Should I call a professional plumber or look on YouTube for some quick fix advice? I hear that question a lot these days.
Let’s face it, DIY YouTube craze is in full swing. Has been for a while now. One can easily argue that it’s a good thing. It can save you a great deal of time and sometimes even money. We are not here to dispute that or discourage the practice. Our job is simpler. We are simply inclined to ponder if there is anything left for professional plumbers to work on now that YouTube has so many effective solutions. If the laymen using a how to video can
be taught in 30 min or less how to design, build or fix just about any issue arising from home maintenance, what's left for those to do who’ve spent years honing their skills?
Can plumbing issues be solved with DIY solutions? Many homeowners certainly think so. And who knows, they may be right. We confess, some problems can be solved without calling a pro. You don’t always call a doctor every time you cut yourself slicing apples for a pie or when you trip and fall down?
Can I can a plumber now?
So when do you call a doctor or a plumber for that matter? Surely not everything can be handled by simply studying others do it on YouTube. What if you needed stitches? Or to set a bone? Or a large pipe broke in your house and the water is spraying everywhere, flooding your kitchen in the process. Wouldn’t that me a good time to call a professional, whether doctor or plumber?
After all there is a point where the realistic, DIY prudency ends and foolhardy even dangerous mindset begins.
Let’s take a plugged drain for instance. Should we tackle it ourselves or call someone? Some folks pour chemicals or drain cleaners down the toilet and hope for the best while waiting for it to clear. Certainly gives you an opportunity to catch up on some reading while you are waiting. Let’s ask John, a plumber with 29 years experience from A Rescue Rooter Plumbing in Hamilton, Ontario if this method will work.
"Sometimes these quick fix solution will work, however the harsh chemicals may do far more harm than good. They could damage your pipes" John tells us. He says we should call a professional plumber instead.
In the long run, we will save money, a lot of money in fact as replacing whole sections of our plumbing system isn’t cheap, often requiring to cut through walls and removing fixtures in the kitchen or the bathroom.
When is the right time to call?
A persistently, slow draining toilet is a good sign that you may need professional plumbing help. Did someone simply try to flush too much paper down? Or a visiting guest
may have accidentally dropped something down the toilet? While the case seems isolated, we believe you should call a plumber before it gets worse.
What if the sewage is coming back up and is now all over your basement floor? This is a nightmare scenario of course. When the water is flowing up while it is usually flowing down like intended, something is blocking your drains. Raw sewage smells. Worse it is a hazard to your health since it’s toxic. A paradise for breeding bacteria that will make you and your family sick.
A professional, is the answer. Pick one that’s experienced in this type of event. Your family's health is at stake, this is very serious, don’t turn this into a DIY project by any means no matter which video tells you otherwise.
I smell a rat or something possibly far worse.
Believe you me, a dead rat would be preferable compared to sharp and unpleasant odors coming from your plumbing.
Let’s give YouTube another try. After watching a few videos we learn that bad odors are easy to dispense with. A few dashes of minty this and a cup or two of lemony that and the bad smell is gone for good according to the experts on YouTube. Nothing minty in your house? No problem, they say something with pine will do the trick as well.
Once you apply all the nose pleasing liquids to cover up the smell it won’t take you long to realize that this is a lipstick on a pig solution and in the long run does nothing to solve the real issue that it’s masking.
In fact the underlying issue, most likely a serious one, didn’t go anywhere. Your band-aid solution that you picked up from YouTube just hid it for a short while and it’s ready to make its comeback with a vengeance.
Like a tooth pain, it simply doesn't just go away. Sure it may ease off for an hour or two but later it comes back full force. You need a professional because it is simply not going away on its own.
A plumber should be contacted as soon as one is available for drain cleaning and inspection. He will right away
identify where the odors are coming from and fix it the same day.
YouTube remains a great source of information. Millions use it to solve a host of small and medium size issues. Without a doubt, it is a great educational tool for many. But it can't replace a pro; plumbing, dentist or doctor to mention just three. You can’t replicate years of experience and use of by simply watching a video or reading a how to guide. Yes many internet sources appear convincing, even objective and comprehensive but that’s where it ends.