Plumbing emergencies are inconvenient but as many homeowners will attest – just part of home ownership.
But are there things that you can do to avoid such potential disasters?
There are 6 very common types of plumbing emergencies that we encounter:
- No Hot Water
- Clogged Toilets
- Broken Water Pipes
- Clogged Sewer Lines
- Sump Pump Problems
- Water Heater Issues
How can you try to prevent these problems in your home?
By repairing them as soon as they pop up. Plumbing issues do not go away or get better on their own – in fact they very often get much worse and the longer you wait to repair the issue – the more costly the fix could become.
No Hot Water
There are several issues that could be causing a lack of hot water in your home.
- a problem with your water heater
- a leak somewhere in your plumbing
- it could even be an electrical problem
If you aren’t able to unclog your toilet with your plunger or a toilet auger – then we recommend that you contact a professional plumber right away.
But we do caution you to be careful when using an auger – you may end up causing more damage.
Here are 3 reasons we recommend you contact a plumber to repair a clogged toilet.
- Trying to fix a clog yourself could also lead to making the backup even worse. You DO NOT want wastewater backing up into your bathroom, down your hallway and who knows where else?
- The problem may be in your sewer line and if that is the case, it’s only a trained plumber that can locate the cause and correct the problem for you..
- If the plunger works but the toilet keeps getting clogged time and time again – the problem is clearly not just in or near the toilet. A sewer camera inspection would be the best method to find out where the source of the problem is.
Broken Water Pipes
Water pipes can break or crack for several reasons…
- They froze and cracked as a result of that
- Tree or plant roots broke through the pipe(s)
- They were damaged due to digging or some other intrusion
Whatever the reason is – a broken or cracked pipe needs to be repaired. The trenchless method may be the solution which can save you money and time. A consultation with a professional plumber will give you the information you need to correct this issue.
Clogged Sewer Lines
There are 4 signs of a clogged sewer line.
- Gurgling sounds from your drains or toilets.
- Water backing up out of drains or toilets.
- Water pooling around drains or toilets.
- Smell of raw sewage coming from your drains.
Most homeowners believe that their sewer line probably got clogged because of something being thrown down the toilet or a drain. And of course, that can happen by the diameter of a standard sewer pipe is 6 inches so it’s unlikely that something bigger than 6 inches would be thrown down a toilet or drain to cause that clog.
It may also be that the clog in the sewer pipe could be a backup in the city main line instead of in your own sewer line.
But the most common reason for clogged sewer lines that we have come across here in Georgia is the infiltration of plant / tree roots. They find a crack in the pipe and make their way in. it’s very normal for plant roots to be attracted to the moisture and the warmer temperature in and around these pipes.
Once these roots get into your sewer pipes they continue to grow, going deeper and deeper into the pipe and before you know it – there’s a big clog in your sewer line.
Correcting the problem will depend on what is causing the clog.
Sump Pump Problems
If your sump pump isn’t working properly, if it seems to be running too much or not enough or isn’t working to remove the water then there are a few things you can do on your own before you call a plumber.
- Check the plug – Sump pumps should be plugged in to a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet. There are times that the GFCI breaker will trip (especially if the area is damp) so check to make sure it is still on, if not, reset it.
- Positioning – If you have a free-standing sump pump (some are inground) then you want to make sure that it hasn’t fallen over due to some vibrations either within the home or within the sump pump itself.
- Test It Out – Pour a bucket of water into the pit which should then make the unit automatically turn on. If the pump doesn’t start, then you know it needs to be serviced.
- Cleaning – Remove the submerisible pump from the pit and clean out the grate which is located at the bottom of the unit. Oftentimes small stones and other debris can get caught in that grate and block the flow or damage the pump over time.
- Check for Odor – If you smell a nasty odor it may be that water is not flowing from the trap to the basin. The solution is to add 1 cup of bleach to a gallon of water and then pour that combination into the trap.
Water Heater Issues
The main cause of most water heater problems are due to age. In general, if your water heater is more than 10 years old we recommend that you consider purchasing a new one. According to InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) – gas water heaters have a lifespan of 6 – 12 years. So, if your water heater has approached this time span – it may not be worth it, monetarily, to repair it.
Whatever your plumbing emergency may be – we recommend you do not let it go for any length of time and that you contact a plumber immediately.
If you are in need of help through a plumbing emergency, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.