with the water supply, you should turn it off to prevent safety issues. Releasing pressurized water can be hazardous if you don’t know where the shutoff valve is, so always locate it before working with your water supply.

Read the Entire Label

Read through the labels of any chemicals or machines you’re going to be using. Sure, the labels can be a little dry, and it’s certainly not your next vacation read, but you must know how the substances or devices work for your safety. Follow the recommendations and take note of the warnings outlined in the labels. Also, make note of what to do if something goes wrong.

Think Long and Hard Before Opening a Drain

Opening a drain without prior thought can be dangerous and messy. Before opening a drain or separating its parts, take the time to think about it. Check that the pipe will not drain toward you. There could be intense pressure inside if you’re pulling apart a clogged drain.

It’s a fairly common occurrence that a drain is opened and turns into a sewage hose, spraying contaminated, pressurized water all over the property. Make sure you really think before acting when repairing or taking apart a drain.

Call a Professional if Anything Goes Wrong

Just because you started this project on your own, it doesn’t mean you need to end it alone, too. If something has gone wrong and spirals out of control, pick up the phone and call a professional. Trying to solve the problem alone can often cause more harm than good.

What You Should Not Do

Don’t fall into the trap of simplifying a plumber’s role. It is not, as many believe, like putting LEGO bricks together. It isn’t a simple “X goes into Y, and the project has finished.”

Plumbing is complex. So, organization is critical. You need to know what to do in the correct order to keep panic to a minimum.

So, let’s look at what you shouldn’t do regarding safety.

Forget Building Codes

Plumbing and building codes are written and implemented to safeguard you, your family, and the general public. They’re crafted specifically with safety and wellbeing in mind. So, you need to adhere to plumbing and building codes for that very reason: to maintain high levels of protection.

Ignore the Smell of Gas

Never ignore the smell of gas. If you catch a whiff of gas while repairing a plumbing problem, stop immediately. Turn off the gas at the mains and call your gas provider at once. Never try to locate the gas leak yourself, as it can be hazardous. Breathing in gas can cause severe damage, and there’s a heightened risk of fire.

Cut Blindly

Don’t blindly assume that there is empty space behind a surface. To name a few, there could be electrical wiring, ductwork, or plumbing pipes hiding behind where you are cutting or drilling into. Ensure you know exactly where to cut or drill and what’s situated behind it.

Misuse Tools

Tools and specialist equipment have been created to be used specifically for certain purposes. Ultimately, it’s unsafe to use them for any other reason than their intent.

Misusing devices and tools can cause severe injury and costly property damage. Maintain your tools well, and always check they’re functioning correctly before use.

If you need a plumbing problem solved and you’d rather not risk the safety risks, book an appointment with the team here at ASI.