Can a Handyman Do Plumbing?

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When it comes to fixing things in your home, you can either call a handyman or a plumber. Both professions are skilled in repairing and maintaining various systems in your home, but there are some key differences between the handymen and plumbers. So, can a handyman do plumbing?

Can Handymen Legally Do Plumbing?

One of the most common questions people ask is whether a handyman can do plumbing work. The answer is yes, but with some limitations.

Handymen are generally skilled in a variety of trades, including carpentry, electrical work, and plumbing.

However, they are not trained to handle complex plumbing problems that require specialized knowledge and equipment.

Furthermore, they are not licensed plumbers, so they are not permitted do most plumbing work.

What Plumbing Work Can a Handyman Do?

A handyman can handle basic plumbing tasks that do not require a plumbing license. Some examples of plumbing tasks that a handyman can do include:

  • Fixing leaks: If you have a leaky faucet or a dripping pipe, a handyman can fix it for you.
  • Installing fixtures: A handyman can install new faucets, shower heads, and other plumbing fixtures.
  • Unclogging drains: If your sink or bathtub is clogged, a handyman can use a plunger or a drain snake to clear the blockage.
  • Installing water heaters: A handyman can install a new water heater or replace an old one, as long as no changes to your plumbing system are required.
  • Repairing toilets: If your toilet is running or not flushing properly, a handyman can diagnose and fix the problem.

What Plumbing Work Can Handymen Not Do?

If you have a more complex plumbing issue, such as a broken sewer line or a major leak, you should call a licensed plumber.

Additionally, any plumbing work that requires a permit, such as rough-in plumbing, cannot be done by a handyman.

Handymen vs. Plumbers: What’s The Difference?

While handymen and plumbers share some similarities, there are also some key differences between the two professions. Here are some of the main differences:

  • Licensing and training: Plumbers are required to be licensed and undergo extensive training before they can practice their profession. Handymen, on the other hand, do not need to be licensed or have any specific training.
  • Specialization: Plumbers specialize in plumbing work, while handymen generally have a broader range of skills and can handle a variety of tasks.
  • Equipment: Plumbers have specialized equipment for diagnosing and fixing plumbing problems, while handymen generally use more basic tools.
  • Cost: Plumbers generally charge more for their services than handymen, due to their specialized knowledge and equipment.

Handyman Plumbing FAQ

Can a handyman install a toilet?

In most cases, a handyman cannot install a toilet without a valid plumbing license in their state.

Can a handyman replace a toilet?

In most cases, a handyman cannot replace a toilet without a valid plumbing license in their state.

Can a handyman replace a faucet?

Handymen can replace a faucet in most cases, assuming more complex plumbing work is not required to do so.

Can a handyman install a water heater?

Handymen can install water heaters only if changes to the plumbing system are not required.

Can a handyman do electrical work?

In most cases, handymen cannot do electrical work without a license.

Can a handyman fix a leaky faucet?

Handymen can fix leaky faucets as long as no changes to the plumbing system are required. For example, a handyman can replace a gasket but cannot replace faulty pipes connected to the faucet.

Should I Contact a Handyman or Plumber?

If you have a basic plumbing issue, like a clogged drain, a handyman can usually handle it for you. However, if you have a more complex problem, you should call a licensed plumber.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to call a handyman or a plumber depends on the specific problem you are facing. When in doubt, it is never a bad idea to hire a plumber.

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Casey Loeber

Casey Loeber is the founder of His mission is to share the best information online about plumbing jobs and help plumbers lead fulfilling careers.

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