What to Do When Dealing With a Plumbing Emergency?

Plumbing emergencies are inevitable. You can use the best of faucets, pipelines, fitting and other accessories. But over time, these will wear. If you are not a keen observer or do not have a regular maintenance schedule, there are chances that you may encounter a plumbing emergency.


Plumbing emergencies can strike at any time. In most cases, these are the times when you are least prepared. However, if you know a few tactics to handle the emergency until the arrival of Emergency plumber in Geelong, you can avoid extensive damage. 


With this elaborate blog, we intend to minimise the damages caused due to plumbing emergencies. That’s why we bring a few simple steps you can undertake until the experts arrive. Every plumbing issue may not be an emergency where you need to panic. So, knowing if there is an emergency is also pivotal before getting into the steps to take when handling a crisis.


What Is a Plumbing Emergency & Why?


If there is a plumbing emergency, you must take swift action. Below are a few instances that count as a time of crisis for residential and commercial plumbing lines.


Extremely Hot Water


Excessive hot water can cause scalding injuries and damage to plumbing fixtures. It indicates a malfunction in the water heating system, which requires immediate attention to prevent injuries and further damage.


Frozen Pipes


Frozen pipes can burst, causing significant water damage to your property. The expansion of ice within the pipes increases pressure, leading to cracks or ruptures. Prompt action is necessary to thaw frozen pipes and prevent potential bursts.


Leaking Water Heater


A leaking water heater indicates a failure in the unit, possibly due to corrosion, a faulty valve, or a damaged tank. It can also cause structural damage, mould growth, and increased utility bills. If we do not address a leaking water heater promptly, it may lead to flooding and extensive property damage. 


Plugs and Clogs


There can be rust particles, dust and other debris inside the pipelines. These cause clusters and obstruction in the flow of water. It can happen in sinks, toilets, or other drainage systems. While minor clogs may seem manageable, persistent or severe blockages can lead to backups, causing water damage and potential health hazards. 


Blockage & Running Toilets


Clogs can occur due to flushing inappropriate items, while leaks may stem from faulty seals or connections. Toilet issues cause excessive water wastage, property damage, and unsanitary conditions. A running toilet can result in increased water bills. Promptly addressing toilet troubles ensures efficient water usage and prevents damage to flooring and surrounding areas.


Waste Smells


Unpleasant smells emanating from drains or fixtures indicate a problem in the sewer or septic system. It can result from leaks, blockages, or sewer line damage. Sewage smells pose health risks and indicate potential issues in the sewage disposal system. Addressing the problem as quickly as possible is essential to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and maintain a safe living environment.


Whirring Disposals


A disposal unit emitting a whirring sound without proper functioning may indicate a blockage or malfunction. This can prevent the unit from effectively grinding and disposing of waste. It can cause kitchen sink backups and unpleasant odours. 


Pipe Bursts


A burst pipe occurs when the pressure inside the pipe exceeds its capacity, leading to a rupture. This can happen due to frozen pipes, corrosion, or significant blockages. These can result in rapid water leakage, causing extensive property damage. 


Sump Pump Failure


A sump pump failure prevents basement flooding, so it is a crucial plumbing fixture in any building. If it fails, one finds them in an unsafe situation, such as water accumulation and potential flooding in basements.


Sewage Backup


Sewage backup involves the overflow of sewage into drains, toilets, or sinks. This can occur due to blockages in the main sewer line or septic system failure. It can be highly toxic and pose serious health risks, as it contains harmful bacteria and contaminants. 


Severe Leaks


Severe leaks are significant water leaks from pipes, fixtures, or appliances, often causing rapid water damage and potential flooding. These leaks can lead to substantial property damage, structural issues, and mould growth. 


How to Handle a Plumbing Emergency Step-by-Step?


Plumbing emergencies can be overwhelming, but a systematic approach can help mitigate damage and ensure a swift resolution. Follow these step-by-step instructions to effectively handle a plumbing emergency:


Identify the Issue


When faced with a plumbing emergency, your first step is to maintain composure. Rather than panicking, take a moment to breathe and then assess the situation. By staying calm, you will most likely be able to identify the source and severity of the problem. It will help you to convey the issue clearly to the emergency plumber and take necessary steps to prevent future damages.


Prioritising Your Safety


Your and your family’s safety is paramount. If the emergency involves water near electrical sources, immediately turn off the electricity to prevent any potential hazards. You must evacuate if the situation demands so and ensure that each of your family members is safe. 


