You probably don’t spend much time thinking about plumbing emergencies until you are facing one and we all know they tend to happen at the worst possible time. Be prepared by having some knowledge of what the most common plumbing emergencies are and what you can do if they happen to you.
1. Clogged Toilets. Your toilets are some of the most used fixtures in your home and usually a minor clog is nothing to worry about. Clogs can come from flushing non-flushable items or excessive toilet paper use. Usually, a little plunging will fix this issue however if you spend time plunging and it still won’t go down it’s probably time to call in a plumbing technician. While it may not seem like a big issue if it goes unresolved you could be dealing with anything from the contents spilling onto your bathroom floor or all the way to a sewer backup.
2. Clogged Sinks or Bathtubs. A slow drain in your sink or tub may not seem like a big deal but still needs to be addressed as it’s a sign of a clog. While it may be avoided by using a hair catcher in your tub or fixed by a drain snake, a bigger clog needs to be addressed by a plumbing technician. It can be tempting to use a chemical drain but that could damage your drainpipes. As with a clogged toilet an unresolved clogged sink or tub can lead to overflowing and spilling onto your floor or a sewer backup.
3. Burst Pipes. Burst Pipes are one of the most damaging and most expensive plumbing emergencies and can happen for a couple of reasons. In colder months it can happen due to your pipes freezing but it can also happen due to having older pipes, corrosion or when an increase in water pressure builds in the weak joint of a pipe. Look out for wet spots on your walls, noises coming from pipes, your utility bill increasing and puddles forming underneath your sinks. If a pipe bursts in your home turn off the water as on average, you could be dealing with 50 gallons to 3,400 gallons of water per minute depending on the size of the pipes. After you’ve turned off the water call a plumbing technician immediately.
4. No Hot Water. Getting into the shower early in the morning and getting hit with ice cold water is not a fun way to start your day, especially during the colder months. Not only does it affect your shower but your ability to wash dishes as well. This is likely caused by problems with your water heater like the heating mechanism breaking or a broken dip tube. However, it could also be from a burst pipe or electrical issue or even something to do with your utility company.
5. Leaky Water Heater. It’s important to check your water heater regularly so you can find any leaks early on. Not only can a leaky water heater cause your utility bills to be higher, but it can also lead to property damage if left for too long. It could be a simple fix of replacing a leaky water heater valve, however you could need a new water heater to fix the problem. Call a plumbing technician at the first sign of a leaky water heater.
6. Sewer Backup. One of the biggest plumbing nightmares you could experience is your sewer backing up. If this happens it’s because there is a blockage somewhere causing the sewage to come back up out of the pipes, which could be caused by toilet paper, grease, or hair. Raw sewage could back up into your home through the toilet, sinks or bathtub. Look out for gurgling toilets, slow draining sinks or tubs, bad sewage odors coming from drains and water around the basement floor drain. This is a very serious emergency as there are health risks associated with sewage backups, if this happens to you be sure to call a plumbing technician immediately to protect your home and your family.
7. Leaky Fixtures. While you might not think a leaky faucet or toilet is much more than an annoyance, a small leak can be a big problem. Not only could you be dealing with higher utility bills from the constantly dripping fixtures, but a leak left unattended can end up damaging your home. They can cause rust and mold in your pipes which could be a health concern for your family. Some leaks you may be able to fix on your own, however if you try and are still experiencing leaks then it’s time to call a plumbing technician. 8. Broken Water Lines. All homes have a water line that brings water from your water source to your home. A broken water line can be caused by earthquakes, normal deterioration, or tree roots growing into your pipes. This can cause you to have low or no water pressure, poor water quality or soggy spots in your hard. This is not an issue that the average homeowner can fix but needs to be resolved by a professional plumbing technician. Between your shower, toilet, kitchen, and bathroom faucets, washing machine and more, your home’s plumbing system is used constantly throughout the day, and we often forget just how much we rely on it until we are faced with a problem. Call One of our recommended Plumbers at the first sign of any emergencies so they can be taken care of immediately and not cause a bigger issue that would be even more extensive and expensive.