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When not to dabble in DIY this Easter

The long Easter bank holiday weekend is nearly here! Almost as traditional as the obligatory chocolate eggs, it brings in the launch of the annual DIY season, as the urge to spruce up our homes takes over and we build up the nerve to tackle those jobs that have been niggling away all winter.

While the majority of us may feel confident wielding a paintbrush or hanging a new shelf, when it comes to work on your plumbing and heating systems, some jobs really must be left to the professionals. Jerry Whiteley, Technical Manager for the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE), urges householders to be cautious when undertaking DIY. He explains, “There’s no doubt there are a number of simple jobs the average homeowner can tackle themselves. However, when it comes to plumbing systems there are a number of high-risk things that can go wrong: from leaking or burst pipes that cause extensive water damage, to misconnections resulting in water contamination.”

Worryingly, if you run into issues, it could potentially cost you a lot of money to put things right - especially if your home insurance policy does not cover accidental damage, or claims if you have attempted work that you are not competent to do.

If that isn’t enough food for thought, then the darker side to DIY might stop you in your tracks, as every year sees thousands of people end up in A&E, walk-in centres, or minor and major injury departments due to a DIY accident. Whether it’s a fall off a ladder, a power tool related injury, consequences from cutting through electric cables or a nail through the finger, DIY can be a dangerous hobby if you don’t know what you are doing.

With insurance companies and A&E departments across the land preparing themselves for the start of the DIY season Jerry continues, “Unless you have the knowledge and experience to undertake work on plumbing and heating systems, it’s just not worth taking chances. The DIYer has to abide by exactly the same regulations as the qualified professional. So, although you may think you are saving money in the short term, uninformed DIY can very easily become costly, stressful, dangerous and can land you in hot water with the law.”

“Our members regularly rectify work carried out by people who have no formal plumbing training. By engaging a professional to carry out the work in the first place you know the job will be done professionally and competently, and with the peace of mind of a job well done.”

Instead of planning DIY on your plumbing or heating systems this weekend, save yourself a world of pain by calling in a qualified plumbing or heating installer. Find one in your area by visiting www.ciphe.org.uk.