There are some problems related to plumbing that can be taken care of quite easily by you, but there are some issues that require the professional plumber to take care. The professional is recommended because some smaller issue, at first sight, may seem minor but when you try to do it on your own, the issue might escalate into something that will involve a lot of expenses and harassment.
As a homeowner, you will have to keep an eye on the tell-tale signs of plumbing problems so that you are able to detect plumbing issues at its initial stage and take appropriate action in order to avert bigger problems. An eye on the water bill is to be kept in case there is a sudden spike in the water bill. The appliances will start giving funny noise. Also, keep an eye on any wet spots that may appear on the walls or the floor; mold on surfaces; these are an indication of plumbing line leaks inside the wall or under the floor. Leaks can also be detected when you find puddles of water under the kitchen or bathroom sinks.
Plumbing problems can be assumed when you observe water draining slowly from your bathroom or kitchen sink and even bathtubs. You can use the plunger or drain cleaning chemicals to dislodge the clog; sometime it will work and sometimes it will not. If you dump a lot of food and other such large debris into the drain, there will be clogging which will not be easy to unclog. You then have to call a plumber either to unclog the drain or replace it.
During the winter you have to be extra careful. The water inside the pipes can freeze and cause major problems. You have to insulate the exposed pipes during the winter to avoid freezing. Covering the pipes with electric tapes and insulating them will prevent any freezing of pipes throughout the winter. If you neglect this it will lead to major pipe bursting during the winter, leading to a major issue.
For all the major plumbing issues you certainly have to hire an experienced plumber. But before you do so it will be better if you take quotes from a few contractors. It will be wise to get the details of the job involved and the cost for completing the jobs. You can also make sure if the contractor will offer warrantee on his job or not so that any plumbing error that occurs can be remedied within that period. Drawing up a contract in writing will be best for both the parties concerned.