There hardly would be a person who had never faced a plumbing issue at home or the workplace. Usually, there is a lot of pipework in homes and commercial or business properties. Amenities like water, gas, and sewerage systems all need a complete pipe network. Under normal circumstances, this entire system is supposed to work flawlessly, and it does so.
But at any point, you may face water or gas leaks, choking of the sewerage system, or leaks in the sewerage system. The problem may be minor at the first instance but may aggravate if attended on time. As a result, water supply to washrooms and kitchens may be affected.
In case of significant leaks, serious problems may arise, such as flooding, water supply leaks, or a fire in gas leaks. Hence, it would help if you were well-prepared to react swiftly in a plumbing emergency.
Understanding Plumbing Emergency
A plumbing emergency can be defined as a situation where a water or gas leak is so severe that it may cause harm to you and your property. Minor leaks, though not come under the definition of an emergency, can also sometimes become an emergency.
Water or gas leaks might occur due to a damaged or burst pipe and would be considered a plumbing emergency. Similarly, a choked drain that may result in severe restroom issues is also an emergency. On the other hand, a disruption in the hot water supply, especially in the extreme winter season, would also be a significant emergency that would need the services of a plumber.
Home water leaks, whether minor or significant, are equivalent to quite a considerable wastage of water yearly. So, the leaks, whether water or gas, should always be treated as urgent. Hence, you need to get the details about any possible plumbing emergency at your home or workplace in consultation with a qualified plumber.
Signs Of Plumbing Emergencies
Knowing the situations that reflect and indicate a plumbing emergency is quite essential. Observing the following lets you quickly evaluate whether it’s time to call a plumber.
- Water Leaks – It is the most prominent sign of a plumbing emergency. You can easily see the water leaking from a damaged or burst pipe. But sometimes, it’s not that simple. Water may leak in some parts of your home, which apparently cannot be noticed and remain hidden. This hidden leakage may be even more dangerous, as it would have caused considerable damage to your building before you see it. Any sign of dampness in your home may be due to this hidden leak.
- Water Stains – The hidden water leak may appear in the shape of stains on walls or ceilings. If that occurs, it is already a situation beyond emergency. Colors do not appear in a day or two. It happens when the water leaks for quite some time without your noticing.
- Gas Leaks – Gas leaks can be another severe safety hazard. You can notice it quickly if you have gas-detecting devices installed in your home. You can also detect it with its unique smell. A gas leak is an immediate threat, even if minor, as it may result in an explosion or fire at any time. So, a gas leak is always an emergency.
- Damaged and burst pipes – A very easily visible plumbing emergency might be damaged or burst. If there’s any such pipe in your home, it is yet another plumbing emergency.
- Considerable pressure drop in water supply – If you notice a substantial pressure drop in your washroom or kitchen, it may also be a sign of a water leak somewhere in your home.
- Choked drains – A choked drain in your kitchen is also an indication of a plumbing emergency. Although you may try DIY methods to clear the drains, you may have to call a plumber if the situation persists.
- Overflowing toilets – This may happen for various reasons, such as clogging pipes or a mechanical fault in the float system. You must call a plumber immediately if that is the case with your toilet.
- Backflow in Sewerage System – This happens when there’s a blockage in the sewerage system of your home. It may result in a smell prevailing all around your home. It may also be noticed in disruption in the outflow of sewerage water.
What To Do In Case Of A Plumbing Emergency
Although you will have to call a plumber to fix the problem, there are some essential steps that you must take before calling him. Let’s see what you need to do in case of an emergency plumbing issue.
- Shut off the water supply near the leaking spot. Or, you may turn off the main water supply valve, which must be near your home’s main entrance.
- In any case, you should also turn off the hot water supply valve. It is essential to avoid any possibility of burns due to excessive or overheated water supply.
- Try to fix the minor water leaks on your own. You may use water leak tapes to control such leaks. Sometimes, you may need to tighten a specific water tap or pipe with home plumbing tools. But it is advisable not to play too much with them. Just give it a try. Leave it there and wait for the plumber if it doesn’t work.
- In case of excessive leaks, you may need to soak it up with towels or wipe it out with a wiper to clear the floor from flowing water. You may need to place a bucket under the pipe or tap from where water leaks.
- It is not advisable to use chemicals to clear the clogged drains. It may prove harmful to the entire plumbing and sewerage system of your building.
- In case of a gas leak, you must immediately cut off the gas supply by turning off the main gas supply valve, often available near the main entrance of your home.
As discussed above, once the precautionary steps are taken, it’s time to call your plumber and resolve the problems.
What To Do To Avoid A Plumbing Emergency
While your plumber will fix the problems in case of an emergency, you can try the following steps to avoid any such situation in the future.
- Whether living in your own home or a rented home, always learn about the entire pipework and its safety valves’ location. You should be well aware of the location of the main supply valves often installed near your house’s main entrance.
- Don’t throw waste materials in the drain system. It will result in choking and clogging of pipes.
- Never wait for the disaster; try to replace the worn-out parts instantly.
- Only try to fix the problem on your own if you are sure about the nature of the problem.
- Use safety gadgets such as gas leak detectors.
- Inspect the entire pipework more often. If you notice any damaged part, get it fixed, even if it is a minor one. If left unattended, it may turn into a significant issue at a later stage.
Every home and business or workplace is fitted with a network of gas and water supply pipes, in addition to the waste management or sewerage system. Usually, this entire network of pipes works quite safely. However, it has various inbuilt vulnerabilities, such as leaks or blockages.
In case of any gas or water leakage, your building and its occupants will come under threat of being damaged or hurt. This situation often results in plumbing emergencies, which need immediate remedial action. You must know how to avoid any significant impact of such a situation. And more importantly, you need to learn how to prevent such occurrences in the future.
So, learn about the pipework of your home, how to react in case of an emergency, and, more importantly, keep handy the contact number of your plumber.