6 jobs best left to a plumber

Angie's List can help frustrated homeowners find reliable plumbers and other highly rated service providers. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Dennis B.)

Angie's List can help frustrated homeowners find reliable plumbers and other highly rated service providers. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Dennis B.)

Homeowners can make small plumbing repairs by following directions found online or in repair manuals. Some jobs, however, are better left to the professionals.

As a homeowner, you could spend hours of your valuable time finding the problem, or worse, you might not repair it correctly. A small water leak can quickly turn into thousands of dollars of damage, and plumbers charge a premium to make an emergency call.

1. Permits

Plumbers stay up to date on local, state and national codes and regulations. A bathroom remodel or adding a gas line to your backyard for your grill will require a permit and inspection. A professional will know what permits to pull and make sure the job will pass inspection.

2. Low water pressure

Low water pressure can be caused by a number of problems that occur anywhere between the well or city water supply and the water lines. Trying to find the cause by yourself can take hours, but a professional plumber can quickly troubleshoot the problem and fix it.

3. Frozen pipes

A frozen pipe can quickly turn into a disaster if the pipe bursts. Shut off the water main and call a plumber. You may be tempted to thaw the pipe yourself, but a professional knows how to thaw the pipe without cracking it or causing more damage.

4. Sewer line problems

If your sewer line is not draining properly, the most likely cause is a tree root plugging the line. You can rent a machine to fix the problem, but this job is best left to the professionals. Trying to remove the tree root can cause extensive damage to the sewer line, but a plumber can resolve the issue without causing further damage.

5. Problems with the main line

If the main line is blocked, your toilets will start to flow into the tub or shower. Repairing the main line requires special equipment most homeowners do not have. You can rent the equipment, but professionals have the experience to use it to get the problem fixed quickly.

  • The average cost to repair a main water line is between $1,500 and $3,000.

6. No hot water

A number of problems can lead to no hot water. Unless the tank is visibly leaking, it can take hours to find the problem. A professional can troubleshoot both gas and electric heaters to quickly find the problem and make repairs.

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Both main and master toilets are leaking from the bowl ONLY. Tanks are o.k. - tested with food coloring. Sewer has been cleaned out. Have had out or talked to on the phone 5 different plumbers and nobody has an answer. Main toilet has not been flushed in 5 days and bowl water has dropped from 4-3/4" full to 4"- a loss of 3/4" of water - WHY? The master toilet was last flushed 2 hrs. ago and has dropped from 4-3/4" to 4-1/4" - a loss of 1/2". Can someone please help me? Lost water goes through sewer I assume. The loss of water adds to my bill along with sewage. HELP!

I want to install a Water Softener in my garage and so I need DIY step-by-step instructions with pictures. I would also like to know what it should cost if I choose to hire a plumber to do the installation. Thank you

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