If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to save money.  This often means doing your own home repair projects.  When it comes to plumbing, however, sometimes taking on the job yourself may not be worth the cost of repair later or the potential danger to you and your family.  Below are some tips to consider before attempting to repair or work on your own plumbing.

  • The number one rule to live by in order to insure your health and safety is never to take on any plumbing project that you are not totally knowledgeable about. Leave these types of plumbing tasks to a professional.
  • Secondly, if you have manufacturer's instructions to follow, make sure you understand them completely, and follow them exactly to avoid problems. It is also extremely important to follow all safety precautions as well as all regulations when dealing with any type of plumbing that is used in conjunction with electricity.
  • Next, always keep in mind that electrical appliances can still store a charge even after they have been disconnected from their power source, so this charge must be safely discharged.
  • For the sake of safety, rubber-soled shoes should be worn and hold all tools by their insulated handles. If you need to touch surfaces such as pipes, metal bracings or other conductive surfaces, you should always make sure they are safe first.
  • Remember you must follow the same regulations and controls as a plumber. If you are not completely familiar with the regulations and requirements, which are put in effect to protect public health and safety, you should instead hire a professional plumber to do the job.  Failure to comply with all regulations is not only dangerous, but could also lead to fines and penalties. Incorrectly installed plumbing can cause a multitude of problems, from leaks that can cause serious water damage in the home, to allowing polluted water to backflow into your home's water supply.
  • It is important to be familiar with any safety precautions that factor in to the use of products commonly used by such as the solder, solvents and adhesives. Plumbing can be a hazardous job for those who are not completely familiar with the processes, and for those who do not take adequate safety precautions while they are working.
  • Protective gear should always be worn when using hazardous materials. It is also important to avoid any exposure to raw sewage, and to carefully wash your hands and all equipment if it is possible that they came in contact with sewage or any other hazardous substances. Because plumbing work is often done on wet surfaces, wearing shoes with rubber soles is important. Shoes should also have protective toes to help prevent against injury if heavy objects such as pipes or tools are dropped.
  • When working in confined areas, be careful that gases such as hydrogen sulfide, which can be produced by the decomposition of sewage, don’t build up, and that the work area always has a sufficient supply of oxygen.
  • Care should always be taken when working with pipes that could contain steam or hot water, and eye or face shields and insulated gloves should be used. Care should always be taken when working on metal pipes, due to the danger of electrical charges, and any power tools used should be certified for use in wet environments.

Source: 
“Plumbing Advice and Tips – Health and Safety in Plumbers Jobs” by O. Reynolds
  www.weathermasterhvac.com