At Watermaster Plumbing, we’ve always incredibly wary when it comes to DIY plumbing.
There’s nothing wrong with attempting to unclog a drain by yourself using some tried and tested home remedies… but for plumbing jobs any more complicated than that, we urge you to call a professional plumber.
“What makes a professional plumber different?” you may ask. While there are many things, here’s a brief checklist with a couple of the most important differences – and why they matter.
1) Plumbing training is more complex than you might think
Plumbing is a lot more complicated than just fitting pipes and tightening bolts. A plumbing professional also needs to identify problems associated with, and find solutions for:
- Water pressure
- Hot water problems
- Air pressure
- Water hammers
- Pipe materials
Just to name a few!
YouTube tutorials don’t really give you a sense for how to work with these things. It takes considerable on-the-job and theoretical training to prepare for these types of curveballs.
This is the first thing that separates a professional plumber from a DIY-er.
All plumbers start by getting their certificate in plumbing. This covers all the essentials of plumbing, and includes a mixture of practical and theoretical courses.
The learning doesn’t stop once they’ve got their certificate – there’s also an apprenticeship requirement.
Usually lasting 4 years, apprenticeships are mandatory for plumbing hopefuls.
Working under the supervision of a licensed plumber, apprentice plumbers gain a wealth of hands-on experience. In a practical industry like plumbing, this experience is crucial!
2) Plumbers have insurance to cover you if things go unexpectedly wrong
In order to obtain their plumbing license, plumbers need to take out an appropriate level of insurance cover.
This isn’t something they can opt for – it’s a legal requirement of all plumbers.
The Ministerial Order responsible for this requirement sets out a minimum of $5 million in public liability insurance. Additionally, it also lays out a requirement for $50,000 in consumer protection insurance.
What does this mean in non-insurance adjuster terms?
Simply put, this insurance protects you on the off-chance that your plumbing work isn’t up to scratch.
Thankfully, it’s very rare that your plumber needs to make a claim. That said, you don’t want to take that risk – by choosing a licensed plumber, you’re guaranteed a certain degree of protection, just in case!
3) Plumbers must be licensed and registered
In order to legally operate as a plumber, plumbers need to get the necessary license.
Issued by the Victorian Building Agency (VBA), a plumber’s license certifies that your plumber has completed all the necessary training (see above), passed a mandatory police check, and sat a VBA examination.
This license needs to be periodically renewed. During the renewal process, your plumber undergoes the entire application process again.
Your plumber’s license also tells you the specific type of work they’re authorised to carry out. Some examples of what your emergency plumber specialises in include:
- Roof plumbing
- Appliance servicing
Not all plumbers are qualified to undertake all jobs. For example: a licensed plumber does not guarantee they are a licensed and qualified gas fitter, too.
A plumbing license is more than a piece of paper – it’s a guarantee that your plumber knows their stuff. It identifies specialist skills. And it tells you that they’ve passed a thorough plumbing exam and are fully-insured.
Not to mention, it’s also a legal requirement for many types of plumbing jobs.
Just be sure that you know the difference between a registered plumber and a licensed one!
4) Plumbers have specialist tools
Finally, there’s the question of tools.
Simply put, many plumbing jobs can’t be solved with the tools you have lying around the house.
Here’s an example: while you can unclog minor toilet blockages with a toilet plunger, deeper clogs need long drain snakes, which can sometimes be fitted with cameras to inspect a problem.
These are two examples of more advanced plumbing work. Both require specialist equipment – stuff that most people won’t have lying around the house or in their garage.
Not only are these tools expensive, but many of these tools are finicky and hard-to-use. They’re not exactly “pick up and play”, like a plunger is.
Need an emergency plumber in Bayside?
Burst pipes? Leaking toilet? Hot water disaster?
If you need an emergency plumber in Bayside, Watermaster Plumbing is the team to call.
Based in Cheltenham, our team is ready to respond to all your plumbing emergencies. Give us a call and we can be there on the same day with appropriate fixes.
Each of our vans comes equipped with all the tools needed to fix your plumbing problems big and small. From a blocked toilet to a gas leak, there’s nothing our team can’t fix.