Do’s and Don’ts of Emergency Plumbing Situations

Facing a plumbing emergency such as an overflowing toilet, burst or a leaky pipe can be extremely stressful for any homeowner, especially if the homeowner doesn’t have any experience or knowledge on handling plumbing emergencies and reducing the damage until a professional arrives. Reducing water damage during emergencies is not that hard. Your mind has to be clear and you mustn’t be scared. As a homeowner, it is your responsibilities at least learn the do’s and don’ts of plumbing emergencies. By learning these essentials, you will be able to cut down water wastage and minimize the damage done to your property. Since you will be under a lot of stress until an emergency plumber arrives, these guidelines will not only help you save some time and money, but also your nerves.

Proper Ways of Dealing with a Plumbing Emergency

If you are dealing with leaky fixtures and pipes, the only thing you can do is to close off the water valve. In order to reduce the damage, put some towels and rags around the leaky pipe. If that doesn’t work, put a bucket underneath the leak. In case of burst and frozen pipes, you should do the same. Water in the pipes should also be drained.

If you are dealing with a frozen pipe, you should try heating it with bottles of hot water or with hot towels. You should ever use an open flame on frozen pipes because they will burst. The pipes should be heated very slowly, starting from the pipe that is located nearest the tap. If you don’t have warm or hot water near you, you could also gently heat the pipes with a blow dryer. To prevent pipes from freezing, you must properly insulate them. If you do not insulate them, exposed pipes will freeze on low temperatures and eventually start splitting up.

Water heater issues are usually considered emergencies even if there isn’t an actual emergency and noticeable damage. The plumbing issues are considered urgent, because most of our water heaters work on gas. If you notice something is wrong with your water heater, you should turn it off and turn the gas off. The unit can easily expand and burst due to hot water and steam. It can also overheat and heavily burn someone. Many homeowners also have problems with clogs caused by water heater sediment. To prevent this problem, try to clean out the accumulated sediment in the water heater regularly. This way, the fixtures that are supplied with hot water won’t become clogged over time, causing low water pressure or small leaks.

Improper Ways of Dealing with a Plumbing Issue

Never pour boiling water down the toilet in case of stubborn clog, because the bowl may crack open and cause you even a bigger problem.  To avoid clogs in the first place, you should never throw big objects, such as diapers and sanitary towels in the toilet. Hair can also cause clogs and lead to different plumbing emergencies, starting from overflowing toilets to sewer backups. To avoid clogging your kitchen’s sink, don’t throw fibrous material down the garbage disposer, and don’t pour cooking fats, oils and grease down the kitchen’s drain.

Lastly, never ignore a minor plumbing issue because it will inevitably lead to a bigger problem that can potentially become a plumbing emergency or a plumbing disaster.