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Some plumbing emergencies require a professional

If you are experiencing a plumbing emergency, you should check with a plumber to see whether it is worth paying for emergency repair service. Some plumbing repairs are not cheap, but calling a professional plumber may prevent serious damage and save you money in the long run. Here are 10 plumbing emergencies that may warrant calling in a professional.

At Plumbing Belleville we are here to help with plumbing emergencies like:

  1. Clogged Drains
  2. Overflowing Toilets
  3. Burst Pipes
  4. No Hot Water
  5. No Water Pressure
  6. Sewer Backups
  7. DYI Jobs Gone Wrong
  8. Dishwasher Leaks
  9. Washing Machine Leaks
  10. Garbage Disposal Issues

1. A clogged drain that can’t cleared with an plunger.

Plunging SinkA clogged drain is one of the most common plumbing emergencies. Typically, materials other than water finds its way into drain holes and eventually gets stuck or accumulates and blocks the flow of water. It can be difficult to unclog a sink or shower drain if there is a blockage in it.

There are many things that can cause your drain to clog. However, it’s more likely that the hair you’re finding in your sink is the result of human or pet hair, congealed grease, sediment or a combination of all of these. Before calling a plumber, try to solve the problem yourself by pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain with a cup of very hot water. Scoop standing water out of the sink first if necessary. Let it sit for 20 minutes then rinse with very hot water. There are also chemical drain cleaners available that dissolve hair and grease in the drain. But first, check out this article about alternatives to harsh chemical drain cleaners.

If your plumbing problem isn’t a plumbing emergency, then you may be able to repeat this strategy a few times and, if successful, save yourself the expense of a visit from a plumber. If you have tried to unclog the drain unsuccessfully, it might be time to seek help from Plumbing Belleville.

2. An overflowing toilet that can’t be plunged.

plugged toiletIf you find yourself in a situation where water is overflowing from your toilet, you may want to contact a professional plumber right away.

The first step is to shut off the toilet’s water supply to prevent any further water from flowing into the toilet. Most toilets come with a supply line that goes from the back of the toilet tank to a supply pipe. This line should have a valve. To stop the flow of water to the toilet, turn the valve clockwise.

Use a cup or a small bucket to remove any excess water at the brim of the bowl. Pour the water into a nearby sink (if the water is clean) or a plastic bucket (if the water is dirty). When the water level has been lowered, use a plunger to try dislodging whatever is blocking the toilet drain. Keeping the plunger sealed against the toilet drain and move the plunger up and down to create a back-and-forth movement of the water in the pipe. In many cases, this will dislodge the blockage and the standing water will flow down. You can then turn the water supply on again and flush the toilet normally. The water that was removed earlier can be flushed as well.

If the attempt to plunge the toilet is unsuccessful, it is time to contact us at Plumbing Belleville. It may be necessary to use a plumbing snake to remove the blockage, and the blockage may be further down your sewage pipes.

3. A burst pipe or water leak.

broken water pipeA burst water pipe or leaking water heater can cause serious damage. If a pipe bursts and there is a lot of water escaping, quickly turn off the water supply for the house. If there is a slow leak and you notice an accumulation of water, you may be able to shut off a valve closer to the leak, such as the water supply valve under a sink or behind a toilet. In any case, water leaks can cause damage in many ways, and lead to mold, mildew, and wood rot, among other things. Preventing water damage to your to the floor, underlying material and the ceiling below can save you money in the long run.

4. No Hot Water

If the hot water isn’t working in your house or if your house is taking a long time to heat water, it’s likely that there is something wrong with your water heater.

In order to troubleshoot your water heater, you’ll need to know a few things about it including:

  • What kind of water heater do you have?
  • How old is your water heater?
  • How many gallons does your water heater hold?
  • What are the symptoms of a problem with your water heater?

hot water heaterThe first step in troubleshooting your water heater is determining what kind of water heater you have. There are three main types of water heaters: electric, natural gas, and propane. Once you’ve determined the type of water heater you have, you can begin troubleshooting. If you’re not sure what kind of water heater you have, consult your owner’s manual.

