How do I know if I should call a plumber?

In general, esp. in an emergency, most homeowners struggle with when to call a handyman/appliance repair technician versus calling a licensed plumber. Generally, when the operation or general use of an appliance starts to grow worse and worse, it is likely to be a job for an appliance repair person.

When there is a problem bringing water or gas to an appliance or bringing waste away from an appliance you probably need to call a licensed plumber. If you see an appliance start to back up, the waste pipe is most likely plugged, and if you see water on the floor or under a cabinet, the water pipes are most likely the problem.


In general, dishwashers send their wastewater through the same system as the kitchen sink. If the kitchen sink is clogged, then the dishwasher is not going to empty properly. The dishwasher will not be able to send the waste water through the pipe and the kitchen sink will start filling up with water.

Even though the dishwasher seems like it is the cause, it is the kitchen waste line that is plugged. A licensed plumber will have all the right fittings and parts to repair the problem.

A plumber also will install the correct water supply stops and install the dishwasher with enough slack in the lines to be able to pull the whole unit out for future repairs.


If there is no gas coming to your range and you cannot get it to light, you should call your plumber. Also, if you smell gas, there is a problem with your range.

We would not recommend a handyman to connect the gas to a range. We have seen many cases where a problem has been “fixed” and St Paul Pipeworks came in to find a leaking gas line.

There are a lot of pipe threads that can be confusing to the repair person. A licensed plumber will know all of the fittings that will ensure a proper installation.

Refrigerator Water Dispensers and Icemakers

A refrigerator does not have a pipe that leads wastewater away. It has an evaporator so that the small amount of excess water from the icemaker or water dispenser goes into an evaporator tray.

Your refrigerator does not have a plumbing waste pipe from it. It only has a water supply to it, and almost always, if you are having trouble with a water dispenser or an icemaker in a refrigerator, it is generally an appliance repair person who can fix it for you.

If you are not getting water to the appliance itself, then a plumber is needed. We would recommend that you hire a licensed plumber to plumb the main water supply to the refrigerator.

The most common problem that we see when a handyman does the original plumbing is that they will use a self-piercing saddle valve to tap into the pipe; those valves fail easily.

St Paul Pipeworks cuts the pipe and inserts a Tee into the pipe to ensure full flow to the valve. Also, when we are installing water supply and icemaker lines, we like to put the shutoff valve on the same floor of the house as the refrigerator for convenience.

If you are having a problem with any of your appliances or are just looking for a quality plumber in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area, give St Paul Pipeworks a call today.

Yours Truly, Matthew Dettwiler Social Media Manager


When should I call a plumber?

If you’re experiencing issues with bringing water or gas to an appliance or draining waste away, it’s time to call a licensed plumber. Signs like appliances backing up or water leakage indicate plumbing problems that require professional attention.

My dishwasher isn’t draining properly. Should I call a plumber or an appliance repair technician?

If your dishwasher isn’t draining, it’s likely due to a clogged kitchen waste line rather than a dishwasher malfunction. Call a licensed plumber who can diagnose and fix the issue, ensuring proper installation and future accessibility for repairs.

What should I do if there’s no gas coming to my range or if I smell gas?

If you’re experiencing issues with gas supply to your range or detect a gas odor, it’s crucial to call a plumber immediately. Gas-related problems require expertise to ensure safety and proper installation, preventing potential hazards like gas leaks.

My refrigerator’s water dispenser or icemaker isn’t working. Should I contact a plumber or an appliance repair technician?

If your refrigerator’s water dispenser or icemaker isn’t functioning correctly, it’s likely a job for an appliance repair technician. However, if there’s an issue with the water supply to the appliance, a licensed plumber should be contacted for proper plumbing installation and repairs.

Why is it important to hire a licensed plumber for refrigerator water supply installation?

Hiring a licensed plumber ensures proper installation, preventing common issues like using self-piercing saddle valves that can fail easily. Plumbers use appropriate fittings, such as Tees, to ensure full water flow and install shut-off valves conveniently for future maintenance.

When Should You Call a Plumber?