No one wants to be in the position where they need to call an emergency plumber. It’s not just that having a plumbing emergency is costly, it’s also a huge hassle, can do damage to your home, and may even be gross. We go to more than our fair share of plumbing emergencies, and homeowners often want to know how they can avoid ever getting into their situation again. If you know you’d feel the same, then it’s smart to look through this list and make sure you’re avoiding these eight most common plumbing emergencies.
1. Clogged Toilet
When a toilet clogs, there is a chance it will backup, and few other things get a homeowner’s attention like that. It’s gross and, when a plunger fails, your only real recourse is to call a plumber. So, how do you avoid it?
Clogged toilets are caused when you flush something down there that doesn’t belong. It’s particularly a problem with small or low-flow toilets that may not even be able to handle some typical use. You should not put anything down a toilet you don’t need to, from sanitary products to baby diapers to leftovers. Next, if clogs happen a lot for you, you may consider getting a new toilet.
2. Burst Pipes
The leaks that often cause the most damage are burst pipes, which is usually when a line that supplies water burst completely open and just keeps going. You need to shut down your home’s water to stop it, and then need an emergency plumber to address it.
Avoiding burst pipes is about generally keeping your plumbing in good condition. Ensure your pipes aren’t too old, aren’t under too much pressure, and don’t have a partial clog that can turn into an outright blockage. Keep your home warm in freezing temperatures to avoid pipe damage, and make sure trees aren’t planted too close to the pipes because this can also cause issues.
3. Sewer Clogs or Backups
The smell from sewer issues is often not for the faint of heart. They can also cause damage, cause all of your fixtures to backup with water and are generally just full of potential to damage your home. Sewer clogs and back-ups need to be handled quickly by a plumber.
How do you avoid them? Just as with a clogged toilet, using the sewer properly is key to avoiding the issue. Don’t pour things down any drain that doesn’t belong there. This includes fats and greases (toss them in the garbage) and hair from your shower (use a hair trap.) Also, don’t plant trees close enough to the sewer that their roots can grow into it.
That said, sewer clogs are usually the result of long-term uses or sometimes even originate in the city’s portion of the line. Sometimes the clog and backup just aren’t your fault. But we can still help.
4. Clogged Sinks, Tubs
Smaller clogs in sinks and tubs aren’t as serious as issues in the sewer but they can still become an emergency, especially if it is your only sink or your only tub. For seniors and children, it’s often not an option to not use a sink or tub for a while. So, emergency plumbers will come out to help you with these.
Avoiding clogged sinks and tubs is often about trusting the plumber over the DIY options you read on the internet. Many homeowners have turned slow draining sinks into outright clogs by using chemicals or trying to get baking soda keep into the pipe. Call a plumber for maintenance instead.
5. Broken Water Lines
There are leaks that supply water to your house that can break and cause a serious leak. Unfortunately, these kinds of issues are normally caused by things over which you don’t have much control. Earthquakes, construction equipment and highwater pressure are typically the causes of broken water lines. Our best advice is, if you’re involved in local government, make sure it is a priority to keep the water supply and sewers in good working order.
6. No Hot Water
While not always an emergency, a lack of hot water can be a serious inconvenience. For some people who need hot water to handle their health concerns or who need hot water to run their home-based business, a lack of hot water really can be an emergency. And, even if you feel like it is just a huge inconvenience, you can still get an emergency plumber to handle this issue.
When you don’t have hot water, your water heater is usually the culprit. The tank versions can spring leaks; the tankless versions can break down. The best way to avoid these kinds of issues is to make sure your water heater is properly maintained every year.
7. Major Leaks
Whether your water heater, your pool, or your washing machine has sprung a leak, it can end up spilling out a major amount of water, which can do your home some serious damage. Avoiding major leaks is a pretty general task. You need to make sure that your appliances are installed properly and kept in good condition. You also need to make sure that you’ll notice leaks before they become major problems. Survey your
8. Sump Pump Failure
Many homes are equipped with sump pumps to handle especially intense rainfall or floods. That means when your sump pump isn’t working; you are probably dealing with another emergency on top of that. So, it is incredibly important to avoid this one. Have a plumber inspect your sump pump yearly to ensure it isn’t clogged and hasn’t broken down.
Not sure if something that you’re doing might cause a plumbing emergency? You can always reach out to plumbers you trust to find out if you should change what you’re doing. Although know that our first recommendation is usually “no,” you probably shouldn’t put that down the drain. If you can avoid it, then you can avoid most major plumbing issues too.