December 19th, 2018
Although not every plumbing problem is considered an emergency, it’s really important that you know what needs to be dealt with immediately and what are considered ‘emergencies’! When you have a plumbing emergency in your home, water can not only be highly disruptive, but it can cause structural damage and threaten the safety of your home and your family. Therefore, in plumbing emergencies you need to act quickly to contain water and minimise damage.
The best way to avoid potential plumbing emergencies is to be prepared and take what precautionary action you can … before anything happens. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the plumbing system in your home, taking note of where shut off valves are so that you can get to them quickly in an emergency. It is also advisable to check that valves work by turning them off and then back on again so that if a plumbing emergency happens you can contain the damage as quickly as possible.
First, let’s go through what are considered plumbing emergencies. Some examples of plumbing emergencies that need immediate attention are:
If your water is running extremely hot, hot enough to cause burns, there may be a problem with the temperature settings on your water heater. This can be especially dangerous, as it can be easily forgotten about until someone runs a shower.
If you turn your faucet off but the water keeps coming out, there may be a problem with your shut-off valve, and it is likely no longer working. Water will continue to pour out until the valve is repaired.
If you notice that you have lost pressure in your plumbing or can hear water running outside the house, it’s possible your pipes may have frozen up and burst fur to the expansion of the ice. This water will also continue to run until the burst pipe is repaired or replaced.
Now, we can go through what immediate action you can take if you are experiencing a plumbing emergency. It’s important to follow the below steps until you can get a plumber round:
Turn water off at the neatest source. If you are having trouble with a burst pipe, you may have to find the main water supply located often outside. Make sure you turn the valve all the way off.
Once you have turned off the main valve, immediately turn off the water heater in order to prevent from building inside the main unit. If heat builds up in the water heater, the tank is likely to overheat and burst. If you have a gas heater, turn the gas off before you turn the water heater off.
If there is water leaking in your home, make sure you first contain it and then soak up the excess water with towels or a mop. If the leak in your pipes is quite small, you can often wrap it up with some tape or rags. Make sure you keep a bucket near to contain any drips.
Regardless of how small or insignificant your emergency may seem, leaks especially have the potential to wreak havoc and cause immense amounts of damage in your house. A certified plumber can inspect your entire system to determine any issues and fix the problems.
You can minimise a lot of damage yourself quickly in the case of an emergency, so make sure to take note of the above steps. If you have any questions or are worried about a potential leak or any other potential emergency, please don’t hesitate to contact us!