After watching a home improvement video, it’s easy to get fired up and get started on your own project. After all, they made it look so fun with the music, bloopers and laughter. There seem to be just a few mistakes here and there but overall it seems easy to do. As a homeowner, however, there is a limit on what you should try to do. And that includes plumbing and electrical works.

There are common problems associated with DIY water plumbing. Below is a list of some of these.

  • Flooding

From the kitchen, accidental flooding can spread to other areas of the house. This may mean an afternoon spent on cleaning instead of the fun DIY you imagined.

  • Water leaks

Poor joints and connections may lead to water leaks. The hidden leaks are usually not noticed until surface damages are significant.

  • Burst pipes

Water lines may burst as a result of an accident or improper pipe installation and maintenance.

The water damages caused by these “plumbing surprises” can range from minimal to severe ones. Insurance will not cover repairs if unlicensed work is observed. In the end, the few dollars saved could result in much bigger expenses. The supposedly amusing weekend can easily lead to frustration and disappointments.

The bigger concern will be those that can directly threaten the well-being of your family and community. Improper plumbing could lead to drinking water contamination and affect those who use it. That includes the residents of your house and neighbours too.

Any work related to gas lines should be left to professionals. Gas leaks are dangerous, especially in closed spaces. The resulting stream of gas is highly flammable so avoid anything that can cause a spark. Suspected gas leaks do not warrant emergency services yet, but you need to immediately call a qualified fitter or your gas provider. And when that happens, you’ll have to be honest with them if you’ve been tinkering with the pipes.

Gas leaks may also result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in our blood when inhaled. At high levels, it can cause people to pass out and even die. Symptoms include:

  • headaches, dizziness
  • weakness, tiredness, shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • confusion, nausea

So if you suspect a gas leak and some family members have any of these symptoms, open all windows to improve air circulation. Seek medical advice as needed.

Aside from plumbing, another big no for DIY projects is electricals. Electric shock is a possible consequence of electrical work gone wrong. This can happen to you or family members who are the end-users of your DIY projects. To ensure safety, all electrical work in Melbourne requires a tradesman license. Changing a light bulb is not illegal though. Still, such a task has inherent dangers which can still result in injuries or death.

Faulty electrical appliances are one of the top causes of fire in Victoria during winter. With this in mind, it is best to keep out repairs as part of DIY lists. Seek licensed tradesmen to do repair work for broken appliances.

With your safety as the primary concern, Australian law requires plumbing and electrician work to be delegated to licensed tradesmen. Failure to comply merits heavy fines. Prison time is added if someone gets hurt due to unlicensed work.

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