Do You DIY? | Oklahoma City Plumbing

The one thing home ownership will teach is the reality of having to make repairs. If you’re handy with tools, you will be able to fix most of what goes wrong yourself. With YouTube and all the other internet search options available, you can usually find an instructional video that will get you through most of those problems. 

If you’re like me, there are two main determining factors as to whether or not I’ll take on the project myself. One is how complex or time-consuming the project is, and the second is how long or inconvenient it will be to have it done professionally. I don’t like to change my own oil (mainly because you have to dispose of the old oil anyway). I will, however, change a radiator, or a water pump out in one of my trucks just so I don’t have to take it out of the field for too long. 

If you’ve owned a home long enough, you’ll have to deal with a faucet that either drips or won’t shut off all the way. And, of course, paying a plumber an after-hour rate could cost you a trip to Hawaii, and taking off work to wait on one not to show up can be intolerable. So when that old upstairs tub faucet goes from a drip to a steady stream, and it’s on the hot side too, you get to pay to heat the water that you’re paying to run down the drain on top of that. 

You decide this weekend is the best time to tackle that irritating drip and drizzle. College football season is over, and the wife and kids are out buying an X-BOX and TV with the money you’ll save by fixing this problem yourself. So, through some clever searches on Google, you were able to figure out the brand of the faucet, the model, and a video that shows everything you need to fix it. Getting everything together in one place should take less than an hour. 

So, you go to the hardware store, and they have everything you need, even a couple of tools that will make the job easier. The price is right too! You get everything set up, turn the water off, take the faucet apart, clean it up and grease it, put the new parts in, and do all the things they said were best practices in the video that you watched. It wasn’t too hard; the nut was a little difficult. Luckily you had your grandfather’s old pipe wrench. With that and a little bit of elbow grease, you could pop it loose. It was just a small hiccup. 

So, you go downstairs, grab your water meter key, head out to the curb, and turn that water back on. Feeling good, you go back inside and can hear the water running. This is strange because you’re quite sure you turned the faucet off as the video showed. The next thing you notice is water dripping out of the Brushed Gold Chandelier you just installed, and like an epiphany, it all becomes clear. You bound up the staircase to see what was going on. The faucet is just fine, but water shoots out of the wall! So, you run back down, grab the key, fly to the water meter, and kill the water. Next, you head back inside, but whatever you find when you get there will cost a lot more than a new X-Box and flat screen. You hope they haven’t bought it yet.

I’ve been a plumber for over 25 years, and I’ve spent most of my career doing repair work. I have run into this often, and it’s never fun for anyone, especially if the sheetrock falls off the ceiling. The drip was caused by the age and use of the faucet. The flood, however, was your fault. How did it happen, though? Everything was going so well! Why?? Well, it’s not because the stupid YouTube video was a deep fake sent by either the Russian or the Chinese respective governments. It was that somebody (probably you) put a little too much stress on that faucet at some point (again, probably you).

All tub faucets, shower faucets, and most outside faucets have their main body and water connections inside the wall. And just like everything else, over time and depending on the local water conditions, it will all wear out and get weak. It was when you got the grampas monkey wrench out and used it to rip that faucet apart. Because the faucet is made of brass, things like dezincification can cause its quality and toughness to degrade. So, putting extra effort into breaking the faucet loose caused a braze joint to break. 

Well, you didn’t know it because it was inside the wall and you didn’t know that you should have looked for it. So now that the water remediation and the insurance adjuster left, you finally get to sit down to a silent dinner table to eat, probably fast food, because you have no water to cook. You may be asking yourself, “Why Do I DIY?”

So here are a few steps you can take never to have to ask yourself that question again.

#1 If you feel confident enough to take on a project similar to that, you should never do it on a weekend. Even if you think it’s simple.

#2 Never assume anything that you can’t see. My motto is to prove everything you can and prepare for the worst possible outcome of whatever it is you’re working on.

#3 Take a hard look at what your plan is and ask yourself if your time would be better spent putting extra effort into working on something you know how to do that might pay for the repair to be made by a professional. (Maybe overtime at work)

Don’t set yourself up for failure. Also, just so you know, I dropped a screw down in the crankcase of the motor of one of my trucks when I was changing a part that YouTube showed would be as easy as changing a sparkplug on a lawnmower. So I’m not immune, and I’ve learned many lessons the hard way. You don’t have to!

Here at Lakeshore Plumbing, Heating, and Air, we offer top-tier service, the best materials, and the best warranty. Spring will be here before you know it, so call and schedule an AC tune-up. We can check your plumbing, make any repairs, and maybe we can even save some heartache at the same time! When you need Oklahoma City plumbing, we are the experts you can trust. 

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Don’t forget to ask for your $100 first-time customer discount!!