Seven Tips for Preventing Emergency Plumbing Situations
Prevention is always better than the fix. When it comes to emergency plumbing situations a bit of early wisdom and to set a few simple habits can be a game changer. Urgent plumbing issues can be stopped with a few simple tools, a few routine habits, and some regular checks in the right places. Of course, this needs to be prepared well beforehand, which means the homeowner should start this early vigil the very moment they finish reading this article. Here are the best seven tips to prevent emergency plumbing situations:
- Keep a Toilet Plunger and/or a Plumbing Snake Handy
- Don’t Dispose of Thick or Heavy Materials Down the Toilet
- Never Pour Grease or any Viscous Substance Down Drains
- Check Your Water Pressure on a Regular Basis
- Only Run Dishwasher and Washing Machine When Full
- Inspect All Pipes and Fixtures on a Regular Basis
- Have Your Septic Tank Pumped, and Thermal Tank Flushed at Regular Intervals
Keep a Toilet Plunger and/or a Plumbing Snake Handy
The toilet plunger is such a simple yet highly effective tool to unclog toilet pipes. The features of a stick handle and a large enough suction cup to fit over inside of the toilet bowl is brilliant. It allows the homeowner to plunge the pipe and suck out blocks. The vacuum created in the rubber cup pulls any clogs up and out of the toilet pipe. This should be your first go to item and process when your toilet is blocked. Sometimes, the clog is too deep to be accessed by the toilet plunger, and so you can use a plumber’s snake also known as an auger. These can be found at any top hardware store or plumbing supply outlet.
A plumber’s snake is a long bendy wire with a larger secure end. The snake can be unwound into the toilet drain and it will spiral down into the s-bend and beyond. It will loosen any blockages and push them away so they can be flushed, or it will catch the clog if it is some material item as it is wound back. The homeowner can then reel back the snake and pull out the clog. Only if the toilet plunger and plumber’s snake fail to unclog the toilet, should you call a professional plumber. This leads us to the next related tip,
Don’t Dispose of Thick or Heavy Materials Down the Toilet
Never Pour Grease or any Viscous Substance Down Drains
Grease can cause serious clogs in pipes. So too can paint or any thick or gel-like substance. In the kitchen avoid pouring grease or oil down the sink, or washing food scraps down the sink either. Use a strainer to keep large chunks from clogging pipes. In the laundry, avoid pouring engine oil or paint down the sink. This too can cause serious clogging.
You can sometimes pour down some drain cleaner to maintain a clear pipe. Drain cleaners can dissolve minor clogs and remove mineral scale build-up
Check Your Water Pressure on a Regular Basis
If you notice any changes in your water pressure it might be a sign of some problem. If the water pressure is unsteady, or is suddenly low, this might indicate a large leak or even a burst pipe. Check for broken pipes in the right areas and notice any pools of water, damp areas or discoloration in the walls or floor. Check for broken pipes outside by looking for pools of water on the grass, or damp areas on the ground.
If water pressure is too high it could mean there is an air pocket in the pipe, which is only temporary and can be cleared by running the water. Or it could mean that the pressure regulator valve needs adjusting. If you are unsure how to adjust the regulator you will need to call a professional.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washing Machine When Full
Running a dishwasher when it is half empty, or a washing machine with only a few items can lead to overflow of excess water and water damage. It is also a waste of water and money, and can lead to the machines banging and then needing to be repaired.
Inspect All Pipes and Fixtures on a Regular Basis
Keep in mind that early preparation prevents emergencies. So it is wise to inspect all the pipes inside and outside the house on a regular basis. Keep an eye out for damp areas, pools of water, mould, and water damage to find places where pipes might be leaking. Then check the pipes for cracks or leaks. If you notice any of these signs you need to call a plumber right away.
Have Your Septic Tank Pumped, and Thermal Tank Flushed at Regular Intervals
Pumping out waste from your septic tank will prevent blockages, backflows, or leaks from occurring. If you notice foul odours, non-flushing of the toilet, pools of water outside, then there might be a minor emergency in need of a plumber. As for hot water, flushing your thermal heating tank at regular intervals will prevent sediment build-up, and stop damage to the interior of the tank. This will ensure you will not have emergencies with hot water. If you notice any changes in temperature of your water, then this is probably a thermal heating system issue and you need a professional plumber.
You can prevent emergencies down the track by following the above 7 guidelines. Put this into practice right now, the very moment you finish reading this.