Room under water

Don’t Panic! These Common Plumbing Emergencies Are Preventable

Plumbing problems, if they get serious, can also get very expensive. It takes a lot of specialized equipment and experience to get access to pipes and other infrastructure that’s been built within your home, without tearing up walls to do it.

But avoiding this type of serious plumbing emergency can be easy with a little regular prevention. Here’s how you do it for some common issues.

Leaky Fixtures

Leaking sink faucetWe’ll start with the least serious problem. A lot of people wouldn’t even call it an emergency, but it can make you crazy if you’re within earshot of a never-ending drip.

You also end up paying for this on your water bill when the time comes. While the simplest way to prevent leaky fixtures is to make sure taps are tightly shut to “off,” that doesn’t always do it.

If your taps have been working for years without issue, it may simply be time to replace some small parts inside.

The O-ring or the washer are both usually the cause of leaks when they finally wear out. So get a wrench, get replacements for these parts and try swapping them out.

Blockage in Your Drains

plunger in handThis particular emergency normally gives you a lot of warning that it’s going to happen. So in most cases, when it does happen, a simple, lazy choice to neglect the situation is the cause.

A blocked drain happens you get build-up in your drainage pipe. If it’s the kitchen sink, it’s usually food getting caught somewhere. If it’s in the bathroom, hair is the most common cause.

Whatever the case, the blockage usually doesn’t happen quickly. As more and more matter gets caught, a partial block occurs. This results in the “slow drain” problem, where water first empties out of a sink slower than usual.

Mechanical solutions like a plunger or a plumbing snake can take care of this. Drain cleaners work as well, but don’t overdo it with the amounts. Drain cleaners have corrosive chemicals, so “overdosing” can break very old pipes, and even modern, PVC plastic pipes can warp or melt due to too many chemicals.

Toilet Overflow

Overflowing ToiletIf you flush a toilet and the water and waste don’t flush down, but come back up and spill onto your floor, this is a definite emergency!

Not only is a blocked toilet a big problem, but the human waste itself may also pose a health risk, so be careful with the mess.

The most common cause of an overflowing toilet is someone “abusing” the toilet’s function. It is designed only to get rid of human waste, and toilet paper, which has been manufactured to break upon contact with water.

Cigarettes, tampons, disposable diapers and even paper towels from the kitchen can all block a toilet pipe!

Burst Pipes

Burst PipeThis being Canada, there’s one very common cause for a burst pipe, and that’s a water pipe freezing during the coldest parts of winter.

When water freezes into ice, it expands, which can rupture the pipe containing it. Once water melts back into liquid, it can now drip out of the break into the wall, ceiling or another part of the home the break is located in.

Take the time to insulate vulnerable pipe locations, and you can easily avoid this. Ottawa, ON homes can enjoy years of reliable, trouble-free plumbing.

If you want to make sure your home is the same, stay vigilant for indicators of small problems! Fix them ASAP!