Electrics and Water – They Don’t Mix: How to Keep Safe When Plumbing


As with any manual job, plumbing can be dangerous if done incorrectly. This is especially relevant when carrying out plumbing work around electrical sources.  By following these safety tips you can not only minimise the risk of accidents happening, but carry out your work in a more efficient manner.

 1) Turn the power off

Water and electricity are definitely something that you want to be mixing together. Getting water on live electrics can lead to shorted circuits or even electrocution.

Turning the power off at the mains will prevent any water from getting into nearby electronics should a leak happen.

2) Wear protective gloves

Wearing protective rubber gloves will not only help protect your hands from sharp tools and edges, but will help to insulate you against electrical shocks.

Many chemicals used during plumbing jobs are corrosive, so gloves will help protect your hands from these as well.

3) Get a helper

An assistant can help with passing you hard to reach items and can spot hazards for you. This will make your job easier, and your helper can fetch aid should an accident happen.

4) Remain calm

Things do occasionally go wrong, and being aware of this will help you to remain calm when they do. Correcting an unexpected problem like a burst pipe requires speed, and panicking will only slow you down. Considering these problems before you even start and getting a rough idea of how you would fix them will help a lot.

5) Keep electrical items to a minimum

Things such as portable radios should be kept a safe distance from your work area, as any water spilt on them will cause them to break meaning more expense.

6) Practice

This may seem like a pointless tip, but practicing the job you will be doing will give you more confidence when it comes to the real thing. Doing something for the first time for real adds stress and will lead to you making more mistakes.

7) Keep your eyes, ears and lungs protected

Wearing adequate safety gear will help protect you from developing health concerns further down the line. When working with plumbing, there is a risk of water spraying everywhere. Wearing goggles will help to protect you from eye damage.

Power tools can produce a noise level that can be harmful to hearing. Ear protectors and taking regular breaks will protect you from the imperceptible hearing damage which can build up over time.

A dust mask will stop you from inhaling harmful particles.

Does anyone have any additional tips on how to stay safe when plumbing?

This piece was written by Mark Enright, a writer for Victoria Plumb, the expert supplier of luxury bathrooms.

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