Most major plumbing problems have warning signs if you know what to look for. It’s rare that something catastrophic just happens out of the blue, so it’s important to know these warning signs. If you know what to look for, you may be able to prevent a plumbing emergency and minimize the damage in the event of a plumbing disaster.
What Can Happen?
A home is more complex than people think. Many things we tend to see as stand-alone items are actually all interconnected. Most people think of natural gas in terms of their stove, but it also powers the heating which in turn drives the water heater. So what are the most common plumbing emergencies that can happen?
- Major Water Leak: Whether it is a pipe that has burst or a faulty appliance connection, water damage can quickly rack up a lot of costly bills.
- Problem Pipes/Faucets: Not all water is the same throughout your home. Well water often has more trace elements, like sulfur, which can lead to scaling and pipe failure. Much of Florida uses reverse osmosis purification for their water. This can cause many minor problems that mimic the early warning signs of larger problems.
- Sewage Back-Up: Not only is this damaging to your property, but it’s also a major risk to your health.
- Gas Leaks: This is not something people typically think to look for, but it is a major danger that can cause explosion or carbon-monoxide poisoning if gone undetected for too long.
- Water Heater Failure: While this is not necessarily a super threatening emergency, this can be a major inconvenience that you will want to get solved right away.
What do you need to watch for? Luckily you use your toilet, faucets and various water-related appliances every day, so you should be able to notice when things start to change. What might seem like a minor issue shouldn’t be ignored. Here’s what to watch for:
- Sputtering Faucet: As mentioned above, this often happens with reverse osmosis purifiers. If this problem occurs throughout the house, however, it may be a sign that there is a leak or cracked pipe somewhere in the plumbing system.
- Water Around the Drain: If you see dampness or a collection of water around the drains throughout your home, it could be a sign of a clog or the beginning of a back-up.
- Drips: While the occasional drip of pipes can be attributed to condensation, the best rule of thumb is similar to oil leaks. A drip that forms but rarely drops is fine, but any drip that drops (especially while you watch) is cause for alarm.
- Sluggish Drains: Persistently slow drain time is an indication that there is a clog.
What to Do?
Knowing where your main water or gas shut-off is your best immediate defense when disaster strikes. The next step in dealing with emergency plumbing issues is to call in the professionals. Bringing in the help of professionals, even for something minor, can prevent something major in the long run.
If you ever find yourself in an emergency plumbing problem, contact Bill Fenwick Plumbing, Inc. Our 24-hour service ensures prompt and efficient resolution to your plumbing emergencies, no matter what time of day or night.