There are many everyday plumbing problems that homeowners can fix by themselves, such as a clogged toilet or a slow-draining bathtub. Other plumbing problems are more dangerous and should only be handled by a professional. Here are three emergency plumbing problems that you should never try to fix by yourself.
A sewage backup is every homeowner's worst nightmare. This problem occurs when a major clog blocks the main sewer line that connects your house to the sewers (or a septic tank), meaning that your waste only has one place to go: back into your house.
This isn't a do-it-yourself project for two reasons. Clogs in the main sewer line are very hard to reach, and, often, what you think is a clog will be a tree root that has grown through your pipe and destroyed it, necessitating replacement of the pipe. The other obstacle is that a building that contains a sewage back up isn't safe to be in unless you're wearing specialized protective gear.
It may seem strange that a gas leak is a plumbing problem, but natural gas is delivered to your house in pipes, just like your water is. However, a gas leak is much worse than a water leak. Natural gas is very flammable, so any open flames or sparks will create a fire, or even an explosion. It is also very toxic if you breathe it in and can make you die of asphyxiation.
Plumbers have the skills and the tools to fix this problem safely, so call a plumber instead of trying to fix it yourself.
Overflowing septic tanks
Septic tanks need to be pumped on a regular basis, usually once every two or three years. When your tank gets full, it may be tempting to try to pump it yourself to save yourself a plumber's bill, but this would be a serious mistake. Your septic tank isn't just full of your waste -- it's full of dangerous fumes like methane. These fumes can kill you if you breathe them in.
In addition to being very dangerous, pumping your own septic tank is also illegal in some states. Keep yourself healthy and out of trouble with the law by hiring a professional plumber to pump your system for you.
All homeowners should be able to fix basic plumbing problems like clogged toilets, but even the most dedicated do-it-yourself enthusiasts should never attempt any of these three fixes. If you encounter any of these three plumbing problems, call a trained plumber right away.