4 Common Plumbing Emergencies to Avoid
Plumbing, in some ways, seems like “dumb” technology. It doesn’t have complex silicon inside it, doesn’t require a Wi-Fi connection to work, and you don’t even have to create an account or calibrate anything in order to use it. Instead, pipes just “sit there,” and primitive physics like pressure are what keep indoor plumbing working.
So because indoor plumbing uses such comparatively simple technology, many people make the mistake of assuming that this makes it safe to ignore. But while the very simplicity of plumbing means that often it can work for decades flawlessly, it’s not indestructible. Things can go wrong, and these four plumbing emergencies are the ones every household she is aware of.
The Leaking Fixture
As emergencies go, fixtures that leak often present the least amount of physical threat to your home.
On the other hand, the constant drip can cause no end of irritation, and of course, it’s still water coming out of a showerhead or tap, so at the end of the month, you still have to pay for it, even if you didn’t actually use it.
This, however, is a comparatively easy fix. In the majority of leaky fixture cases, usually wear and tear of a small, easily replaceable part has occurred. So if you get a wrench, and go out and get a replacement washer and O-ring, swapping these parts out often fixes your problem.
Your Drain Is Blocked
In the case of a blocked drain, more often than not, this is a problem you chose to ignore and allowed to get worse. A blocked drain is a simple matter of hair, food or some other waste accumulating in a pipe, eventually preventing water from flowing out of your sink when the plug is pulled.
This blockage takes time, however, so usually, you’ll notice your drain being “slow” before it completely blocks. If you have a slow drain, careful use of products like drain cleaners—which contain corrosive chemicals—can bring back speedy drain results.
If you ignore the problem to the point that it becomes completely blocked, don’t just use excessive amounts of drain cleaner! This can break very old pipes, and even melt or warp modern plastic ones! A plunger or plumber’s auger is a safer, mechanical solution.
Your Toilet Overflows
This is the most unpleasant emergency, especially if it happens to you when you flush the toilet.
Like with a blocked drain, something has now blocked the pipe somewhere in the vicinity of your toilet, and waste the flushes down it is now just flowing out and onto your bathroom floor.
Human waste is a health risk, so carefully clean up the mess, then try the mechanical blocked drain solutions, or get the professionals in to help.
Your Pipe Has Burst
Which pipe has burst, and where the break is located are going to be the two factors that determine just how serious an emergency this is.
If your water pipe has burst somewhere within the second floor, this can mean wall or ceiling damage from the area where the water is constantly leaking.
If the break occurs to your drainage pipe in the basement, this could mean all wastewater—including toilet water—is now being deposited in your basement. There are scope and scale to the types of plumbing emergencies you’ll have in Falls Church, VA. Some issues you can handle yourself, but others require a trusted, reputable professional to do the job right.