Can You Fix the Leak Yourself or Should a Plumber Come?

When you see a leak in your apartment, you might be tempted to panic. While you know that avoiding water damage to your apartment is key, what you might not know is how to stop the leak. You also might be wondering whether you can fix the leak yourself or have a plumber come. Consider these factors to help you decide.

fix leak yourself

How bad is the leak?

If the leak is not severe or only occurs occasionally, you may be able to solve it without a plumber. If you can find the source of the leak, patch it up. If the leak is an external pipe visible under a sink or near a faucet, you can follow some simple do-it-yourself (DIY) instructions to seal the leak. If water from an upstairs bathroom is leaking into a downstairs room, you may be able to locate a gap in the upstairs bathroom floor wall that you can seal just as easily. In these cases, you may not need to call a plumber.

Does your apartment have maintenance staff or a super?

When deciding whether to fix the leak yourself or have a plumber come, consider the intermediate option of going to your building’s maintenance staff or super. A super or maintenance worker may be handier than you are, and their services should be guaranteed in your lease. Your leak may also present a good occasion to review your lease and see how you should go about addressing maintenance issues such as plumbing concerns.

What if it’s not a leak but a different plumbing issue?

Leaks are far from the only potential plumbing concern in your apartment. Toilets can also be subject to flaws even if no leaks are present: Your toilet might not stop running, or your toilet handle might be loose and difficult to maneuver. For these issues, there are simple fixes you can do yourself. Additionally, many drainage failures in sinks and showers can be solved with store-bought drain cleaning solutions, and plenty of other plumbing solutions have easy home remedies too. In these cases, you can quickly fix the issue yourself and avoid having a plumber come.

What if I can’t tell where the leak is coming from?

If you can’t identify the leak source, a plumber visit may be in your best interests. Additionally, for leaks in which you can’t see the pipe, a plumber will be far more qualified to fix the issue than either you or your apartment’s maintenance staff. Other issues that may require a plumber visit include a sudden increase in monthly water bill costs with no water use changes or visible leaks, mold and mildew growth, and musty smells in basements and bathrooms. Plumbers are also generally necessary for frozen pipes.

Is it safe for a plumber to visit my apartment during the COVID-19 pandemic?

It is possible for maintenance workers to visit your apartment while keeping yourself safe from COVID-19 during the pandemic. For guidance on how to minimize the potential for COVID-19 transmission during landlord or repair person visits, click here.

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