Home plumbing is a sensitive matter because malfunctions tend to erupt into household disasters. The frustrating matter of fact is that the problem often stays ‘silent’ for long – i.e. without visible symptoms – before it reaches the point of no return. This is why preventative maintenance of your household’s plumbing system is the best strategy to avoid a debacle. In order to be properly prepared for these terrible occasions, here’s the basic approach to troubleshooting residential plumbing emergencies.
On the one hand, you have to call professionals as soon as the problem begins to manifest in a form that you cannot contain. On the other hand, your readiness to engage with the plumbing problem for damage control is also crucial. It is all a matter of achieving the best case scenario in terms of infrastructural damage and the overall costs of repairs and renovations.
This is why the DIY approach should be limited to making sure the leaks and overflows are sustained until professionals come over. If you tackle the damage control while you wait for the professionals to arrive, you can reduce the overall costs significantly.
The most common problems
Statistically speaking, there are several common plumbing issues that crop up all around the world. Leaky fixtures are by far the most common problem. These are usually the first ‘symptoms’ that become glaringly obvious, and you need to have a wrench somewhere in your household to turn the shutoff valve. If the leaks are incessant, you can tie a piece of cloth around the leaking area. The water flow will soak the cloth and it’ll be redirected to a bucket.
Burst pipes are another common plumbing problem and a true emergency. As you wait for the professionals to arrive, you should definitely locate the main shutoff valve for your entire household and close it. Water overflow does not only damage infrastructure, it is also dangerous if it comes into contact with the electrical grid, so if your household gets flooded, you have to turn off the main valve and the electricity for the entire household while you wait.
Find a dedicated plumber
Genuine pros, as this experienced Canberra-based plumber, can deal with most plumbing problems you can imagine. They are renowned for their versatility and efficiency, and finding a dedicated plumber who will know your home inside-out can be a true life-saver.
Having your own plumber on speed-dial – the one who will know the weak spots, the drains that tend to get blocked and how to isolate possible problems – is a prerequisite for avoiding large-scale water disasters. These days, having a dedicated plumber and an electrician is just as important as having your own doctor – the one who knows how the patient breathes and where their weak spots are.
A faulty float valve or arm is the most common (and notorious) problem with cisterns. When this problem arises, it means that your cistern is filling up with water constantly which has two severe consequences: one, it makes a lot of noise, two, it wastes water. After you turn off the water supply, lift the cistern cover and look for damage in order to save time once the professional arrives.
Frozen pipes are another very sensitive issue that requires professional help. This is something you should not tackle by yourself! After the pipes are repaired, you should definitely look to invest in solid piping insulation.
What to avoid
When it comes to the plethora of possible problems with your piping and drainage, there are several simple things you should avoid when tackling problems yourself. Avoid pouring boiling water down the toilet because it might cause it to crack. Don’t throw big objects into your toilet, not even large quantities of tissue paper, because it will cause plumbing emergencies. If you live in a house, watch not to plant trees or shrubbery over sewer lines and watch what you throw down your garbage disposal – anything fibrous and oily will create a problem in the long run.
Even though large-scale plumbing emergencies can get disastrous, they are far from uncommon. In fact, every household faces such situations at least once every two years. This means that there is a wealth of knowledge based on experience out there, which bodes well for you and your household if you’ve never faced such matters before. Troubleshooting details for residential plumbing emergencies, such as the ones mentioned above, are just one click away.