Locate and Turn Off the Main Shut-Off Valve


Knowing the location of your home’s main shut-off valve is crucial. Ask the plumbers about the shut-off valve and also learn how to use it. During an emergency, locate it and turn it off swiftly. Typically, it is near the water meter or where the main water line enters the house. You can switch it off by using a wrench to turn the valve clockwise until it is fully closed. This will stop the water flow and prevent further damage.


Learn to Address Specific Issues


As mentioned earlier, there can be multiple plumbing emergencies. When you wish to avoid casualties due to these, you must know the preventive measures for each of these. Below is how you can safeguard yourself and your family in times of different plumbing emergencies:

  • Extremely Hot Wate in Water Heater: Quickly turn off the water heater
  • Frozen Pipes: Use a hair dryer or heating pad to safely thaw pipes
  • Leaking Water Heater: Shut off both the water and gas supply
  • Plugs and Clogs: Use plungers to unclog minor obstructions and avoid chemical cleaners at all costs
  • Whirring Disposals: Try resetting it using the designated button
  • Any Gas Leak: Your immediate action must be to evacuate the premises
  • Pipe Bursts: Immediately turn off the water supply
  • Sump Pump Failure: Check the power supply and use a backup power source
  • Sewage Backup: Refrain from using drains if sewage backup occurs
  • Severe Leaks: Place buckets or towels strategically to contain water and divert it away from valuables


Document and Communicate


After taking immediate steps, document the damage by capturing photos or videos for insurance purposes. Subsequently, you must contact a licensed plumber in Geelong and provide them with the pictures and video. These will enable them to understand the situation clearly and provide you with accurate assistance.


Wait for Professional Assistance


Once professional help is on the way, follow any guidance provided. If advised to evacuate or take specific precautions, comply accordingly. When the plumber arrives, assist by providing information and following any initial instructions they may have.


Regular Maintenance


Learn from the experience to understand the cause of the emergency. Take preventive measures to avoid similar issues in the future, such as scheduling regular plumbing inspections and maintenance to identify and address potential problems proactively.


Preventing Plumbing Emergencies


While some emergencies are unforeseeable, adopting preventive measures can reduce the likelihood of plumbing issues:


Understand Your Plumbing System


Familiarise yourself with your home’s plumbing system. Know the location of the main shut-off valve and key components. This understanding allows you to identify and address potential issues promptly.


Know Your Limits


While some minor plumbing issues can be tackled on your own, recognize when you need to stop experimenting. Complex problems may worsen with inexperienced attempts. If unsure, it’s wise to call a professional plumber to avoid unintended consequences.


Watch What Goes Down Drains


Toilets and garbage disposals have specific purposes. Avoid treating them like trash cans. Items like make-up removers, scrubbing materials, or kitty litter can lead to clogs and potential emergencies. Use them responsibly to prevent unnecessary plumbing issues.


Promptly Replace Worn-Out Parts


Keep track of the age of critical plumbing components, especially water heaters. Gas water heaters typically last around 10 years, while electric models can go up to 15. If your system is ageing, consider replacing it before it becomes prone to leaks or failures.


Use Protection Systems


Consider installing a leak detection and protection system. These systems provide early warnings of leaks and can automatically shut off the main water valve. While an initial investment, it can save you from costly repairs and potential damage. You can consult your trusted plumbers to find the best leak detection and protection appliance. 


Avoid Overuse of Chemicals


Companies do advertise how to drain cleaning agents are effective. However, the reality is quite the opposite. Firstly, these aren’t effective for all types of clogs. Secondly, these can potentially harm your plumbing system. Therefore, avoid them at all costs. If you have to use these in any situation, consult a professional plumber for safer alternatives.


Scheduled Regular Check-ups


Implement a regular maintenance schedule for your plumbing system. Professional inspections can identify potential issues before they escalate into emergencies. Prevention is often more cost-effective than dealing with unexpected crises.


Wrapping Up


Facing a plumbing emergency can be stressful, but with the right knowledge and professional assistance, you can protect your home from extensive damage. 


In case you find yourself in a plumbing emergency, give a quick call to Your Local Plumbing & Drainage. We are a team of 5-star-rated emergency plumbers in Australia. We offer prompt service, bring advanced equipment, and resolve all your plumbing-related worries. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you. 

icons8-smiling TAP TO CALL NOW
Scroll to Top