February 11, 2022
What is a Plumbing Emergency?
Guide to Plumbing Emergency
What is a plumbing emergency? If a crisis of any sort besets you, the best remedy begins with a deep understanding of the situation so that you can deliver a suitable solution.
Suppose you have been surprised by a plumbing emergency. In that case, the best course of action involves calling in a professional plumber, especially if you are not entirely sure how to handle the issue.
Before we begin looking over some of the most common plumbing emergencies, it is essential to remember that the severity of the issue can make all the difference. Some of the most common problems should be addressed by an experienced plumbing service, like Furnace Repair Calgary.
Extremely Hot Water
There is hardly anything better in the world than a nice warm shower, but scalding hot water can cause injury. If the water coming out of your taps is hot enough to burn or is steaming considerably, you could have an issue with your water heater. Since scalding hot water has a much higher temperature than desired, this means that your water heater is overheating.
The solution, turn off the water heater. You could also allow the scalding hot water to flow out of your pipes. Eventually, all the water will drain and become cold again. You can then call in a technician if the problem persists.
Leaking faucets do a lot more than keep you up at night. A leaky pipe or faucet can cause extensive water damage if the moisture is not contained, not to mention the cost of wasted water. When small leaks, use only your hands to close taps and faucets. Wrenches can damage delicate valves and cause an even bigger problem.
If the water is still leaking, shut off the water entering your home. Subsequently, you can assess the situation and decide what to do next. Call a professional plumber if you aren’t confident that you can solve the issue yourself.
Plumbers work many overtime hours in Canada during the winter to address frozen pipes. If you have noticed that your pipes have frozen over, look for splitting damage or places where the plumbing parts have been forced open. When you see any damage, this is a sign that you should call in the plumbing emergency professionals.
If you don’t see any damage, you can begin to slowly thaw the pipes with a hairdryer placed on low heat. Make sure you thaw out the entire line by focusing on one part at a time. Remember that electricity and water do not combine well, so don’t use a hairdryer if you are standing in or near a pool of water. Never use an open flame for this task as it is hazardous. You could harm yourself, and you run the risk of damaging the pipe and causing an even bigger problem.
To avoid frozen pipes:
- Wrap pipes to insulate them
- Disconnect attachments.
- Keep your home warmer.
- Keep cabinets open so that warm air gets to your pipes.
There is not much you can do about a leaky pipe. The first thing to do will be to shut off the main valve to the home and call in the professionals. Leaking and broken pipes will always require a professional with experience. The plumber performing the plumbing emergency should also inspect the rest of the plumbing systems to ensure everything is in good order.
Some home remedy quick fixes are available online, but we don’t recommend this course of action. If you want to address the problem, the best thing to do is shut off the water and leave the pipe alone. Pouring chemicals down the drain can make it hard for the professional plumber to work and even cause a bigger problem.
Leaking Water Heater
A leak from your water heater can lead to more severe problems, especially moisture damage to the floor and walls. The destruction can be painful if not caught in time, and the repairs are extremely costly. Check the drip pan first. If full, it is safe to assume the issue is with the water heater. If not, the problem can be coming from a leak in the room. Either way, you will still need to call a plumber to help remedy this issue.
If the leak is coming from your water heater, you should immediately shut off the water supply to the system. There is usually a cold-water valve somewhere above or on the side of your water heater. As an extra precaution, you should also turn off the main valve to the home. After this, shut off the water heater as well. How you shut it off depends on the type of water heater:
Electric Water Heater
Shut off the circuit-breaker. Some of these units also plug into a conventional socket. Locate this connection and pull the plug.
Gas Water Heaters
Begin by shutting off the gas line. The gas line connects to a valve at the bottom of the heater in a yellow and black striped box. Most of these have a large handle and a diagram indicating how to shut off the water heater.
You won’t find all water heaters conveniently located near a drain. If yours is not, you will need to find a way to remove the water from the base of your water heater as fast as possible.
When shut off, you can then connect a simple garden hose to the valve at the bottom of the heater and drain the water to the nearest receptacle or garden.
If you feel comfortable handling these problems, go ahead and give it a shot. If you don’t feel you can handle this, don’t worry about it. It is better to call in the professionals who will avoid further damage. Our team of professional plumbers will arrive at your home and show you exactly how to handle these issues in the future to prevent causing a bigger problem than you already have.
Plugs and Clogs
Drains make the most use of all the elements of indoor plumbing emergency. Their daily use slowly increases the likelihood that a clog will form. But most of the time, there is plenty of fair warning before a drain fully clogs. If you notice that some of your drains have been taking longer to drain than others, it is time to call in the professionals and deliver a solution.
There are a variety of solutions for a clogged drain that you can attempt yourself, and many of them are pretty effective. But if you have already taken the plunger or a chemical cleaner to the clog and it persists, you will need to call in the professionals with professional-level drain clearing gear.
If you have a clogged drain, the backup can soon spill all over the home and cause extensive water damage. The situation can be much worse if sewer water runs through your home.
Toilets are an essential aspect of indoor plumbing emergency and can be affected by a clog just like any other plumbing apparatus. If you have tried the plunger to dislodge a toilet clog, and your efforts were unsuccessful, then a professional response is in order.
Toilets that continuously run will waste a lot of water and increase your water bill. Luckily, this is a reasonably easy problem to solve. Just open the lid from the toilet reservoir and inspect the various elements at play. The flapper and seal should be in their proper positions, and the toilet float should also be functioning correctly to close the water when the tank is full. If you notice anything out of order, replacements for all these components are available at your nearest supplies store. If you are unfamiliar with restoring functionality to your toilet, don’t feel bad about calling in the professionals. Remember to shut off the water to your toilet while you are working.
If the leak reaches the floor, you will need a professional plumber to ascertain the extent of the problem and deliver a speedy solution.
If the water in your home smells like sewage, it could very likely be contaminated. This smell could be coming from a drain, a tap, a leak or some other plumbing element or anomaly. The foul odour is indicative of a problem in the septic tank or the sewer system. It is not a good idea to begin looking for a solution to such an issue yourself; better call in the professionals for this one.
If your waste disposal is not working as intended, and you feel comfortable taking on this small project, you attempt to clear the clog yourself. Begin with an Allen wrench and secure it in the button on the unit. You can now slowly turn it to the left and right a few times to work the blockage loose.
If you see that this works, go ahead and grab some tongs and pull the blockage from the disposal unit. Run cold water into the drain to clear out anything else that may have become trapped in the blades. Now you can press the reset button and see how things go. Turn the water on and start up the disposal.
If you still don’t see any movement, the problem may be more significant than you can address with DIY techniques. Call in the plumbers to inspect the mechanisms, pipes and electrical lines.