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Has anyone ever done their own plumbing to save money?

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I have a leak in my apartment and   can't seem to find where it is coming from. Has anyone ever used those video cameras with  a hose?  Or should I just call a plumber to find the leak? How much would it cost?

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Are you TripleB?

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I assume you own the apt and are not renting .

Do you know if the leak is on a supply line or a drain line? Either way, if they aren't behind a wall, just get paper towel and feel around until the paper towel gets wet. There's various quick fixes depending on where the leak is. Shark bites are popular on drain lines.

The video camera with a hose is not for finding leak, it is for finding clogs in a main drain.

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Sounds like a problem for your landlord?

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brettdoyle said:   Sounds like a problem for your landlord?
  
Maybe he has a pot growing operation going on and the "plumbing" is his indoor irrigation system. He may not want the landlord to help with it.
I've seen some elaborate, very well done setups. That was before it became legal here in California.

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I suspect some of the grout is damaged on the tile floor above so I thought a video camera would work

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How would that work? I guess you can punch some hole in the ceiling and stick one of these up there:

https://www.amazon.com/DBPOWER-Waterproof-Borescope-Endoscope-In...

Is this is a condo you own or are you renting?

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dfres said:   I suspect some of the grout is damaged on the tile floor above so I thought a video camera would work
  the leak is from the apt above yours?

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Here's a guy who did exactly what you are proposing. Watch the whole video, it gets better

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4b1_1483233942

OK, not exactly what you are proposing. But still makes the case for calling a licensed plumber

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tenben said:   Here's a guy who did exactly what you are proposing. Watch the whole video, it gets better

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4b1_1483233942 

OK, not exactly what you are proposing. But still makes the case for calling a licensed plumber

Yes, but the linked video does not list the phone number of the plumber.

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"Has anyone ever done their own plumbing to save money?"

I would ask:  Has anyone ever NOT done their own plumbing to save money?   

Hiring a plumber, to me, is the "nuclear" option.  Only ever did it one time, and there were seriously exigent circumstances (death in family and great distance to Target home).  Otherwise, both for repairs and for scratch installation of plumbing, it has always been do it yourself.  Am pretty sure I still have some oakum around here somewhere. 

All that said, I've never come close to living in an apartment or a condo, and I never will.  Because of the potential to harm or inconvenience others, in that situation, I would not hesitate to call in a licensed and insured plumber to repair whatever.  The legalities alone, in 2017, seem to me to offer no alternative.     

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That video makes me happy. Its not that bad.

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the answer is no, nobody has ever done their own plumbing to save money

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So many times we try and end up calling the plumber to save us.

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Water seldom drips straight down inside a structure. You can try opening up a hole where you suspect, but be prepared to see it running down a stud, a wire, a pipe, or something else from a different location. That usually means making multiple holes. I once made several holes looking for a leak in a shower, only to find out the leak was actually in another bathroom and the water was running down the pipe to where it made a turn near the shower in another bathroom. Once you find it, repairs are usually pretty easy and cheap if it's a fitting or a hole in the pipe.

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There are $99 drain cleaning services around here that throw in a free video camera inspection. They make up for the low price if you have them do the main line replacement

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OP, post pics here so we know what the heck are we talking about here? If you don't even know where to look for the leak then DIY is clearly not for you. On the other hand, my wife and I replaced the galvanized pipes with copper in my entire house about 7 years ago thanks to the Y0utube university.

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I have done my own plumbing, basic rerouting of pipes and installing valves. This product makes it easy, no soldering!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RiqhtvgrH8



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Usually it is at a joint. Sometimes behind the joint ... can you see all the joints?

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I re-piped my entire house to save money. After calling a plumber/leak detective to find out my issue for me and determining that was the best route to go. Seems like you're at step 1.

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So leak detection is a free service?

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I tried it once, but still a leak on my repair ... not as bad as original, but not satisfactory. I did not apply thread tape correctly.

Separate event. I had an elbow Spring a leak. Called BIL who has some history as a handyman. His temporary fix lasted over 20 years.

