5 Plumbing Safety Tips From The Pros

July 25, 2023

Regular plumbing maintenance and repairs are vital to keeping a residential or commercial establishment in tip-top condition. Through regular check-ups, you can spot and promptly address leaks, blockages, or other minor issues before they turn into bigger, costlier problems.

Furthermore, maintaining your system ensures optimal water pressure and proper waste disposal, contributing to a comfortable life. It also helps conserve water, promoting sustainability. Thus, proactive plumbing care saves you time, money, and stress.

However, plumbing tasks may come with potential risks and hazards, such as chemical exposure, gas leaks, slips, or falls. Here are some insider tips so you can stay safe and confident while conducting a home or commercial plumbing maintenance or repair project:

1. Know your limits

There's a big difference between a minor plumbing issue and a plumbing disaster waiting to happen. Knowing when a job is too big to handle alone is essential. Understanding your limits can prevent further system damage or even harm to yourself. There's no shame in calling professional plumbing contractors when things get out of hand or when you feel overwhelmed by the complexity of plumbing work.

Generally, plumbers bill their services hourly, with the nationwide standard hovering around USD$100 each hour, in addition to any service or incidental charges. Hourly rates can span from USD$25 to USD$200, depending on the proficiency level of the plumber and the intricacy of the job at hand. Furthermore, research indicates that the customary plumbing assignment tends to tally a total expense between USD$150 and USD$500.

These are typical signs you need to call a plumber, as this video elaborates,

  • Water heater is not working properly
  • No water supply
  • Low water pressure
  • Sewage odour in the house
  • Blocked drains

Whenever you notice these signs, don't hesitate to contact a plumber if the required fixes are beyond your capabilities.

2. Always shut off the water first

The first cardinal rule is to always shut off your water supply before starting any plumbing project. Working on a system that is still under pressure can be dangerous. It can put the worker at risk of injury from hot water or steam, and can put excessive stress on the pipes. Accidental leaks or bursts are also likely, and when that happens, it can lead to flooding, causing water and structural damage to your home.

Shutting off the water also ensures a safer working environment. A dry workspace reduces the risks of slipping or getting electrocuted. Moreover, it allows for more accurate repairs. It's easier to spot leaks or damage without water flow, promoting effective problem-solving. Lastly, it conserves water. You can avoid wastage by cutting off the water supply during repairs.

Locate the shut-off valve for the specific fixture you're working on, or if necessary, use the main shut-off valve to stop water flow to the entire house.

3. Use the right tools for the job

Using inappropriate tools can damage your plumbing system and cause personal injury. Invest in these plumbing tools, and make sure to choose high-quality ones:

  • Specialty wrench
  • Pipe cutter
  • Plunger
  • Auger
  • Water meter key
  • Shop vac
  • Reamer
  • Caulk gun
  • Hacksaw
  • Metal file
  • Plumber's tape
  • Plumber's putty
  • Putty knife

Remember, the tools you need will depend on the type of plumbing job. Avoid using makeshift tools or using a tool where it’s not suited. When in doubt, do a quick online search or consult a professional to ensure you’re using the correct tool.

4. Protect yourself with personal protective equipment

Safety doesn't stop at using the right tools and techniques; personal protective equipment (PPE) is also essential. Even though you're at home, don't forget to gear up. Below is an outline of what you need:

  • Safety goggles: for shielding eyes from flying debris or harmful chemicals
  • Plumbing gloves: for protection from sharp objects and chemicals and for insulating hands when working with hot pipes
  • Safety boots with steel toe caps: for protection against heavy falling objects and to gain a solid grip on slippery surfaces
  • Hard hat: for worksites with overhead hazards
  • Ear protection: for when operating loud machinery
  • Dust mask or respirator: for protection against inhalation of harmful particles or fumes

In summary, PPE is vital in reducing risks associated with plumbing tasks. It's better to be safe than sorry when dealing with your home's plumbing system.

5. Ventilate your workspace

Plumbing often involves working with chemical substances that can give off toxic fumes. Breathing in harmful fumes can lead to a variety of health problems. To ensure safety while working, always make sure your workspace is well-ventilated.

If you’re working indoors, open all windows and doors to allow fresh air in. Secondly, consider using an exhaust fan to actively pull air out of the room.

If working in a confined space, portable fans can help circulate air. Ensure that the fans face the exits to guide the fumes out. Always take frequent breaks and step outside for fresh air.

Moreover, if working with strong chemicals, use a respirator mask to protect against inhaling harmful fumes. Proper ventilation is crucial for your health and safety during plumbing repairs.

Conclusion

Regular plumbing maintenance is crucial in every home. Note that no plumbing problem is too small. A minor plumbing issue can unexpectedly escalate into a serious case.

These pro tips could protect you, your plumbing system, and your home. To reiterate, you can always handle minor plumbing jobs independently. But if the issue is beyond your capabilities, your best option is to hire professional plumbers.

 

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