Image courtesy of Willett Builders, Inc.
If you have ever climbed under a kitchen sink or replaced a sump pump, you are well aware of the inherent health risks associated with DIY plumbing. Before you begin your next project, take some steps to prepare safety equipment appropriate to the task at hand. Equipment such as goggles and gloves protect you from potential injury and help make clean up more manageable.
There are many types of glove options. To determine the best type of glove for the job, try to identify the tasks you will need to accomplish.
For surface level jobs involving smaller parts and less exposure to hazardous fluids or materials, thinner gloves may be a better option. Thinner vinyl or latex-based gloves afford the user increased dexterity, making it easier to tighten knobs or valves and use tools in tight spaces. Thinner gloves may be the best option for DIY plumbers interested in making relatively minor repairs to exterior components of toilets or kitchen sinks.
For dirtier and more expansive jobs, thicker gloves are recommended. Thicker gloves help not only to protect against exposure to potentially harmful materials, but provide additional insulation in encounters with sharp or rusty objects.
Purchase gloves with longer sleeves, especially for jobs where the gloves will be submerged.
One of the more important safety considerations in plumbing is eye protection. Clogged pipes can require the use of cleaning agents that are harmful to the eye. There are additional concerns about contamination related to waste matter.
Plumbing projects may require you to crawl under pipes, which increases risks of potential exposure to harmful substances. Safety goggles should cover the eyes completely, creating an impermeable seal around the surface of the eye. Try also to purchase safety goggles that are certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The ANSI label can often be found on packaging.
Wearing safety goggles will help prepare you for unanticipated problems in the DIY process and may save you from a nasty case of plumber’s regret.
When you work on plumbing issues, you will want to dress in clothing that covers the arms and legs. Longer and thicker clothing options help to protect against exposure to rust, chemicals and water, and provide additional protection against sharp objects and surfaces. When possible, try to wear water resistant or waterproof clothing as an additional layer of protection.
If you’re feeling unsure of yourself, don’t hesitate to call the Drain Brothers for help on your project. It’s better to get it done right the first time than to accidentally damage your home’s plumbing.