You never expect to have a plumbing emergency on the weekend or when guests are over, but it can happen. Here is some guidance on how to handle the most common emergencies that can occur at home and what you should do to resolve them.
Home Plumbing Issues
If you’ve been in your house long enough, you’ve probably had one or more plumbing issues, such as:
- Toilets that are blocked
- Pipes that are leaking
- Clogged drains
- Water that is discolored or has an unusual odor.
- A lack of water pressure
Some of these plumbing emergencies are simpler to resolve than others. Most individuals can plunge a toilet, but identifying and fixing a broken pipe portion is more difficult.
Resolving Emergency Plumbing Issues At Home
Time is of importance in many plumbing crises. The longer an issue is ignored, the more serious the consequences may become.
This is why many individuals employ specialists to discover and solve significant plumbing problems as soon as possible. A professional often has the tools and skills necessary to swiftly detect a problem and perform long-term repairs.
However, you may not always be able to wait for competent service. You might also attempt to save money by repairing the issue yourself. DIY repairs are a viable alternative for certain less serious problems.
However, before you start repairing the disposal or clearing a clog, here are a few pointers on how to deal with a plumbing issue in your home:
Tip #1: Find Out Where Your Plumbing Cutoff Valves Are
Being as knowledgeable as possible about your plumbing system is one of the most critical things you can do to remedy a plumbing issue. Where the cutoffs/isolation valves for your water pipes are placed throughout your house is a fundamental piece of knowledge you should know before trying to address any plumbing issues.
Some plumbing repairs require accessing or even removing pipes, which cannot be done safely with water flowing through them. It’s crucial to know where you may turn off the water supply while doing repairs.
Also, even if you “know” you won’t be dealing with the hot water line, understand how to shut off the water heater and turn it off before removing any pipes. If you open the hot water line while the heater is on, you might get serious burns.
Tip #2: Ensure That You Have a Few Plumbing Tools On Hand
The appropriate equipment may make a significant difference in how simple a plumbing repair is.
The following are some of the tools that every homeowner should have (but are not limited to):
- A bucket, to be precise. As a tool caddy and for collecting spilled water beneath a leaking pipe or pipe that you’re working on.
- Plungers are a kind of plunger (cup and forced cup). Cup plungers are useful for pushing sink obstructions through the line, while forced cup plungers are excellent for unclogging toilets.
- Brush using an old or specially designated toothbrush. Toothbrushes are perfect for cleaning and removing debris from the interior of a drain or pipe.
- A wrench that can be adjusted screwing and unscrewing pipes is a breeze with this tool.
- Pliers with a slip-joint joint. When working with smaller pipes, this tool comes in handy.
- Screwdriver with many bits or a screwdriver kit. It’s used for putting together and dismantling specific pipe assemblies and cabinets.
- Allen keys and wrenches are sometimes beneficial for repairing trash disposals and faucets.
- Tape for ducts and sealing joints. Duct tape may be used to keep pipes together temporarily. Sealing tape is beneficial for forming a better seal and preventing leaks in new pipe installations by wrapping around pipe threads.
- Rags/paper towels. Spills are cleaned up using this.
- Snakeing the drain. It may be used to clear obstructions in pipes that are difficult to reach.
- When working on plumbing, keep your hands safe and clean.
- Eye protection is a must. Protect your eyes from infections and injury by wearing goggles.
You should be able to do a variety of plumbing repairs around the house with this equipment.
Tip #3: Before Attempting a DIY Fix, Determine the Nature and Severity of the Plumbing “Emergency”
Some plumbing issues are simple to resolve. Others, on the other hand, aren’t so clear-cut.
A clogged toilet or drain is a common enough problem, and there are many ways to fix such a problem. Leaky pipes may require just a quick inspection & tightening, the use of sealing tape, or even a complete replacement of a section of pipe, depending on the nature of the leak.
Consider hiring a professional plumbing service straight away if an issue is especially serious and you’re not sure how to fix it.
Tip #4: Act Quickly to Prevent Additional Damage
It’s critical to act quickly after you’ve detected a plumbing problem. Your comment should be based on how you see the issue.
Place a bucket beneath the leak location to collect any water, for example, if you discover a gradual leak in a water supply line. This may aid in the prevention of water damage to the structure.
A bigger leak, on the other hand, could be too much for a bucket to manage. In this instance, you should immediately turn off the water supply to the faulty pipe. Turn off the isolation valve that controls the water supply to that pipe.
After you’ve dealt with the immediate issue, devote some time to researching the topic and seeking particular counsel.
Tip #5: Obtain a Set of Assistive Hands
Some plumbing repairs are easier to do with the assistance of a second person.
Many kitchen sinks, for example, feature two drains or a drain and an overflow. When you plunge one drain, the air merely escapes down the other drain or overflows, rather than breaking up the blockage.
Having a second person cover the other drain while you plunge the first keeps air trapped in the pipe, allowing the pressure to dislodge the blockage.
The second set of hands and eyes may also help to improve overall safety.
Hopefully, the information provided above will assist you in being better prepared to deal with a plumbing problem at your house.
Remember to seek expert assistance if a plumbing situation is very complex or risky to resolve. Professionals have the knowledge and expertise to handle most plumbing issues safely and effectively.
If it is not an emergency, it means you have time to go a bit slower. Learn more about home plumbing repairs in DIY Plumbing Repair Tips: How To Run Waterlines In A House.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you handle a plumbing emergency?
A: With calm, the right tools, and some elbow grease.
What are the dos and dont’s of plumbing?
A: There are a few dos to follow when plumbing.
1) Do avoid using detergents or other cleaners with phosphates in them since they will corrode copper pipes over time.
2) Do use the correct kind of pipe joint compound for your type of pipe. Usually, PEX is used on plastic piping while PVC joints require flexible cement.
3) Now that you have all of this done, do make sure these materials are applied correctly so it doesn’t lead to leaks later on down the line!
How can I improve the plumbing in my house?
A: Inspect your plumbing and make any repairs when they are needed.
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