The Top 5 Emergency Plumbing Problems (And How To Avoid Them!)

Homeowners encounter emergency plumbing problems every once in a while from issues with plumbing fixtures to drainage problems and burst pipes. Most of the plumbing problems can be addressed before they escalate to costly plumbing emergencies by fixing them early and conducting regular, general preventive home maintenance work. You can prevent and manage the top 5 home emergency plumbing problems yourself to reduce damage to the minimum and cut plumbing costs.

1. Clogged drains
Clogged drains are the most common plumbing problems in homes that you can easily avoid by paying attention to what goes down your drains. Don’t empty food scraps in the kitchen sink drain. Scrap food from plates into the trash bucket when doing the dishes. Also, fit screens over drains and every few weeks remove build-up food particles, soap scum, hair and other debris on the screens to avoid clogging.
Clean clogged drains yourself using a drain augur. Thread the augur in the drain hole and clear the entire clog. Alternatively, use chemical cleaning agents to clear clogged drains. Note that some chemical agents can erode the inside of pipes and cause more problems.
2. Leaking pipes
A leaking pipe can cause extensive damage to walls, floors, ceilings and other parts of the house when not addressed swiftly. Identify small leaks early to control them before they worsen. Check all pipes in the home for white lime deposits and rust that indicate areas where leaking is starting.
Cover holes on the pipe with special stick compounds like epoxy paste or wrap waterproof tape over the damaged spots to stop leaks temporarily. Make sure the pipe is completely dry when applying the fixes. You can also tighten pipe joints to stop leaks. Replace the entire leaking pipe to solve the problem permanently.
3. Hot water heater problems
Fixing electric heater problems yourself is dangerous due to the risk of electric shock. However, some less serious hot water heater problems you can fix yourself include too hot water, not enough hot water, dirty water and noisy heater. Check the heater system regularly to make sure it is working properly.
Reset the heater temperature control, if water is too hot. Relight the pilot light, if there is no water. Reset the thermostat settings, if there is not enough water. Drain, flush and refill the heater tank, if water is dirty or you hear noises. Follow the directions in the heater manufactures’ manual to complete these tasks.
4. Gas leaks
Gas leaks (ok they’re not stricly a plumbing issue) do not call for repair by ‘do-it-yourself enthusiasts’ because of the serious risk they pose to life. However, you can keep gas appliances in good condition and reduce chances of gas leaks by making sure gas appliances are always clean and free from fatty acids and grease.
Evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency plumber immediately, if you smell gas in the house. You should only attempt to turn off the gas metre supply from the control valve under professional guidance.
5. Toilet leaks
Leaking toilets can significantly add to your water bill. Make sure only toilet paper and sewage go into the toilet to avoid some emergency toilet plumbing problems. Jiggle the flushing handle and check if leaking stops. If leaking does not stop, you may have to call a professional plumber to fix the problem.
John writes for Blockbusters – an emergency plumbers in South East England.