Electric and gas water heaters have a life expectancy of approximately 10-12 years. If your water heater is older than this, it may be time for a replacement. If you’re not sure how old your water heater is, check the rating plate on the side or rear of the unit. The rating plate will list the date of manufacture.

Electric water heaters usually have an upper and lower element. Replacing either of these elements is relatively simple. Gas water heaters on the other hand are more complicated and almost always require an expert to service them. In any case, water heater repair or replacement requires considerable skill and you will likely need to give us a call at Plumbing Belleville.

5. Loss of Water Pressure

There are many things that can cause a loss of water pressure. The most common reasons are a leak in the water line, a clogged water line, or a malfunctioning water pump.

If you are experiencing a loss of water pressure, check the following:

  • Check for any visible signs of water leakage. If you see water leaking from the pipe, turn off the main water supply and call a plumber.
  • Check if there is any debris or blockage in the pipe. If there is, use a plunger to try to clear the blockage.
  • Check if the water pump is functioning properly. If it is not, repair or replace it.

6. Sewer Backups

A sewer backup is a backup of wastewater from a sanitary sewer or storm drain into a building. The backup can cause flooding in the building and can contaminate the building’s water supply. Sewage backups can also cause disease, as raw sewage contains many harmful viruses and bacteria. A sewer backup is one of the plumbing emergencies that requires immediate and professional attention to avoid costly problems later on.

7. DIY Gone Wrong

At one point or another, we’ve all attempted a DIY project that we weren’t quite prepared for. Maybe you tried to fix a leaky faucet and things went downhill from there, or maybe you decided to take on a plumbing repair project without any prior experience. We’ve all been there.

While some DIY projects can be completed without any problems, others can go horribly wrong. In fact, according to HomeAdvisor, plumbing repairs are the most commonly botched DIY projects. If you’re not careful, you could end up causing even more damage and costing yourself even more money in the process.

By all means, if you are handy with home repairs, and you have done your research, then you can save money on do-it-yourself home plumbing repairs.

8. Dishwasher Leaks

plumber fixing dishwasherIf your dishwasher starts leaking, it can quickly become a major emergency. A dishwasher leak can cause water damage to your floors, cabinets, and walls. If you notice that your dishwasher is leaking, it is important to take action right away.

The first step to deal with a dishwasher leak is to turn off the water supply to the dishwasher. Once you have turned off the water supply, you can call Plumbing Belleville to diagnose and repair the dishwasher leak. We can advise you whether the problem is with the hookup, or whether the leak is due to a fault with the dishwasher itself. If the dishwasher is malfunctioning, an appliance repair service call may be required, or a replacement of the dishwasher.

9. Washing Machine Leaks

If your washing machine starts leaking water, it’s important to take action quickly to avoid water damage and a potential flood.

The first thing you should do is unplug the washing machine and stop the water flow. If the leak is coming from the hoses, you can replace them easily. If the leak is coming from the machine itself, you may need to call a repairman.

Once you’ve stopped the flow of water, start drying out the area where the leak occurred. You can use a fan or a dehumidifier to speed up the process. Once everything is dry, you can plug in the washing machine and start it up again.

10. Garbage disposal isn’t working

garbage disposal leakIf your garbage disposal isn’t working, don’t panic. There are a few simple things you can do to try to fix it before you call a professional. If the unit is completely dead and makes no sound when the switch is turned on, check the circuit breaker (or fuse box). If the breaker is turned off, turn it on and try the garbage disposal again.

If the unit has power, but doesn’t run, or just makes a humming sound, it may be jammed. Try to unjam it by turning it off and on again a few times. If that doesn’t work, you can try using a plunger or turn the breaker off (for safety) and use a wooden spoon or wire to try to dislodge the obstruction.

If none of those methods work, it’s time to call Plumbing Belleville.