Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, walking into your bathroom and find yourself standing in several inches of water. After turning the light on, you see water overflowing from your toilet bowl. This scenario is disgusting and probably a little scary. But it’s also what most would consider a plumbing emergency.
What is a plumbing emergency? The answer can be somewhat subjective. For a person dying of thirst, for example, not having any running water is an emergency. However, on a more practical level, emergencies tend to be less dramatic.
Here are a few more common emergencies the average homeowner might encounter.
A Frozen Pipe
If you discover a frozen pipe in your home, you’ll need to take swift action because it can quickly turn into something much worse. Generally, pipes freeze when there is not enough warm airflow around the pipe because the area inside the wall isn’t properly ventilated. Letting your home get too cold while you’re on vacation can also lead to a frozen pipe.
Why is a frozen pipe an emergency? For one thing, depending on which pipe is frozen; you might not have running water in certain parts of your house. More importantly though, when something freezes, it also expands. This will lead to the pipe eventually rupturing, then you have a real emergency on your hands.
The best way to deal with a frozen pipe is to have a plumber come as soon as possible. They can assess the problem and provide a fix, even if temporarily. Sometimes it’s as easy as using a heater to warm the pipe up again. In other situations they might cut a hole in the wall to help circulate the air and prevent the pipe from freezing again.
A Ruptured Pipe
A pipe can rupture for several reasons: freezing, corrosion, damage from an accident. If a pipe ruptures, you’ll have water all over the place and it won’t stop until you turn off your home’s water line. This must be done as soon as possible to minimize water damage. After the water is off call your plumber immediately. The plumber will be able to fix the rupture and get your water running again. They should also be able to advise you on how to fix the water damage.
An Overflowing Toilet
This is another emergency that needs to be dealt with right away. Like a ruptured pipe, the danger of an overflowing toilet is water damage to the surrounding area. Also, depending on the cause, sanitation can become a problem as well.
A majority of toilets overflow because of a clog. If you notice your toilet is going to overflow, or has already started to, quickly turn off the water valve located behind the toilet, usually down towards the floor. In some cases you might be able to fix the clog yourself with a plunger. However, some clogs will require a plumber to fix because clogs can be symptom of a larger problem.
Prevention Is Key
The best way to prevent a plumbing emergency is to keep your home’s plumbing properly maintained. This includes having a licensed plumber inspect your pipes and other hardware to look for signs of wear and tear.
It’s also important to know where the shut off valves are in your home, so if you do wake up in the middle of the night and find water spraying everywhere from your toilet, you can at least turn the water off.
If you’re worried about the plumbing in your home, contact us here at Bovio – we can come out and perform an inspection ASAP. We’ll discuss any problems we find, taking a proactive approach to minimize your chances of having a plumbing emergency.