Most plumbing problems can wait until your local plumber can fit you into their schedule. However, sometimes there are plumbing emergencies. These can range from not having any water to risking a water heater explosion, and everything in between.
The truth is that most plumbing emergencies are preventable with regular plumbing maintenance. So, the damage caused to your home when your toilet backed up and flooded the entire first floor? That probably could have been prevented if you had your septic tank inspected and pumped regularly.
Below, your Beverly plumbers are discussing a few examples of plumbing emergencies.
Toilet Is Overflowing
If your toilet is overflowing with no end in sight, you should call your emergency plumber. Toilets overflow for a few reasons. It can be a sewer system backup, which we will discuss below. It can also overflow due to a blockage or an issue with the mechanism in the tank that is responsible for starting and stopping the flow of water.
A Pipe Has Burst
A burst pipe is a fast way to flood your basement or other parts of your home. Pipes can burst when the water in them freezes, causing the ice to expand and break the pipe. They can also burst simply due to old age. If you notice a pipe has burst (you might see an exposed pipe in your basement or notice water pooling inside of the house), turn off the main water valve and call your emergency plumber right away.
Leaking Water Heater
A leaking water heater could be a sign of a major problem. The worst-case scenario could be an explosion if water is leaking due to the pressure being too high. For this reason, if you notice your water heater is leaking, you should call an emergency plumber right away.
Other causes of a leaking water heater could be a damaged gasket, a loose drain valve, corrosion of the pipes or tank that has weakened the metal, or it could be something else entirely. Aside from a potential explosion is the damage that can be caused by a leaking water heater. While a water heater may not seem that big, it holds a lot of water that can do a lot of damage to your home.
No Hot Water
Not having hot water may or may not warrant an after-hours call to your emergency plumber depending on how dependent you are to hot water. If you can wait to call in the morning and have a plumber come out that day, that would be best. However, it is important to remember, if your water heater is heated by gas, that a lack of hot water could be indicative of a problem with your gas line which can be dangerous. Check to see if the pilot light is lit or if you smell any gas. If you are concerned about a gas leak, call 911 and turn off the main valve to your gas line if it is safe to do so.
Sewer System Backup
A sewer backup is many homeowners’ worst nightmare. One minute everything is fine, the next minute there is raw sewage filling up your bathtub and sinks. Sewage backups most often occur because of a clogged sewer line. They can also be caused when your septic tank is too full. Either way, it’s not something you want to experience. If your sewer system is backing up, call us ASAP.
No Water At All
Having running water in the home is important for health and hygiene. There are a few reasons this can happen — even if you paid your utility bill! First, your water company might be to blame. If they are performing maintenance, they may shut off all water in a specific area. However, you should be notified of this well before it happens. There may be a broken valve, a major leak somewhere along the line, or hefty clog in the pipes. If your home uses well water, they may be an issue with the well pump. An emergency plumber can diagnose why the water is not running and find a solution to get it back as quickly as possible.
3 Things Every Homeowner Should Know How To Do
Turn Off The Water
If your toilets are overflowing or your pipes are leaking, shutting off the main water valve can temporarily stop the flow of water coming into the home. Depending on your location, the main water shut-off valve might be located in the ground near the property line, usually covered by a small plastic lid. For others, it will be located inside of the home. It is usually located in the basement if there is one, near the water heater, or under the kitchen sink. However, it can really be located anywhere.
Once you know where it is, know how to turn it off. If it is a “wheel” valve, then the term “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey” should apply. Turn the valve all the way to the right to shut off the water. If it is a lever valve, you will most likely turn the lever 90-degrees so it is no longer parallel with the pipe.
Turn Off The Gas
If your water heater is acting funny and you smell gas, or if you smell gas in general, it is a good idea to know how to shut off the gas if safe to do so. Know where the main valve for your gas line is located and know how to turn it off. While some valves can be turned by hand, others need a special wrench. If yours is one of the latter, make sure you keep a wrench near the valve just in case.
Remember, when gas reaches a high enough concentration, even static electricity from your clothing can cause an explosion. If the smell of gas is very strong, or if you are unsure of what to do, remove all people and pets from the home and call 911.
Turn Off The Electricity
Water and electricity don’t mix. That means if your basement is flooding and the water could come into contact with power cords, wall outlets, or other electrical devices, you need to shut off the electricity if safe to do so. If water has already come into contact with electrical items, do not touch the water as it can be harboring electricity.
To turn off your home’s electricity, you need to locate the main electrical panel, also called a circuit breaker or a fuse box. This is usually in the basement or garage, but may be in a hallway, closet, or another location. There are usually two switches located at the top of the panel that control the electricity for the entire home. Flip both of these to off.
Need An Emergency Plumber? Call Us!
If you are experiencing any of the plumbing emergencies we have discussed in this blog, or even one we didn’t touch on, you can call Dash Drains for assistance. Located in Beverly, MA, we are happy to serve the Greater Boston area. We will get to you as soon as possible and try to find a way to temporarily fix the problem until we have time to complete a full assessment and find a permanent solution.
Call us any time, day or night, for emergency plumbing services!