How to handle 7 common plumbing emergencies

How to handle 7 common plumbing emergencies
Photo: 6437364, Pixabay

Plumbing emergencies are some of a homeowners’ worst nightmares. Whatever the cause of your plumbing issue may be, calling a professional plumber should be your only course of action.

Why? Emergencies are unplanned circumstances. They can range from simple problems to more complex issues, so it is highly recommended that you have a skilled plumber who is trained for these specific situations.

Here are 7 common plumbing emergencies:

1. Blocked Drains

Debris, such as strands of your hair, can accumulate in your shower or tub drain over time. As a result, your drain can become blocked, which then can lead to flooding in your home.

Using a plunger and drain cleaner can work, but if this proves ineffective, it could be time to call an emergency plumber.

2. Blocked and overflowing toilet

If your toilet is blocked, water can overflow quickly when you flush, and this can result in immense water damage and unsanitary problems.

The best way to avoid an overflowing toilet is to never flush any products apart from toilet paper. Plastic wrappers, wet wipes, paper towels, and tissues can easily block your plumbing system.

When this happens, before calling a plumber, you must switch off the water supply valve under the toilet tank so the water won’t enter the bowl.

3. Burst and frozen pipes

If your pipes are above ground or near the surface, the water can freeze if the temperature gets too low. And this can result in different problems, from high pressure to burst pipes.

To prevent this from happening, you should use a heater and run it at regular intervals during the cold months. Also, you can cover your pipes with towels.

But if the pipe has ruptured already, you need to turn off the water main tap and run the remaining water until the supply runs out. After that, call an emergency plumber.

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4. Damaged water heater

If your tap or shower is releasing water that is too hot or too cold, and has a strange odour, your water heater is the main culprit.

The odour problem can be solved by flushing the water tank, but if you notice even a small leak, you must call a plumbing expert to inspect and fix your water heater.

5. Sewer system backup

Gurgling toilets, bad odour, or water leaking from drains are just some of the signs of a sewer system backup. This plumbing emergency is often caused by a blockage, so you must avoid throwing any items into your toilet, drainage systems, and sink.

The moment you experience any of these signs of a sewer system backup, call an emergency plumbing specialist.

6. Water Leaks

Leaks can occur from your appliances or from the pipes running throughout your home. Though some leaks are minor, the worst thing you can do is just ignore them. Forgoing a minor leak could lead to costly home repairs.

A higher-than-normal water bill is a good indicator that there is a water leakage somewhere. Other signs include puddles of water, water stains, and audible water drips.  As soon as you notice any of these signs, you must call a professional plumber.

When renovating your kitchen or your entire home, you should avoid faulty installations. Make sure you enlist the services of a professional you trust when connecting appliances and fixtures.

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7. Gas Leaks

A gas leak is a serious plumbing problem. You must have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home. This is a device that changes its colour as the level of carbon monoxide in the air increases.

Once you smell gas, you must check all your gas appliances, turn off the gas ring, and open the windows to let the gas dissipate. If, after doing these things, the level of carbon monoxide continues to increase and the smell of gas persists, leave your house and call an emergency plumber.

Keeping your plumbing system running well is the best way to prevent these plumbing emergencies. A maintenance service allows a professional plumber to look for any signs of wear and tear in your plumbing system, inspect your pipes, and fix the problems before they get worse.

Plumbing emergencies are stressful and inconvenient, causing significant damage to your home and quickly piling on the costs. By being aware of the common plumbing emergencies, you will be able to anticipate as well as deal with them efficiently before they get out of hand.