calling an unlicensed plumberDo you need to call in a licensed plumber, especially for a small issue? You’ll find many local handymen who are willing to try to fix your plumbing and usually for a lower price than a plumber. But, what sounds too good to be true is too good to be true. You should know what you’re risking when you choose an unlicensed plumber.

1. Damage to Your Home

The most pressing problem with hiring an unlicensed plumber is that they won’t have the knowledge they need to discover the cause of your plumbing problem or to fix it completely. It’s simple for an unlicensed plumber to overlook a simple detail that can lead to big problems in your home.

For example, an unlicensed plumber might add a new fixture to your home without even knowing to check if the existing plumbing can handle the additional demand. Your home may not have enough pressure to deliver water to a new showerhead, resulting in reduced water flow to the shower head.

Or, the opposite problem could occur. A poor repair or installation job could burst a pipe in your home break the fixture or appliance, and cause water damage to the rest of your home. In the end, you’ll end up with a headache, and a more expensive repair bill than you started with.

2. Safety Hazards

Modern plumbing is much more complicated than you may think. Worse, plumbing runs right alongside your electrical lines. Leaks that aren’t handled properly can cause electrical safety hazards.

Leaking sewage is a safety hazard itself. “Blackwater” from sewer lines or toilets may contain bacteria, viruses, and other health hazards. A licensed plumber will know how to handle such a leak without spreading the hazard around. They’ll also be sure you have instructions to clean up the leak safely.

There are many other safety hazards an unlicensed plumber may create or fail to recognize. It’s simply not worth the risk to hire them.

3. Increased Expenses

Improperly installed fixtures and plumbing appliances can use more water or energy than they are meant to, increasing your utility costs. A constantly running toilet can create quite the water bill. If you notice you have increased utility costs, you’ll need to hire a licensed plumber to find the mistake and fix it.

There’s also the possibility that your unlicensed plumber will cause damage to your home that will end up costing you more than hiring a professional plumber in the first place would have. For example, if your plumber installs a new bathtub on your second floor and causes it to leak into the walls, you could end up having to replace the wooden beams behind the bathtub, and everything below the bathroom.

While hiring an unlicensed plumber may seem like the cheap option, it can end up being more expensive down the road.

4. Voided Insurance

Many insurance companies require you to hire professionals to work on your home, whether you’re renovating or performing maintenance. If you hire an unlicensed plumber, your insurance company may deny any claims you make on your home’s plumbing in the future. Even if that unlicensed plumber didn’t make a mistake, the act of hiring them alone by may void your insurance policy.

In the end, hiring an unlicensed plumber is a risky decision, that may end up costing you. It’s always wiser to hire a professional and have peace of mind.