Plumbing Emergency 101: What You Should Know
It’s inevitable for problems to occur at home. It can be as simple as changing a light bulb or complex like overflowing water from the toilet. That is why homeowners should always be prepared and know what to do in these kinds of situations. This includes being knowledgeable about nearby service providers that can deliver immediate solutions.
A part of this list of utilities is residential plumbing services in your area. They will come in handy when you encounter emergencies with your plumbing system that can cause inconvenience.
What Is Considered a Plumbing Emergency?
A plumbing emergency may involve several different scenarios happening all at once. It can be a specific issue like broken pipes and clogged drains. Nonetheless, these require urgent repairs because they may cause further destruction. To name a few, here are some common plumbing emergencies that may happen at home:
- Leaking Pipes
Leaking pipes are one of the usual issues that homeowners face with their plumbing system. Although some people may treat it as a minor issue, this can lead to flooding if not fixed immediately. Moreover, it can also cause other problems like mold growth and costly water bills.
- Low Water Pressure
If you notice that the water flow is weaker than it used to, there might be a problem with your water pressure. This can affect your access to water, which can become an inconvenience to you. As such, you can check if your water pressure is correct by using a pressure gauge, which should show that there is 40 to 60 PSI of water released. If not, then it’s an emergency that requires a solution from an expert.
- Your Pipe Is at Risk of Bursting
Pipes are usually at risk of bursting during colder months when the temperature drops below freezing point. Exposed pipes freeze and become susceptible to bursting due to water molecule expansion and pressure buildup. When water molecules are no longer in motion, they become ice. These crystalline structures will keep expanding until they reach a point where the pipe may burst.
- There Is a Sewer Backup
Sewage backup can happen if your sewer system has contaminants or foreign objects that are blocking the pipes. It is considered a cause of concern because it is a potential threat to you and your family’s health. The water may have bacteria that can lead to airborne contamination, as well as infections.
What Should I Do?
If any of these problems occur, the best thing you can do is to call an expert who can solve them for you. But while waiting for help to arrive, it’s also necessary to do some initial measures to minimize the damage they can do to your property. Here are some of the things you can do:
- Turn Off Any Water Source
To prevent more flooding, turn off all water sources immediately. This includes the main water valve, which controls the amount of pressurized water that flows through the pipes. It is usually located outside your home near the water meter.
- Check the Water Heater
Water heaters are usually powered by electricity or fueled by gas. As such, there is a risk of overheating if they’re left unchecked. This can also be dangerous during a plumbing emergency, especially when there is flooding. To avoid it from happening, make sure that your water heater is turned off when an emergency occurs at home.
- Open Drains and Spigots
Even though you’ve switched off the main water valve, there might still be water in the pipes. In this situation, your best option is to open the spigots, which are located outside. The same thing goes for your drains, as these are also essential in clearing out excess water.
- Do Not Use Chemicals
If you experienced clogs or water backup during the process of draining sitting water, it’s important not to use any chemicals. These strong solutions can damage your pipes because most of them are corrosive. They can also be a health hazard as they can burn your skin or are poisonous when their fumes are inhaled.
Despite preventive measures, emergencies can still happen at any time. That is why aside from knowing the right residential plumbing services that can help you, it’s also important to be prepared for these situations. It’s your responsibility as a homeowner to keep everything under control to ensure your family’s safety until a professional plumber arrives to assist you.