Plumbing emergencies can be frustrating and time-consuming, from the annoying drip-drip of a leaky faucet to a full-blown basement flood. Unfortunately, many of these plumbing disasters could have been avoided if the homeowner had taken preventive steps sooner or reacted more quickly when problems became apparent. Below are some common causes of plumbing emergencies and how to take proactive measures to avoid such catastrophes in your home. So, read on to become informed and better prepared for any plumbing issues.
1. Leaky Pipes
Imagine returning home to find a water bill that’s triple the normal amount. Leaky pipes can cause extensive damage to your home and cost you money in wasted water. To know if you have a leaky pipe, look for water stains on walls or floors, listen for dripping sounds from inside walls and cabinets, and check your water meter periodically.
If your meter changes with no corresponding change in water usage or shows movement, yet no one is using water in the house, you may have a leak. Regularly inspecting pipes and checking for rust or corrosion can help you detect leaks before they become serious problems.
To prevent this issue in the future, ensure your pipes are properly insulated to increase longevity and avoid pipe bursts. Additionally, invest in a water leak detection system with an automatic shut-off feature to quickly stop water flow in an emergency.
2. Malfunctioning Water Heater
When your water heater fails, it can lead to many unpleasant scenarios, such as no hot water and flooding. While these repairs can be costly, regular maintenance is key for keeping things running smoothly. It’s important to inspect the temperature and pressure relief valve yearly and flush out any sediment from the tank at least every six months to reduce the risk of overheating or other malfunctions.
In addition, make sure you check the anode rod periodically because it helps protect against corrosion. If left unchecked and untreated, this corrosion can cause significant damage to your water heater over time. Also, investing in an electric monitoring system that will alert you if there are any leaks from your water heater is an easy way to help ensure it runs efficiently and safely.
3. Clogged Toilets and Pipes
A backed-up toilet is one of the most disgusting things you can come home to. Unfortunately, this issue is fairly common and is usually caused by a build-up of foreign objects and debris in the pipes. To avoid these clogs, educating family members about what type of things, such as diapers, paper towels and hygiene products, should not be flushed is important.
If you experience a clog, don’t wait too long to call a plumber or attempt an at-home fix with drain cleaners or snakes because they can be dangerous and damaging to your plumbing system if used incorrectly. A professional will have the right tools and know how to safely unclog any blockages without causing further damage.
4. Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is a common annoyance that can be caused by a variety of issues, such as corrosion build-up, mineral deposits or a faulty regulator. To prevent this issue from occurring, it’s important to regularly check for leaks and inspect your faucets and showerheads for any signs of damage that could be causing the low water pressure.
If you suspect mineral deposits are to blame, try running distilled vinegar through the pipes, which should help break down any build-up over time. If this doesn’t work, replacing some or all of the plumbing system may be necessary to restore full water pressure.
5. Malfunctioning Sump Pump
A malfunctioning sump pump can be disastrous, especially if you live in a flood-prone area. To avoid this problem, ensure you test your sump pump regularly and clear the discharge line from any debris or obstructions that may prevent it from operating correctly. If possible, consider investing in a battery backup system so your pump will continue functioning even during power outages due to storms or other issues.
In addition, check the float switch and valve occasionally so they are properly aligned with the water level and functioning as intended. This should help keep your basement dry even during periods of heavy rainfall. Lastly, look into adding a water alarm to alert you if the basement begins to flood.
6. Frozen and Burst Pipes
During extremely cold weather, your plumbing system is at risk of freezing and bursting. To prevent this, winterize your pipes by insulating them with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves. Be sure to pay particular attention to exposed exterior and basement pipes, as these are most prone to freezing. Additionally, you can keep a small stream of water running through the pipes during especially cold days to help keep them from freezing.
In the event that your pipes freeze anyway, never try and thaw them with an open flame because this could cause dangerous explosions or further damage. Another dangerous trick is to pour boiling water over the pipes, which could cause them to burst. Instead, use a hair dryer on low heat and start from the faucet end, working your way outwards until the pipe thaws. If this proves difficult, it is best to call a plumber who can safely and efficiently restore your plumbing system to normal.
Frozen pipes are not the only reason why a pipe may burst. Another cause of burst pipes is an increase in water pressure. Some things, such as faulty valves or clogged pipes, can cause this. Having your plumbing system inspected regularly by a professional plumber to catch and fix any issues before they become emergencies is important. A company like Baker & Son’s Plumbing has reliable and professional plumbers who can help keep your pipes running smoothly for Marion, IL residents.
7. Worn-out Fixtures
While they may not be as serious as the other plumbing emergencies, worn-out fixtures can still cause costly repairs. To avoid this, inspecting all of your fixtures regularly for signs of corrosion or leaking is important. If you spot any damage, call a plumber right away so they can make necessary repairs before the issue worsens and causes more expensive damages.
If your fixtures are older and showing signs of wear and tear, consider replacing them with new ones that meet local code requirements and are designed to last longer. This will help keep your plumbing system functioning properly and safely while enhancing the look of your home or business.
Plumbing emergencies can be a major hassle, but with the right preventative measures, you can avoid them altogether. Regular maintenance and inspections by a professional plumber will help ensure that your plumbing system is functioning optimally, so you can enjoy worry-free use and save money on repairs down the road. With this advice, you should now better understand how to handle common plumbing emergencies and keep your home or business safe from water damage.
At Baker & Son’s Plumbing, we provide services ranging from water heaters, sewer and drain, and water filtration, among many others, to ensure you are comfortable and have access to clean water at all times. Contact Baker & Son’s Plumbing now for more information about our plumbing services.