Ways to Handle the Most Common Plumbing Emergencies


Among the most common causes of water damage in houses all over Australia are aged, failing or broken plumbing and this generally happens due to a lack of plumbing maintenance. Blocked or burst pipes make up 46% of plumbing claims, with around 13% going for overflowing baths, sinks and showers.

Whatever the emergency may be, it can push even the calmest homeowner into a state of panic. Moreover, these tend to happen at the worst times, causing myriads of additional problems along the way and costing you a fortune in the end.

The best way to handle common plumbing emergencies is to understand what they are and what to do to prevent them.


Water leaks

If you notice a water leak creating puddles in your bathroom or kitchen, or discolouration on your walls, the first step is to shut off the water valve and stop the damage from spreading. The main water valve can be located in different places, from under a sink, next to your water heater, by the washer or by your water meter. Once the water valve is shut, check on your meter to see if it stopped spinning. This means the water is cut off and you can focus on solving the problem and the damage.

Gas leak

Leaking gas is a serious situation that demands immediate attention. If you can detect gas in the kitchen, it's likely coming from your gas stove. Pull it away from the wall and find the gas shutoff valve. There’s typically a red handle that you need to turn to shut off the gas supply. The same procedure applies to your gas water heater or furnace.

If you can still smell gas after this, you will have to shut off the gas to the entire home. Gas companies don’t recommend homeowners to do this by themselves as these valves are typically located outside where the gas lines leading into your home. The procedure will require specific tools and knowledge so it’s best you contact the gas company for immediate service. 


Water Heater Malfunction

If the hot water supply isn't satisfactory, you might be having a problem with your water heater. These water systems are very complex and it's not advisable you address them yourself. In big cities such as Sydney, water heater malfunctions are a frequent occurrence and call for the expertise of a professional plumber. It's best you rely on the help of expert Chiswick Plumbing services who will conduct a thorough analysis to determine what type of work needs to be done and whether you need an emergency repair or a water heater replacement.

Overflowing toilet

The toilet overflowing is what all homeowners dread as it can get quite messy and cause serious damage to the flooring of your home. As soon as you notice that your toilet has begun to overflow, turn off the toilet's water supply. Next, remove the tank cover, and lift the float ball enough so that the toilet water stops running. If the water won’t stop, you’ll need to shut off the water supply to the house.

Use a toilet plunger to eliminate the clog.If you’ve managed this successfully, you can turn the water back on. However, if you can’t eliminate the clog or you can’t even find the cause of the overflow, once again, you’ll need to contact a qualified plumber.


Sewer backup

Signs of sewer backups are signs of another serious plumbing issue. You might notice sewage water coming up in your shower, water might be flooding under the toilet, or the toilet cannot flush. This all could mean your sewer lines got clogged.

The possible solution for this problem is to find the cleanout outside in your yard. This cleanout line typically has a cap on top of it which you can remove to release the pressure on the line and force any residual water in your home to finally drain. This might make some mess as the pressure pushes sewage into your yard, but it’s a much better alternative than having it happen inside your home!

According to statistics, water damage is much more likely to happen in a home than fire, vandalism or theft. However, this is something most homeowners overlook and are under-prepared for. Also, due to hectic lifestyles and busy work schedules, regular water system maintenance often slips off the to-do list. Now, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make along with waiting too long to address the matter when you notice plumbing issues. You can certainly attempt DIY fixes, but there are situations that require professional assistance. If you wait too long, you’ll end up with serious water damage to your home which will pose a health risk to your family in the form of mould and possibly even structural damage to your house.

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