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Guide – How to Deal with Plumbing Emergencies

All plumbing systems – even if properly installed can eventually cause issues that need to be attended as efficiently as possible in order to avoid great damages and to make your daily routine attainable. Even though you are taking care not to throw anything down the sink, regularly check valves for any leakage and using appropriate maintenance products, there is no guarantee all plumbing installments will work by the book.

Before calling your plumber, if you are a DIY homeowner, it may be wise to inform yourself a bit and try to fix the issue yourself. If fixing is not an option, you could always use your knowledge to contain the damage until a professional arrives.

Be prepared

There is some inspecting to do to get a general idea of what your plumbing system is like, how does it function and where are the shut off valves for your entire property. Valves are especially important in case of a burst pipe or any unwanted leaking – to best control the unexpected situation remeber their location.

In addition to getting familiar with your home’s plumbing, you’ll also need the right set of tools when there is no room for improvisation: a pipe wrench, plunger, auger, drain cleaning fluid, as well as a nut driver – nothing out of the ordinary.

Leaky faucets

Leaky faucets stand for a common malfunction in many homes.  However, there are a few things you could try to resolve this kind of issue. Inspect the faucet causing the problem, and look for a way to take it apart. Before you act, shut off the water by securing the valve controlling this specific faucet and close the sink drain with a rag so no parts would fall into the drain hole. Continue with prying off the handle’s cap, unscrew the handle and remove it. You will need to use a wrench to unscrew the packing nut. The leaking is mostly caused by faulty or worn out seat washer and O-ring, and it should be quite enough to change both of these parts by taking the previous steps and the fixing is completed.

Drain Unclogging

Clogged drains can be quite inconvenient, although the damage they cause is not too heavy, but are considered for a most common plumbing issue. The first thing you could try is to use a plunger as a simple solution that usually works well. The only problem that can possibly occur is the clog might be pushed even deeper, but there is a workaround.

Ineffectiveness of a plunger means you might need to use a tool called auger, also known as the snake, but if you are not comfortable with using this more invasive method or you do not own the tool, drain cleaning fluid is the best possible alternative. However, these liquids might damage the pipes if applied too often and are not too Eco-friendly. A combination of warm water, baking powder and white vinegar would be appropriate substitute to these chemicals. Their reaction should push the clog down, but make sure to cover your sink after adding vinegar to ensure better pressure on the clog.

How to fix a broken pipe

This might come up as a more serious problem you may not be able to fix, but you can at least control the amount of damage. In such cases, the first thing you need to do is to shut the main water valve and then locate the spot that has been compromised. If you notice a hairline crack, you could use a pipe clamp – only after cleaning the spot with sandpaper and removing the dirt with a rag. On the other hand, if you are dealing with a pinhole – the damage control is simple, you can solve the problem by using some duct tape. Also, if you find leaky pump joints, you can use plumber’s putty after removing any dirt from the area.

It is always best to be a well-informed homeowner. Of course, some emergencies override your abilities and expertise, and good judgment is to recognize the difference between possible DIY repairs and when it’s time to call a professional.

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