A third of Brits call in plumbers to fix their DIY disasters

  • Almost a fifth of Brits say they regularly fix plumbing problems in the home themselves
  • Half of Brits turn to YouTube rather than a plumber for advice on plumbing repairs
  • 38 per cent of Brits rely on friends and family for advice on plumbing problems

A survey* from the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS) has found that a third (32per cent) of Brits admit to having had to call in a plumber to fix a DIY disaster. The findings come as almost a fifth of people regularly attempt to fix plumbing problems in the home themselves.

WRAS is urging people to think carefully about which plumbing tasks they are competent to do themselves and which ones should be left to a professional qualified plumber. Even a simple task like fitting a washing machine, needs some knowledge about the water fittings regulations. For example a common mistake when fitting a washing machine would be to use a non-compliant hose, with no backflow protection.

When asked where they would source advice or information on repairing plumbing problems, six per cent of respondents say they never seek advice. Others seek guidance from YouTube (49 per cent), Google (44 per cent), and friends and family (38 per cent) before seeking professional advice and calling on a plumber (31 per cent).

The research shows that Brits are willing to try their hands at simpler plumbing tasks, such as bleeding a radiator (58 per cent), fixing a leaky tap (41 percent), installing a washing machine or dishwasher (36 per cent).

 The top plumbing task Brits are most likely to fix themselves are:

  1. Bleed a radiator (58 per cent)
  2. Check a stop tap is working (42 per cent)
  3. Fix a leaky tap (41 per cent)      
  4. Install a washing machine or dishwasher and connect a hose for the water supply (36 per cent)
  5. Replace a tap (24 per cent)

 However,nearly 1 in 10 would tackle more complex tasks such as installing a toilet.Some would even attempt to repair a boiler (4 per cent), fit a new boiler (3per cent) or try replacing an underground service pipe (4 per cent).

Not all UK adults are confident to tackle plumbing tasks however, as 29 per cent would never attempt to fix plumbing problems at home and 54 per cent said that it would be rare for them to attempt a plumbing repair. 

Surprisingly 45-54 year olds were more likely to ask friends and family, with 47 per cent turning to their nearest and dearest for help, compared to 29 per cent of 18 –24 year olds.

Julie Spinks, managing director of WRAS, said: “People often turn to DIY to save money and get a sense of satisfaction, however sometimes when it comes to plumbing there are some jobs that are best managed by an approved plumber. 

“Plumbing within the house can be challenging, so it is interesting to see that so many Brits are willing to have a go with the help of Google and YouTube. At WRAS we always recommend seeking a professional plumber, such as one approved by WaterSafe, to prevent causing damage to the house.”

For more information and to find an approved plumber, visit the WaterSafe website: Watersafe.org.uk