When attempting do-it-yourself plumbing projects, it is essential to follow the proper safety precautions in order to prevent injury. Before embarking on a plumbing project – even something relatively simple, like unclogging a drain – review the following plumbing safety basics.
Use a spotter
A spotter or helper will allow you to complete a plumbing project faster and more safely. In addition to a spotter providing the benefit of a spare hand as needed, some jobs, such as running a drain machine, are nearly impossible to complete without a second person to help.
Follow the directions
The importance of this safety essential cannot be overstated. Read and follow the directions for all tools, equipment, machines, chemicals, and other plumbing products. Misuse of tools and other plumbing equipment can cause injury or damage to your home. Also, make sure to maintain and check tools as specified in the user manual.
Wear protective equipment
Personal protective equipment is a must when working with plumbing. This includes wearing protective eyewear, gloves, and a facemask to protect your lungs. Eyewear is especially important when snaking a drain, hammering, using a drill, using a sawzall, or working on your back under a sink. Depending on the type of job, latex or leather gloves may be preferred. When sawing or sanding, a facemask is an important precaution.
Only work when alert
Do not work when you are sick, tired, or impaired by drugs or alcohol. These states can impair your reflexes or judgment, resulting in injury or property damage.
Use a tool belt, caddy, or box
Carrying tools in your pocket poses a risk of injury.
Follow the proper codes
These include all applicable building and plumbing safety codes and laws. Make sure you know these rules and have obtained the necessary permits before you start working.
If you’re not sure you can complete a plumbing job safely by yourself, consider calling a licensed plumber to complete the job.
Written and published by Thompson Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.