Almost every homeowner or tenant has a few essential plumbing tools on hand to not need an emergency plumber each time a minor repair needs to be done. Oftentimes, a slow drain or clogged toilet may only need a little elbow work and a plunger to work as it should. If you are handy around the house, you can basically deal with a small repair, like replacing a drain cover or changing out a worn washer. Then again, bigger plumbing repair jobs need a more approach. Trying to fix some common issues such as leaking toilets or slow drains could lead to bigger problems in the long run.
When Do You Call an Emergency Plumber?
If you have ever tried to fall asleep with a dripping faucet in the adjacent room or wrestled with a kitchen sink that didn’t know when to stop, you’re familiar with how annoying this common problem can be. A dripping faucet likewise drives your water bill higher. A single leaking faucet can send hundreds of gallons of water per year down your drain a drop at a time. What a waste of money and valuable natural resources.
Water entering your home is under pressure to move it through the pipes. When you turn the tap off , rubber or silicone-based washers form a water-tight seal that blocks more water from pushing its way through the pipes and out of the faucet. Over time, washers can become torn, dislodged, or stiff, allowing a tiny trickle of water through and making that annoying drip. While you can replace washers yourself, the repair can be tougher than you might expect without the needed tools. If the leak has gone on long enough, the valve seat may have become worn, necessitating a call for an emergency plumber.
If you’re fed up of jiggling the flush handle to make your toilet behave after flushing, it might be high time to replace its inner gear. Toilets basically run when the flapper valve that lets water pass from the tank to the bowl doesn’t fit properly, the fill tube comes loose, or the float is imbalanced.
Sometimes, though, toilets run for more complicated reasons. If you have changed the flapper, fill tube, and float apparatus, you may have sediment that is affecting proper flushing and filling. High water bills could also point to a silent leak. This also warrants a call to the emergency plumber, lest you want a running toilet emergency in the most inconvenient of times.
Leaks can be an expensive nuisance. Leaks normally happen at joints, which is why industrial joint fillers and fitting compounds occupy a lot of shelf space in your local hardware store. These products, however, are a temporary fix, though; a more lasting plumbing repair may mean replacing a fraction of a pipe or its fittings.
Although changing a leaky U-joint under your sink isn’t really a complex repair, it is a rather messy one. You may want to have an emergency plumber handle it for you to save the clean-up time. Until the emergency plumber can get to your leak, use a leak tape. This temporary fix keeps water from spraying but are easily removed when it is time for a permanent solution.
When the water that goes into your sink, toilet, or tub won’t go out, you probably have a partial or complete clog. Oftentimes, your trusty plunger can repair the problem. Clog removers and commercial drain cleaners are safe for most drains for occasional use, but these corrosive materials can damage some pipe materials if used too often. If you are dealing with clogs regularly, it’s time to call an emergency plumber.
Even if you only have a partial clog, debris in pipes can slow drainage to a trickle. Shine a flashlight into the drain and check if you can spot the problem. Pliers or tweezers might be able to reach a big clump of hair or fallen bottle cap that is obstructing your pipes. Installing drain screens can also prevent detritus from finding its way into drains.
Keep an emergency plumber’s number handy. You may not always need the number, but if you accidentally snap off a valve and have a fountain in your kitchen, you will be glad you kept it near your phone.