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When to Hire a Plumber

Knowing when to hire a plumber can save money in the long run. Hire a plumber when the problem is extensive and requires expertise to pin down, and when there’s a higher risk of doing more damage than good.

When the following situations arise, it’s best to call a licensed professional plumber. So get to know a good plumber in your area, and keep his or her name and number handy for emergencies.

  • Low water pressure throughout the house: This problem can be caused by a number of factors, such as obstructions (rust or debris) in the water lines; low water pressure from the city supply or a well; or even poor supply-line design. A good plumber will be able to analyze the problem and determine the cause.

  • No hot water: Unless the hot water tank is leaking, it might be hard to determine the cause. Electric heaters problems include: heating elements, circuit breakers or blown fuses, faulty thermostats, or a bad overload switch. Gas heater problems include: thermocouple burners and igniters.

  • Replacing a water heater: Think twice before attempting to replace a heater by yourself. Remember, your plumber can carry the new one to the basement, hook it up, make sure that it works properly, and dispose of the old one.

  • Sewer line stoppage: If you can't get the sewer line to stop backing up, you probably have a bad plug in the line that runs out to the main sewer. (Tree roots are often the cause.) You can rent a big sewer rodding machine, but they can damage the drain or sewer lines. Call a plumber or drain-cleaning service. If they get in trouble, they’ll make the repairs.

  • Frozen pipes: If a pipe freezes, check carefully to see if the pipe has already burst or cracked. If it’s bad news, go ahead and call a plumber. You can try to thaw a pipe with a hair dryer, but even if the pipe isn’t cracked, you still may want to call a plumber: Some plumbers simply replace a section of frozen pipe rather than thaw it.

  • Extensive water line damage: Repairing water line damage, which is usually caused by freezing, can take up a lot of your valuable time. It’s better to pay a plumber so that you can earn money at your regular job.

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