Plumbing: Request-A-Quote or DIY?

You’re likely very well acquainted with your home after this year. Between working from home, virtual homeschooling with the kiddos, and limited travel, your home is likely seeing more wear and tear than in years past. One thing we know you’re using more – your pipes and plumbing!

Typically, when something goes awry you’re caught trying to decide whether it’s a do-it-yourself (DIY) job, or if you need to call in the experts. With Yelp’s Request-A-Quote (RAQ) feature, you can quickly connect with a local plumber to assess the problem. 

We’re here to look at five common plumbing issues to help homeowners decide whether your first move should be to attempt a DIY project, or save the time and RAQ.


To date, we’ve found exactly zero “fun” plumbing problems to experience, and an instantaneous clogged toilet is sure to give you a sense of panic. Fortunately for many common clogs, you’ve got multiple avenues to explore to do-it-yourself. Swing by a local hardware store to grab a plunger, toilet drain cleaner, and a toilet auger. Just one of those might do the job, but you’ll likely need them at some point in your home ownership journey! Plunging or drain cleaners alone might dislodge a clog, and the toilet auger can often finish the job.

The Verdict: DIY


Noticing a foul odor coming from the drains? Are your drains backed up, running slowly around the house, or gurgling frequently? Those are typically telltale signs of backup issues with a sewer system. Often with these issues, there are too many factors to look at and too many tools necessary to knock it out yourself (including potential heavy digging). Your best bet here is tapping that Request-A-Quote button ASAP to contact a highly-rated professional who can help you assess the situation.

The Verdict: RAQ


If it’s a particularly frigid day and you turn on the faucets to no water, there is a likelihood of frozen pipes. This situation can go either way; if you can find the frozen pipe and safely access it, you can try a DIY option to safely defrost it with a hair dryer and hot towels (never with an open flame!). However, there are enough variables that make RAQ the right choice. Pipes can burst under the pressure of ice which is a bigger issue,  can be difficult to access, and hiring a local expert will show you how to prevent this issue from arising again.

Verdict: Potential DIY but likely RAQ


Your toilet has been running so long it’s completed a marathon. Unfortunately, this can really add up in lost water on your monthly bill. Fortunately, this common issue is widely addressed with online videos and guides to help get you started on repairs. It might come down to replacing a fill valve or flapper, but either way, odds are ever in your favor for you to explore the DIY route before Requesting-A-Quote.

The Verdict: DIY


For reasons which we’ll never understand, cold showers are actually becoming… popular? This is one trend we’re happy to skip, as there are few things as perfect as a hot shower in the winter time. When frigid water rains out of the pipes, you’re likely dealing with water heater issues. For the majority of homeowners, these issues are almost always best left to the professionals. Simply put, there are too many parts and electrical components to navigate.

Verdict: RAQ