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ZenNUTS said:   Are you TripleB?
  Tell me he is still around...

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No, I lost my social security card down the toilet last time.

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Always do my own plumbing. Then again other people pay me to do their plumbing as well.

So call a plumber if you are uncomfortable or unsure. In reality most plumbing jobs are bigger than they appear on the surface. Many require other skills for repair (drywall, etc.). Some are much easier than they appear, but very intimidating to an untrained eye.

In your case, dfres, it sounds like there is a water spot on the ceiling above your shower? Or elsewhere in the bathroom? Is it always wet or intermittent? Do you know the layout of the apartment above?

Another thing to consider is an AC leak... condesate pan/drain that is plugged without a working kill switch float.

Let me know, I may be able to help over the Internet. You could PM if you'd like.

Also, if you are renting, call the landlord. It's generally their responsibility.

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My mom is buying a house from a guy who I'm guessing fancies himself a DIYer, and the inspection report is full of DIY plumbing and electrical issues that he is now going to need to pay a plumber and an electrician to come and fix. So if you own this place and plan to sell it some day, be prepared to do the job right yourself - or just pay someone to do it right because you probably will later anyways.

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kedwardninja said:   I have done my own plumbing, basic rerouting of pipes and installing valves. This product makes it easy, no soldering!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RiqhtvgrH8



  I have also found PEX pipe to be really great to work with, you can make minor bends and it is easy to cut.
 

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If you live in a condo or a co-op you're usually not responsible for the pipes in the wall. If the leak is coming from the apartment above, you should contact the building management and find out what the policy is. You should use a plumber make sure he is license and insured, otherwise you will be liable for all damages if he makes any mistakes. Also check your home owners policy to make sure your covered if your neighbor isn't.

good luck

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I live in a condo and had a similar problem last month.

HOA informed us that even if the leak is behind the wall, if the leak is in, for example, the drain pipe of your dishwasher/washer, then the condo owner is responsible. If the leak is in the common line, then HOA will take care of it. So the plumber will need to clearly identify the source of the leak to HOA before repairs are started.

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Youtube and message boards/forums are a savior when it comes to any type of DIY. Better to ask on a home improvement message board than here.

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tenben said:   Here's a guy who did exactly what you are proposing. Watch the whole video, it gets better

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4b1_1483233942 

OK, not exactly what you are proposing. But still makes the case for calling a licensed plumber

  Crazy

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Simple stuff like under the sink: Yes
Stuff like fixing a broken shower valve: No. I did however spend a lot of time trying and then end up hiring a plumber anyway

However, nothing was lost by my trying and I did learn enough that when the plumber fixed it I at least understood what was going on. Now I know if I want to fix something like that again I'll need to learn how to cut and join copper pipe first.

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yes. all the time. Have saved a lot of money and can take pride in my work. I also enjoy it.

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It is constant leak. The shower is above. I think there is a slight slant on floor so one side is wet and the middle of floor is wet.

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I changed the flapper in the toilet, and readjusted the chain.

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tightpapa said:   Usually it is at a joint. Sometimes behind the joint ... can you see all the joints?
this is very appropriate for 4/20 day

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If the job must be neat I hire a pro. If it merely must work I normally do it myself, although I have hired it once when I couldn't remove the busted valve. No work of mine has ever caused problems, the guys who installed the reverse osmosis ended up paying several hundred dollars in flooring repair because they managed to do it not quite tight enough--even when I knew where the leak was it was hard to find. Unfortunately, the layer under the flooring was not waterproof and was slowly damaged by the leak. It was only after we noticed the floor wasn't right anymore that I found the leak.

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I think I will use epoxy grout on the tile grout joints. It is said this is the toughest grout.

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cows123 said:   I changed the flapper in the toilet, and readjusted the chain.
  I just say f it and replace the whole toilet

Skipping 26 Messages...
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I found out what it was. A toilet. Right under the toilet tank where water comes into the tank there was a leak. I replaced the part and that was done. No leak

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