Most homeowners are aware of the responsibilities of maintaining their property. Unfortunately, while we rely on our plumbing system, since most of the pipes are hidden, it can be easy to overlook important maintenance. When something does go wrong, it can be tempting to rush straight into performing basic repairs, but there are some safety tips you should know before you get started.
Always Protect Your Eyes
Regardless of your plumbing repair task, it is important that you’re wearing proper safety glasses. From filing down a pipe to even snaking your drains, there is a risk of debris flying up into your face and hurting your eyes. So, it is vital that you always protect your eyes.
Don’t Forget Your Gloves
Plumbing repairs and maintenance can often require chemicals, pipe materials and other potentially hazardous elements that could damage your hands. So, it is important always to have your globes ready. If you’re snaking or drain cleaning, it is a good idea to wear latex gloves under your work gloves to keep your hands protected against bacteria and germs.
Unless you’re an experienced professional, when undertaking plumbing repairs, it is usually a good idea to ensure you have a helper. A plumbing partner can turn off a machine or shut off the water even if you are up to your elbows in the repair. Additionally, having an extra set of hands and eyes can keep the repair scene more productive and safer.
Keep Your Tools in Good Condition
Abusing tools can not only increase the risk of the tool breaking, but also put you at risk of injury. Tools are created to address a specific task, and this is usually found on the packaging. Misusing your tools or trying to rig a tool to fix a problem is usually a mistake. Be sure to inspect your tools before you start working on a project and if in doubt hire a specialist tool.
Don’t Ignore Odd Smells
If you’re working on your plumbing system, ensure you’re alert to any odd smells. Funny smells coming out of the drains can indicate a blockage that needs clearing. This should be addressed before you start any more invasive repairs. In fact, clearing the blockage may resolve the underlying issue creating your plumbing problem. More importantly, you need to keep your nose open for any smells of gas during your working on your plumbing. If you suspect there is a leak, you’ll need to leave your home immediately and call your local gas company for help. You should avoid creating any sparks, so don’t turn on any electrical items including light switches, until you’ve had any potential leak checked.
Always Have a Plan
When you’re performing a plumbing repair or installing a new fixture, winging, it can be a messy mistake. Without a plan, it is easy to find yourself up to your ankles in water without the tools you need to correct the problem. If you’re not sure how to tackle a plumbing project, either do some more research or err on the side of caution by calling in an experienced plumber
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.