Although emergency plumbing situations can happen at any time, the winter tends to rear its ugly head with plumbing mishaps due to the freezing temperatures. Knowing how to spot a problem and handle these situations accordingly can help keep things at bay until a professional can show up and address the situation. Below you’ll find some tips/tricks on being prepared for unexpected events.
- Have an emergency kit consisting of a bucket, heavy duty paper towels or old rags, wrenches, multi-bit screwdrivers, plungers, coat hangers, and tape. These are all common household items, but crucial when addressing most sudden plumbing disasters.
- It’s not going to be enough to have the supplies, you’re going to need to know ways to handle the situation and recognizing what the problem is.
- Frozen Pipes: When outside temperatures drop significantly, areas in your home that aren’t insulated also get freezing cold. To help protect against the cold temperatures, you can wrap foam insulation around your pipes. You are also able to delay the freezing process by running a portable heater where the pipes are located, as well as keeping water running through the faucets at a drip.
- Blocked Toilets: If you notice your toilet is backed up, or there is a bad odor coming from your toilet, it’s likely the blockage is further down and is going to require more than a plunger to fix the issue. If this is the case, avoiding using this bathroom and contact a plumber to come fix the problem as soon as possible.
- Leaking Water Heater: If you notice your water heater is leaking, it usually means that rust has developed on the inside of the water heater. A water heater leak is nothing to mess with and should be attended to immediately. The loss of hot water, especially during the colder months can become a quick problem. It’s important to call a professional as soon as you notice a problem, but to also invest in plumbing inspections periodically to ensure everything is in working order.
- Gas Leak: With a gas leak, depending on the severity, make sure to never turn on/off any electrical switches. Anything that produces a flame, such as smoking, should also be avoided. Make sure you turn off the gas supply as soon as you notice a problem, and keep all windows and doors open to keep air moving through the home.