Tips on Handling Emergency Plumbing Situations

At some point, plumbing systems in the home will fail. This will leave the homeowner to have to figure out what to do in an emergency plumbing situation. Being prepared can help the homeowner to avoid costly damage to their home.

Plumbing Emergencies That Can Happen

There are a broad variety of plumbing emergencies that homeowners may face. These can happen suddenly, or there may be warning signs leading up to the emergency. Some emergencies that may be found include:

  • Sewer line clogs – A sewer line clog often gives out a warning before completely backing up into the home. Slow drain times and gurgling sounds are often a strong indicator of a clogged drain.
  • Clogged toilet – A clogged toilet will not flush well and may make different noises.
  • Leaks – Small leaks can, over time, turn into big leaks that cause a plumbing emergency. It is a good idea for homeowners to look for leaks periodically.
  • No water – No water could be an issue with the city’s water or could be an issue with a well pump or other component of the plumbing system.
  • No hot water – Problems with the water heater can cause a no hot water problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
  • Cloudy or dark water – In some cases, sediment and other contaminants can get into the water, making it unsafe to drink. A plumber will be able to correct this issue quickly.
  • Flooding – If a pipe bursts under the home or inside the home, this can lead to water flooding the home. This can cause a vast amount of damage and lead to an extensive cleanup. This is why it is so important for the water to be cut off immediately following a plumbing emergency. If a homeowner has water that has severely flooded their home, they will need to call a water remediation company and a plumber quickly.

How to Handle a Plumbing Emergency

Knowing how to handle a plumbing emergency is important. Here are several tips to ensure that homeowners can address an emergency plumbing issue quickly.

1. Turn Off the Water

One of the first things that should be done as soon as the plumbing emergency is found is to ensure that all the water is turned off to the affected area. If the exact spot cannot be found, the main valve should be turned off. For example, if a toilet is leaking, it can be turned off by the valve behind the toilet. However, if the leak is severe or the valve will not turn off, the main line should be shut down. If a homeowner hears a leak but cannot find it, the main water line should be turned off until the leak is found and corrected.

2. Calling a Reputable Plumbing Company

As soon as the plumbing emergency is discovered, and after the water has been turned off, the plumbing company should be called. To find the best plumbing company in the area, homeowners should do their research to ensure that they find out that does plumbing emergency services and one that has great reviews. A homeowner should always have a good plumbing company on standby for these types of plumbing emergencies.

3. Contact The Water Company

If the homeowner is on city or water that comes from a local water company, they should call them immediately to ensure that the leak is not on their part of the line. Often times, plumbing emergencies are a result of the main line or too much water pressure from the water company.

4. Inspect the System

Once a homeowner has noticed a plumbing emergency, they need to inspect the area to see what the problem is. They will need to look at the pipes coming into the house, the sewer drains, and the rest of the system to try to figure out what the issue may be. Simple issues like a clogged toilet may be an easy fix. If the homeowner has a busted pipe or severe septic line clog, they will definitely want to make sure that they contact their plumber.

5. Repairing Small Leaks

If a small leak is found, it can be temporarily fixed with plumbing tape. If the leak cannot be fixed, rags or towels should be placed around the leak to try and soak up the water. If the leak is severe, the water should be turned off, and a bucket should be placed under the leak to catch any remaining water that might be trapped in the pipes.

6. Draining the Plumbing Lines

After the water has been turned off from the main valve, it is important that the rest of the water trapped in the lines be drained out. This can be done by turning on the spigots located on the outside of the home. Hook up the water hose, and try to drain the line. If there are any issues with getting the drain line to open, a plunger may need to be used. Homeowners should avoid any chemical drain cleaners in the drain line as this could worsen the issue.

7. Doing a Water Heater Inspection

With any plumbing emergency, you will want to make sure that you turn off your water heater’s water supply. This will need to be done only after turning off the main valve. If it is done the other way, it can cause the water heater to overheat and burst. If the hot water heater uses gas, it is a good idea to make sure that the gas is turned off first.

8. Routine Maintenance

A good way to avoid these plumbing emergencies is to ensure that a routine maintenance inspection is done on the plumbing at least once a year. During an inspection, a plumber will come out and check the entire plumbing system. Everything from the drain lines to the main water lines will be inspected. If there is an issue, the plumber will be able to correct that issue before it turns into a potentially expensive plumbing emergency.

9. Do Not Panic

During a plumbing emergency, it is easy for a homeowner to panic. If they have wastewater backing into their home, or they have no water, it can be easy to get stressed out. By calling a reliable plumber and doing some troubleshooting, they should not have to panic about plumbing emergencies.

The best thing that a homeowner can do when dealing with a plumbing issue is to do the tips above and to stay calm. By calling a reliable plumbing company, they will be able to determine what the problem is and how to correct it. They will also be able to help to avoid any future plumbing issues.