Some plumbing problems, whether they're at home or in a commercial building you own, may be handled with a good plunger and a bit of patience. However, there are certain plumbing problems that should never be handled by a homeowner or by a maintenance person in a commercial building. Trying to fix these types of problems on your own can result in more damage being done to you pipes, or you may simply waste time with fixes that don't really address the problem.
Note some common plumbing problems and symptoms that should never be handled by anyone other than a licensed plumber, and why.
1. Consistent clogs of a toilet or bathtub
An occasional clog in the toilet or bathtub can be addressed with a plunger or a homemade remedy of vinegar and baking soda. However, consistent clogs usually mean that there is something wrong with the pipes themselves and which requires more than a plunger or drain cleaner.
For example, if tree roots are wrapped around outside pipes they may be causing cracks to form. In turn, dirt and other sediment can settle into the pipes so that they don't drain away completely, and bathtub clogs then form on a regular basis. A water leak in the pipes inside the building can also be interfering with the pressure needed to push water through the lines when you flush the toilet, so that you get consistent clogs.
Rather than using drain cleaners that are caustic and which might eat away at connectors and pipes, or wasting your time plunging clog after clog, call a plumber. He or she can determine the actual reason your tub or toilet clogs consistently and fix the problem for good.
2. Leaks behind the walls or in a ceiling
When you have a leak behind the walls of a bathroom or through a ceiling, note that the leak may not be originating from the spot where you notice discoloration on the drywall or ceiling tiles. In many cases a drip of water will run along a pipe and then leak where it loses momentum or where the pipe makes a turn.
If you were to start removing the pipes where you notice the discoloration on the building materials and replacing them and their connectors, you may not actually address the leak at all. A commercial plumber will know how to trace leaks to find exactly where they originate and perform the correction there.