The usual plumbing emergencies that happen at home include leaks, bursting pipes, broken faucets, clogged drains and toilets, overflowing toilet tanks, and frozen pipes. Here are simple steps to follow when these plumbing emergencies occur.
Leaks and water overflow
- For leaks and overflowing toilet tanks, shut off the valve nearest the bathroom. If there is none, or the valve is far from reach, shut off the main water valve instead. This is very important especially if the leak is too big and starts to soak the walls and the floor, since the water may reach an area where there is electrical wiring. If the floor starts to flood, also turn off the main electrical switch to avoid any occurrence of electrocution. Basements and laundry areas are usual areas that are easily flooded.
- If you have a water heating system installed, also switch off the power for the water heating system when you shut off the water valve. This is to avoid accidents when someone turns on the shower or a hot water faucet. The remaining water in the pipe tends to heat too much since water is no longer free flowing.
- Once the water valve and electrical switches have been turned off, you can call a master plumber to check and repair the pipes or the toilet.
- Start cleaning up the water that has leaked out to avoid soaking bathroom and kitchen products. If the weather allows it, open the windows to allow ventilation. Otherwise, turn on your dehumidifier to avoid the growth of molds and mildew inside the home. Move the furniture that are soaked to dry.
- For clogged drains and toilets, turn off the water valve or faucet to avoid overflowing. The first option to declog the drain or toilet is to use a plunger to remove whatever is clogging the drain. Make sure you have separate plungers for the sink, tub and the toilet.
- If using the plunger does not work, then contact a plumber to properly remove the obstructing object by opening the pipes.
The most commonly used plumbing item at home is the faucet, especially the one in the kitchen. There are times that it simply no longer shuts off. This may be a simple task of replacing the faucet, and with the right tools, you can replace it without the help of a plumber.
- First, shut off the valve to the faucet, or the main water valve.
- Remove the faucet with a wrench.
- Replace with a new faucet, making sure it fits properly to avoid leaks.
- Turn on the water valve and test the new faucet.
In states that experience extremely cold weather, it is possible for the pipes to freeze. The first option is to defrost the pipes with a warm hair blower. This process may be slow, but is safe since it will not damage the pipes and pipe-fittings. To avoid freezing, ensure that your home heating is warm enough, including the basement.