A plumbing emergency can put the most relaxed person into a state of panic. Waking up to water overflowing in the bathroom or stinky drains is not a great start to the day. While there’s no convenient time for a plumbing emergency, knowing what to do helps you cope should a plumbing disaster occur. Here are 5 of the most common plumbing emergencies experienced in the home.
Blocked Sink Drain
The kitchen sink is the most used in a home. After mealtimes, plates get washed off and whether on purpose or not, debris like coffee grounds, grease, oil and food particles go down the plughole. After an amount of time, this debris builds up blocking the pipes and preventing water from draining. Use a metal sink strainer to catch debris before it washes away and pour left over oil into a lined container.
If your toilet is blocked and has started to overflow, the first thing to do is shut off the water. The water line should be next to the toilet with a valve, which needs to be turned counter clockwise. Once the water is stopped, use a plunger to try and dislodge the blockage. Alternately, use a ‘’snake’’ to poke the blockage out.
Leaking pipes need to be addressed quickly, otherwise the cost to your property and water bill could be huge. If the leak is coming from a joint, try grabbing a wrench and tightening it. If the pipe has a crack, a temporary fix is to use waterproof tape. For a long term solution, call in your local plumber who may need to replace part of the pipe.
Completely Burst Pipes
Common causes of a burst pipe include high water pressure, corrosion, clogs, freezing temperatures and tree root encroachment. When a pipe bursts, up to 100 gallons of water can release in eight hours! This is why you need to act fast or experience huge damage to your property. Turn off the water supply immediately, open a tap to relieve any remaining water pressure and call a plumber.
Water Heater Stopped Working
Has the hot water turned cold? Is the water discoloured and having a strange smell? These are just a few signs that point to a water heater malfunction. Possible causes could be a leak in the tank, a malfunctioning thermostat, frozen pipes or water pressure issues. Water heater maintenance is crucial, although many only think about it when the hot water fails. Call in your local plumber to deal with water heater issues and put a regular maintenance plan in place.