If you own your own home, you have to deal with the plumbing. Even small leaks can cause a lot of damage, waste a lot of water and cost a lot of money. It has been estimated that about 10% of American homes have leaks that waste more than 90 gallons every day. If homeowners fix the easily corrected leaks, they can save themselves about 10% from their water bills. A leaky faucet may not seem like a big deal but if it drips once a second, it will lose more than three thousand gallons of water every year. You can take more than 180 showers with that water. A shower that drips ten times each minute can waste more than 500 gallons every year. You can run your dishwasher 60 times with that amount of water. None of these rise to the level where you would need emergency plumbing services but they can do a lot of damage to your home.
What should you do if you have a plumbing emergency?
- Turn off the water to your home. Do you know where the main shut off valve is? If you do not know where that is, you should find out as soon as you can. Water damage is very costly to fix. You should always know where all of the water shut off valves are. It should be possible to turn off the water to the troublesome appliance such as the toilet or sink. Your toilet should have a shut off valve on the wall behind the toilet. For your sinks, the vales should be located in the cabinet that is beneath the sink (if there is one). Make sure you know where all of the valves are and how to turn off the water to your various appliances before you need to know that.
- Move your stuff to protect it. Prevent damage to your furniture and rugs by moving them to a space in your home that is dry. Once your rugs and furniture get wet, it can be hard or even impossible to save them. If there is enough water to flood a room or soak your carpet, rugs or furniture, you may just have to throw it away. Mold loves moisture and if your belongings get contaminated with mold, there is really nothing you can do to save them. If you see a water situation developing, move your stuff while it is still dry to protect it.
- Try to remove any obstructions. You may not need to call in an emergency plumbing services company to unclog a drain. After you have turned off the water, if you know your sink is clogged, try using a plunger. The best way to use a plunger is to do it rhythmically. Do this between ten to 20 times. This will build up the pressure in your pipe. If that does not work, try a drain cleaner from the local hardware store. If neither the drain cleaner nor the plunger work, this is when to hire a plumber. If you know a pipe is clogged with clumping cat litter, however, try some liquid lemon dish soap that you would use to hand wash dishes. Pour that in with some warm water, wait, plunge, repeat. This can clear that kind of clog. It does take a long time so you need to be patient with it.
- Get rid of any standing water. Leaving the standing water for the professionals to take care of is a bad idea. It takes only a short amount of time for mold to invade and take over an area. Mold remediation is a big job. There are literally thousands of strains of mold that are dangerous to your health. There are none that are good for you. If you do not have a wet vac, you can rent one from the local hardware store (this does not cost a lot). Do not wait for the emergency plumbing services company to arrive to start to deal with standing water.
Using drain cleaning services may be one way to prevent yourself from needing to call an emergency plumbing services company. Paying close attention to your plumbing is always a good idea.