A sound plumbing system is essential to your home, but like all things, plumbing requires regular maintenance to work properly. When you neglect your plumbing, a myriad of problems can happen, from smaller nuisances to catastrophic plumbing disasters.
Without exaggerating, the biggest plumbing disasters can literally destroy your home and cost you thousands in repair. These plumbing issues are what most plumbers call ”plumbing emergencies,” meaning every plumber in your area is prepared to drop everything and help you fix it.
However, it is precisely because of the nature of these situations and their ability to cause plenty of damage to your home that requires a plumber’s immediate attention.
But for most homeowners, it’s hard to discern whether they have a minor plumbing problem or a plumbing disaster on their hands. Calling an experienced plumber in the middle of the night is the best step to take when you have a plumbing emergency.
Still, in case you miscalculated the gravity of the situation, you’ll end up overpaying a basic plumbing repair service. So, let’s learn more about what constitutes a plumbing emergency, what causes them, and what to do about them.
Pipe and Valve Leaks
Sometimes it’s hard to notice you have a leak somewhere in your plumbing system, but sometimes signs are apparent.
For example, wet, stained, or damaged walls and floors are a clear sign of a leak. Also, if your floor and walls feel warmer or colder in some places, it can be a sign pointing to a hot/cold water leak.
In this case, wet walls and floors are the least of your problem because the water will reach your electrical system, creating a significant fire risk. So time is of the essence, and it would be wise to address this issue sooner rather than later.
Regardless of your plumbing abilities to fix this issue, you should call a professional plumber anyway. They will do a much better job than you, ensuring the repair is lasting and checking your plumbing system for other leaks.
Pipe burst is one of the worst plumbing situations you can face. A burst sewer line is a bit nastier than a broken water line, but the damage they can do is the same. And don’t underestimate the power of water when it comes to breaking a pipe.
At the beginning of November 2021, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crew was doing everything they could to fix a 12-inch cast-iron main water line that ruptured, flooding Cahuenga Boulevard, businesses located on the street, and damaging several cars.
The crew worked for two days on repairs and clean-up before fixing the issue. But the water damage was done to the local business, while the area was left without running water until everything was repaired.
In conclusion, a pipe burst can be one of the biggest plumbing emergencies in your home. It can damage walls, floors, furniture, and ceiling.
- First, turn off the main water valve and call an experienced plumber in Los Angeles if this happens.
- Then, start cleaning the water and moving your possessions to the dry area while waiting for a professional to arrive.
Some plumbing disasters can jeopardize your home’s foundation. A slab leak is one problem that can compromise the structural integrity of the concrete foundation and prove to be very challenging to repair.
Caused by cracks in water and sewer lines, it can also result from corrosion and even sudden movement of your concrete slab foundation
Not repairing a slab leak is never an option. In the best-case scenario, neglecting a slab leak will undermine your foundation, and worst-case scenario, the water will back up in your home. A professional plumber is necessary for this situation to diagnose the problem correctly.
The symptoms of a slab leak are high water bills, discoloration of the floor and walls, moisture under your carpet, and sounds of water running when no one is using water.
Because these symptoms can point to a leak in any of the pipes in your home, you need a plumber to check your plumbing system and determine if it’s a slab leak or a minor leak on another line.
When contaminated water enters your drinking water supply, we call it a backflow. It can be hazardous for you and your family and cause many waterborne diseases.
Installing a backflow prevention device properly is the key to avoiding this from happening, but this can only be done by a professional. They will install and test the device and help you decide on the device most suited for your needs.
Sewer Line Blockage
Tree roots, various objects, and waste build-up can cause blockages in the sewer line. However, the place where your sewer line is blocked is also compromised, so any construction work or ground shaking next to it may cause it to break or collapse. And when that happens, it disrupts your life so much you suddenly realize just how much a sound plumbing system is worth.
But when it happens, it’s pretty easy to notice. The smell of the sewage will be hard to miss, but if you are still not sure, a lack of water in your toilet bowl can also point to a broken sewer line. When this happens, hire a plumbing expert to come and inspect your pipes with a drain camera, and you can see for yourself what’s happening down your sewer line.