It was fantastic coming home from vacation, feeling all relaxed, until you went downstairs to put away your suitcases and saw all the water on the floor. Or maybe you are about to host your son’s birthday party in the backyard, and notice a week prior that sewage has backed up and made your yard, um, ‘gross.’
Life happens, and these events can be super stressful. Here at the Clog Blog we thought it was time to share a little bit of information about the world of emergency plumbing, when you need it, and what you can do yourself to improve the situation.
Emergency plumbing, as you might expect, can become expensive. Sometimes you have to make that call. In certain situations, you can temporarily resolve the issues so that you can place a regular business day service call.
Below you’ll find a brief rundown of common situations:
Especially common in older homes, the weeping tile that draws water away from your house may be connected to the main sewer line. If there is any blockage in that pipe, periods of sustained or heavy rains can cause significant amount of water to flow backwards in to your house through your lowest drain points. Because unsanitary material may also be present, the situation must be dealt with as soon as possible. An emergency plumbing service will snake your drain and sewer line to fix the problem, help you with clean-up, and assess the situation to prevent the problem from happening again.
If your sink won’t drain, you should always first check other drains in the area. In your bathroom, for example, you can check the shower or tub. If the problem is happening with multiple drain points, it will take more than just diving for that hair clump to solve your issue. Sometimes, a simple snake will solve the issue, if you can get down far enough to clear the block. If the problem is too far down the line, you will need a professional to assess the situation, sometimes using a camera to find out exactly what is going on.
Homes with copper piping are prone to a particularly nasty type of clogging caused by tree roots which can crack and invade the pipe. PVC piping, now commonly used, can develop bends, which becomes a trapping point for grease—and snaking alone won’t get rid of hardened grease. Depending on severity, the pipe will often have to be completely upgraded and replaced. The new one should be installed in such a way to minimize the possibility of the problem reoccurring.
Pipe alarms and other technologies have reduced the frequency of frozen pipes, but we still deal with this situation every winter. The first sign is, you guessed it, your tap won’t come on. When a water pipe is uninsulated and close to an exterior wall, with enough time and cold it will freeze without regular use. Serious freezing causes the pipe to rupture, which in worst case scenarios unclogs the ice and starts pumping water in to your home. Insurance will usually cover the damages, but that doesn’t always make the situation any less stressful.
Emergency plumbers will quickly assess the situation, and if the pipe has not yet burst employ equipment made to warm pipes. Steps will be taken to prevent the situation from happening again, including insulation, heat conducting wire, or even in some case moving the pipe.
If you’ve found a burst pipe, turn your main water meter off as quickly as possible.
We hope you never need one, but if you find yourself in a situation that requires an emergency plumber, we’ve got you covered. Keep our number handy, our professionals will calmly assess your situation, take immediate action when warranted, and provide you with your options to rectify the situation and minimize the possibility that it will ever happen again.
Until next time!
Your Clog Blog Team