When you start your day, a potential plumbing emergency is the last thing on your mind. But the minute water floods from your old appliance or leaky pipes, you probably won’t be able to think of anything else until the problem is solved!
There’s never a convenient time for plumbing emergencies. Knowing what to expect and what to do when they happen will help you minimize their impact on your life and property. Here are six of the most common plumbing emergencies that businesses and families alike experience.
1. Overflowing Toilet
Whether your toilet is clogged or has a malfunctioning float mechanism, the first step to take is shutting off the water flow. The water valve is located at the bottom of the water line on the side of the toilet and should be turned counterclockwise.
Once you stop the water flowing into the toilet, the mechanism failure or clog can be addressed. Unclogging a toilet may be as simple as applying firm vertical pressure with a plunger.
More severe clogs may require an auger (or “snake”), which can be used to fish out debris blocking the flow of water. Once the debris is eliminated, twist on the water valve and reset the float device.
2. Stopped-Up Sink Drain
The primary way to avoid a stopped-up sink drain is to deter people from dumping coffee grounds, grease, and other dense waste down your drain. Though unfortunately, even the most careful homeowner sometimes has to deal with this nuisance.
If using a plunger to clear material from the drain does not work, you may require an auger. An auger is simple to use with a bit of practice and determination.
3. Burst Pipes
A burst pipe can release up to 100 gallons in eight hours, making it by far the most damaging plumbing emergency. Corrosion over the years can often lead to burst pipes.
If a pipe does burst, shut off the water supply immediately. Relocate any furniture or other items if possible to minimize further damage.
4. Leaking Pipes
Your approach to repairing a leaky pipe depends on where exactly the water is leaking.
- If the leak springs from the joint, first tighten the joint with a wrench. You may find that tightening one joint loosens another, so proceed with caution.
- If water leaks from the pipe, a rubber patch may do the trick. Another option is using waterproof tape over the leak.
5. Sump Pump Failure
If the sump pump is not working, remove the screen to make sure debris is not preventing impeller movement.
If the impeller is clear, your pump may not be receiving enough electricity or have a faulty float switch. If the pump has been running for an extended period of time, it may be shutting down due to thermal overload.
6. Water Heater Malfunction
Frequent water heater issues include:
- Water that is either too hot or too cold
- Noises coming from the water heater
- Water that has a strange color or odor
- A leaking tank
If the heater is leaking, call a professional for assistance. If there is no leak, flushing the water tank may solve color and odor problems and improve the heater’s efficiency.
What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency
Unless you’ve experienced an unexpected plumbing issue before, it can be challenging to know what to do when one arises. First, it’s essential that you don’t panic! If there is a leak, quick and decisive action is crucial to avoid extensive damage.
- Cover or catch small leaks: In the case of small leaks, you may be able to patch the pipes or connectors with plumber’s tape. Placing buckets or bowls under leaks to contain the water will also help minimize damage while dealing with the underlying issue.
- Turn off your water: Depending on the location and severity of your problem, you may need to shut off a water valve or possibly the main water line. This is a temporary fix that stops water flow until a more permanent correction can be made.
- Open spigots: After turning off your water, open the fixtures and faucets to remove any remaining resting water in your pipes.
- Call an emergency plumber: Plumbing emergencies don’t keep regular office hours, so you need a plumber who is available day or night to take your call and get there fast.
Let Plumbing by Jake Handle Your Plumbing Emergency
If one of these common plumbing emergencies has happened in your home, you need help now! Are you looking for speedy 24/7 emergency service in Arizona or Nevada? Then, make Plumbing by Jake your go-to source for heating, cooling, plumbing, and refrigeration repair.
Our experienced team of plumbers will help you with any plumbing emergency that you may be struggling with. We are available to take your call any time of the day or night, or you can schedule service online.