Imagine my surprise when I came home from work one freezing cold evening and found water flooding my basement. I ran to turn off the water and then I called the plumber. Even though it was late in the evening, the plumber immediately came to my house and fixed the busted water line. The plumber told me that I could have prevented my water line from freezing and busting if I had winterized the pipes. After researching various methods, I insulated the pipes so they won't freeze again. My name is Joel Hampton and this blog is about the different ways to winterize your plumbing pipes to keep them from freezing. Coming home to a basement filled with water is a nightmare and I hope that after reading the information in my blog, it won't happen to you.
There are many minor plumbing problems that can be handled by the average homeowner. With home improvement stores scattered throughout major shopping areas and the ability to research nearly any plumbing project online, amateurs can get down and dirty just like plumbing professionals.
However, there are some plumbing problems that require the services of an emergency plumber to avoid costly damages to the home as well as safety and health issues that may arise from plumbing emergencies.
Burst supply pipes
Whether a burst supply pipe is caused by freezing temperatures or simple old age and decay, it can quickly flood an entire room if the water is not quickly shut off. Supply pipes are pressurized so water doesn't just flow gently from a breach, but sprays or pours in a steady heavy flow.
A flooded room will pose an immediate risk of electrocution or the release of natural gas, as electrical outlets are submerged and the pilot lights of gas appliances are snuffed out. An increased risk of mold formation is a likely post-flood concern.
Every occupant of a home, including children, should be aware of the location of the main shutoff valve for the home. Shutting off the main valve will stop the flow of water from any burst pipe in the home until an emergency plumber can arrive to repair the damage.
Repairing a burst pipe will require replacing the damaged section of the pipe, because a burst supply pipe cannot be repaired with quick fixes for minor leaks, such as pipe repair tape or pipe repair clamps.
Severely clogged drains
While minor clogs or slow drains can often be handled with a plunger, trap clean out, drain auger, or commercial drain cleaner, tougher clogs require the help of a professional.
If a repulsive black substance begins to rise up from your drain pipe and fill your sink or tub, your drain is clogged at a point far beyond your ability to release it with conventional amateur solutions. Attempting to plunge or snake a drain in a sink or tub that is filled with raw sewage poses too great a potential for illness from exposure to harmful bacteria.
An emergency plumber or drain cleaning professional will assess the situation and use power equipment to clear the drain. While non-professionals can rent power equipment, the potential for damage to drain pipes is considerably greater. Professionals can use power equipment with finesse rather than brute force, and are familiar with the layout of drain pipe systems.
Do yourself a big favor, and leave major plumbing emergencies to professionals.