A sudden, unforeseen plumbing emergency can be extremely stressful – especially since there is a risk of water damage to your home and your other valuables that could be way more costly than the plumbing repair itself.
If you ever end up in any plumbing emergency, a professional plumber should be on your speed dial. If it is a small clog or something a repair you can do yourself, then, by all means, take immediate action to reduce any damage to your pipes or the rest of your house.
Professionals tackle plumbing emergencies every day, and they’ve shared the most common ones.
Clogged toilets, sinks, showers drains, and bathtubs
You’re doing the dishes, and the sink doesn’t drain. You’re taking a shower, and the water just starts rising. Your toilet is making strange, gurgling noises and is not flushing. You find yourself with a clogged sink, toilet, or shower drain. These fixtures are more commonly clogged because they are used every day. The buildup of materials is the number one cause of this plumbing emergency. If you don’t correct any of these issues, it can lead to worse situations such as structural damage or raw sewage backups, which is a significant health hazard.
Leaky faucets, hoses, and toilets
Not only is the constant dripping of water annoying, but leaky faucets can result in rust forming, racking up your water bills, and allowing mold growth. A leak usually interrupts hot water connection, making your water heater work harder and wasting a lot of money. Moreover, leaks can start damaging your property. Broken water heater valves are easily replaceable; don’t wait until your entire water heater wall has rusted all the way through. You will need a new water heater system installed if it comes to that.
Broken pipes and water lines
Natural calamities, tree roots growth, or poorly aimed shovels, or freeze-thaw cycle are often the reason why water lines and pipes underground break or burst. These emergencies often require an entire pipe replacement procedure that should only be conducted by professionals. If these problems are not fixed, they can result in very low or no water pressure at all, bad water quality, and soggy and wet areas in your property.
No hot water
It’s a cold morning. You are in the middle of showering when the temperature of the water all of a sudden goes cold, then colder until you can’t take it. What a nightmare that would be! No hot water can very well be your utility provider’s fault. But it could also mean there’s an electrical wiring issue, a plumbing leak, or a water heater defect.
Sewer system backup
Messy, extremely inconvenient, expensive. Sewer system backups are everyone’s worst plumbing nightmare. If you notice any terrible odors coming from the drains, toilets making strange, gurgling noises, water collecting on the floor, or several clogged drains, then it’s time to investigate if you have a sewer system backup.
Common Plumbing Solutions
Turn the water and water heater off
In every water emergency, the very first thing to do is to turn off the water supply source. Know the shutdown functions for your fixtures and the main water shutdown valve. If you determine that only one water appliance or fixture is the problem, turn the valve clockwise to shut it off. The same step can be done for the main water valve for any other water emergencies.
Additionally, once you turn off the water supply, the outside spigots will need to be turned on so they can drain the pipes, and the water will flow outside rather than inside your house.
Stop leaks and clog drains
You can use Teflon tape or plumber’s epoxy to stop water leaks from a loose joint. Towels and rags can also be used but only for light leaks. If residual leaks still happen even after the water supply is turned off, you can place a bucket under the leak to catch the water and prevent any more damage to your home. For any fixture or appliance with a leaking problem, check the traps or drains and see if they need to be cleaned out.
There is also a multitude of do-it-yourself tips on how to unclog drains. You can try any or all of them. However, if you’ve applied the solutions but the issue is still not fixed, call in the experts.
One of the most critical tips we can share if you experience a plumbing issue, or any home emergency is to remain calm. Keeping a calm mindset will help you think rationally and logically so you can weather any problems.