When it comes to jobs around the home, you may be pretty handy and pretty comfortable with a tool box. That's great, but you don't want to be over-confident and get in over your head. One major area that most homeowners can't do themselves is plumbing. There are a variety of things that can go wrong and many reasons why doing your own plumbing is a bad idea. This article looks specifically at repairing or changing out your pipes and why you should leave this job to a professional.
Do You Know Your Pipes?
Repairing or changing pipes can be something that most homeowners can figure out how to do, but you must know what you are working with. If you are dealing with a house that was built before 1978 you could possibly be dealing with lead pipes or even asbestos.
If you are not working with PVC then you should get a lead test done on your pipes. Some copper pipes were soldered with an agent that contained lead. If you have lead or older copper pipes in your home than it is a good idea to replace your pipes, but use a professional.
The Dangers That Could be Lurking Inside
Exposure to lead can lead to lead poisoning, which can cause serious health problems in small amounts. Children under 6 are at the greatest risk of poisoning. Damaging a lead or older copper pipe during a repair could lead to lead getting into your drinking water and result in severe changes in you and your families mental and physical health. Lead poisoning can cause everything from hearing loss to stomach problems to developmental delays in children and everything from infertility to body pains to a lapse in mental functioning in adults.
Another thing to watch for is asbestos. It may be an indestructible and naturally occurring mineral that was used in everything from ductwork to linoleum flooring between the 1920s and 1970s, but it does have a downside. Intact and undisturbed asbestos does not pose a threat to the people inside, but if it is damaged, torn, cut, rubbed, or bumped, asbestos fibers could be released into the air in your home.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen to humans, so breathing its fibers in can cause lung disease, mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis. Doing your plumbing work on pipes that may contain asbestos is not recommended.
As you can see, working on plumbing pipes is serious business and could cause a variety of problems. Consult a professional like http://gopherplumbing.com for this job.