DYI – Emergency Plumbing Solutions
An emergency plumbing crisis can occur at anytime of any day. It is therefore, necessary that every homeowner should know the basics to dealing with an emergency plumbing situation and how to temporarily come up with a solution until the professionals are called in.
What plumbing tools should be kept at home in times of an emergency?
At times of a sudden plumbing emergency, there should always be a tool box lying around the house in case it is needed for a temporary fix. The first priority amongst the tools should be a toilet auger which is used to temporarily fix clogged toilets depending on how bad the situation is. A plunger is also a very helpful tool when it comes to toilet, shower and sink clogs. A wet-dry shop vac can also be used when water has pooled up in a room through a burst pipe or any broken appliance.
Plumbing Problems and Solutions
- If the pipe bursts: Turn off the water meter in the house, or the water supply in the kitchen. Drain the entire system by turning on all the cold water taps in the house and also flush the toilet. Turn off all the heating systems in the house and then turn on all the hot water taps and drain it all out. Turn off any nearby electronics and make sure to never touch anything with wet hands. This will prevent water from pooling up in the wrong places.
- If there is a gas leak: A gas leak can occur from any part of the house. If it is a big gas leak, then make sure to never turn on or turn off any electrical switches. Use mobile phones outside of the house. Smoking or anything to do with flames should be avoided at such a time. Make sure to turn off the gas supply if there is no switch required to turn it on. Make sure all the doors and windows are open so that nobody in the house suffocates from the gas. Air out the home, cut off the supply, and avoid flames to stay safe.
If it is a smaller gas leak, just turn off all the gas appliances in the house. Make notes of the gas meter readings at night and again in the morning to compare the differences. If the gas meter has increased overnight, do call in a professional plumber to fix it.
- When the toilet is blocked: When flushing will not drain the toilet and the water keeps rising, take a coat hanger and bend it into a curved shape and try to remove the blockage inside the toilet bowl. Another solution would be to take a mop and tie plastic bag to the head of the mop and put it inside the toilet bowl with force. Another solution would be to use a chemical drain cleaner (be sure to use rubber gloves) and follow the instructions on the box. During all this, use towels and sheets on the floor as the bathroom may get wet and slippery.
- If the kitchen sink backs up: Sometimes, the garbage disposal in the kitchen can get clogged up and full from all the oil and pieces of vegetables and fruits that have gone down it. Make sure to always turn off the switch for the disposal before trying to unclog or clean it. Use a long spoon handle or tongs to clean out the fragments of dirt. Make sure to never put your hands inside the disposal. After cleaning it out, turn on the hot water and then turn the power on again and turn on cold water to check if the clog has been cleaned out.
Knowing how to fix urgent plumbing problems in advance is the best way to come up with solutions at the time of an emergency. Knowing about the possible plumbing problems can also help you determine whether you will be facing one in the near future or have already started having certain plumbing issues that need to be addressed. These tricks will simply help to sustain the damage until a professional plumber can be called in to make the repairs.