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How to Deal With Plumbing Emergencies

Plumbing emergencies can happen even to the most cautious household. It is possible that there will be an issue in the neighborhood plumbing system, or it could be possible that tree roots outside the home could affect plumbing connections. Whatever the problem may be, the fact remains, plumbing emergencies can occur no matter how careful some homes may be, and the best way to mitigate its effects is to know how to deal with such instances.

Plumbing emergencies can happen anytime.

Several common plumbing emergencies happen in residential properties, and these include:

1. Burst Pipes. Burst pipes can be the most damaging type of plumbing emergency that can occur at home. The matter can get even worse if nobody’s home when the emergency occurs. Indoor flooding, and later on, water damage can take place. Water damage does not only destroy furniture and appliances, but it can also cause structural degradation, and give way to the growth of mold and mildew.

In colder climates and during the winter season, freezing pipes is usually the main culprit when pipes burst. In other regions though, or during a different time of the year, burst pipes can be attributed to corrosion on the pipes. Corrosion happens when buildup occurs within the pipes or could be due to continued use of harsh chemicals like drain cleaners.

The best thing to do when this happens is to turn off the main water valve immediately and seek the help of a licensed emergency plumbing repair contractor.

2. Toilet overflows. Backed up toilets that overflow can be very unsanitary, and nasty to clean. With this type of emergency, prevention will be the best way to prevent floods from occurring, but once it happens, there is nothing a homeowner can do but to bite the bullet, stop the overflow and clean up. Clogs are the leading cause of toilet overflows. When toilets fail to drain, it is essential that everyone in the household is told to refrain from using that particular toilet until the issue is addressed. An overflow could also be due to a malfunctioning flush mechanism. Core Plumbing San Diego

Once the toilet overflows, the homeowner should immediately turn off the toilet valve to prevent water from flowing into the bowl. He can then check the flush mechanism if the flush is working correctly. If the flush is working correctly, then it means that something is clogging up the toilet. A plunger can be used to suction the clog, or if the plunger fails to remove the clog, an augur can be used to hook the clog out of the toilet. If the situation persists, seek the emergency services of a reliable plumber.

3. Overflowing sink. A stopped-up kitchen or bathroom sink can be another plumbing emergency that can occur on any household. Food and grease buildup is the likely cause of kitchen sink clogs, while hair and sanitary products and soap buildup usually block the drains of a bathroom sink. 

The best thing to do when a sink drain gets stopped up is to remove as much stagnant water from the sink. Use a plunger to remove the clog. If the clog is persistent, then the homeowner can use an auger to remove the clog. If the drains are still slow or stopped up in spite of the efforts to remove the clog, then it may be wise to pour a pot full of boiling water into the drain to try to melt the clog. Seek the services of a plumber to work on the drain cleaning emergency.

4. Water Heater Failure. A failing water heater could be considered an emergency, especially during the winter season. After making sure that the water heater is appropriately turned on and in the desired temperature, but it still malfunctions, request for an emergency plumbing service as only professionals can carry out safe troubleshooting and repair for matters like such. Moreover, a licensed plumber can assess whether the water heater is already at the end of life stage and is better replaced than repaired. 

5. Sump Pump Failure. Imagine the inconvenience of a flooded basement? A failing sump pump can quickly give way to flooding and so it is vital to address this plumbing emergency at once. There could be several reasons why a sump pump would fail, and one of them is debris. Ensure that there is no debris blocking the functioning of the pump’s impeller. If the impeller is correctly working, then there could be an overheat in the system, or there could be a failure in the float switch. Either way, it is best to call in the pros to ensure that basement flooding will not occur.
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Plumbing emergencies can happen, and it is important that each household member is aware of where and how to shut off the main water valve. Knowing how to shut off the water source is crucial in preventing flooding inside the home, and the destruction of furniture, home appliances, and personal property. Shutting off the primary water source during plumbing emergencies could also prevent fatal emergencies like electrocution.

Equally, it is also crucial that every household has a reliable emergency plumber to turn to when plumbing catastrophes occur at home.

Here is a video of plumbing emergencies you would never want to occur in your home.

Importance of Cleaning the Drains

Drains should be thoughtfully used and maintain by a homeowner to avoid inconveniences like major clogs.

Clogged drains can be horrible. Around the home, it can be an inconvenience, and an embarrassment when there is company. Part of a good plumbing maintenance routine is a periodic drain cleaning service that assures that all used water around the home is reverted back where it could be treated, away from the home. Without it, inconveniences, and even flooding that leads to water damage can occur at any time when it suddenly clogs up.

Plumbing experts have mentioned several ways to keep drains working in top condition. Expert plumbers also share what can possibly go wrong if the whole home drainage system is ill maintained, and why should every homeowner make sure that it is in good condition through careful and thoughtful use.

Expert plumbers explain that clogged drains puts pressure on the sewage pipes, and causes early wear and tear and eventual shortening of its intended lifespan. One great and simple practice to adapt is to be mindful of what goes down the drain. The drainage, especially the kitchen and toilet drains are not garbage cans that can swallow in trash. For instance fruit peels, rice, oil and left over food parts like meat bones and all should never be thrown down the kitchen drain even if there is a garbage disposal system. Apart from clogging up the drain pipes, it can also jam the garbage disposal system creating another problem.

The toilet on the other hand is not a trash. Unless it is just plain toilet paper, plumbing experts stress that nothing should ever be flushed down the toilet. These include baby wipes even if it is labeled flushable, diapers, panty liners, feminine napkins, among other hygiene products.

With these plumbing experts say that the homeowners should scrape off plates prior to washing them, and quit pouring grease and used oil on the drain. It will also be best if there are drain stops installed in all the sink and shower drains all over the home. This is to prevent the flushing of hair and clump[s of bar soaps in the bathroom drain and sink, which can cause clogs.  

No to harsh chemicals

Experts also caution that should there be a bit of a hold up in draining water and clogs develop, homeowners should NEVER rely on chemical drain cleaners as it will complicate the problem further. Apart from not being a long term solution, over the counter drain cleaners are made of very strong chemicals that are abrasive and can cause pipe corrosion. When the pipe corrodes, it will be an even bigger problem in the home’s whole plumbing system. It is always best to use a plunger, a drain snake, or a hot water when clogs happen. If the situation persists then it is best to call in a licensed professional plumber who can troubleshoot the whole issue or carry out an intensive drain cleaning service.

Drain cleaning is indeed important, as well as carefully deciphering the professional plumbing service that can get the job done.