Most home residents quickly learn to become amateur handymen after they move in. Repairs can be expensive, and homes seem to need so many of them. Even in a new home, maintenance is required, and routine systems can malfunction for one reason or another. It’s helpful if you know some basic repair skills to save money.
Repair manuals are plentiful online. Most will give detailed instructions and even rate the skill level required. Many will include tutorials or videos. For this reason, if a basic system like your hot water heater has broken down, you may be asking yourself this question: Do I need a professional to install my water heater or Can I install my own water heater?
Here are a few reasons why that may not be a good idea.
You’ll Be Working With Hazardous Systems
It’s easy enough to purchase a new water heater from a hardware store. Once you make the purchase, though, the old water heater must be safely removed and the new one installed. Depending on the type of water heater you buy, you will be working with gas, electricity or propane systems. In the case of gas or propane, even a minor leak caused by a loose connection could cause a hazard. Faulty wiring can cause a hazard in electrical systems. Small mistakes that could cause large problems may go unnoticed.
You Probably Don’t Know The Latest Codes
Every region has codes and standards that establish by law what types of materials can be used for installations, as well as how they can be placed. These are for your safety, and they are constantly updated.
Nobody wants to have to redo an installation once it has been put in, because the first one wasn’t according to code. This can happen if you ever sell your home, and need to have the heating system certified by an inspector prior to sale. This can amount to twice the cost.
Home owners usually favor the least expensive materials for home repair for obvious reasons. Those who are working according to established codes may not choose the least expensive parts, because they may not be the safest.
You Should Consider The Total Cost
When you are doing your own repairs, it’s important to consider the total cost, not just the cost of parts. For reasons of safety, home repair manuals often advise that you have an inspector review the work you did after you install your own hot water heater. Inspection carries its own fee.
You should also consider the cost in time and aggravation when you are doing your own repair. Generally, the amount of time stated on a do-it-yourself manual or instructional video can be misleading. If you get stuck on something or find that you don’t have all of the required parts or tools, additional trips to the hardware may be needed.
Replacements are not always an easy fix, either. If you have an old home, your old water heater may be obsolete, and replacing it with a newer model could be tricky.
For all of the above reasons, it probably makes more sense to have a professional do this home repair. An expert will do the job right the first time, adhering to the proper codes with your safety in mind. An expert also has the experience to know how to deal with unusual situations that can occur in home repair, saving you time and money in the long run.
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