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The most common plumbing emergency that can arise in your household will be leaking or burst water pipes or over-flowing sewerage pipes. There can be many reasons for this. Freezing temperatures are normally the main culprit, weakening the integrity of pipes as it expands. Mostly your pipes are well insulated or laid in areas that seldom freeze, but you may have short pieces of pipe exposed to the elements. A blockage caused by calcium and rust may cause pipes to leak or burst, as may faulty valves or faulty seal rings.
Blocked sewerage pipes are the most common faults that cause smell and that horrible moisture coming up through your floor and drains. All your auxiliary tracts from bathrooms and kitchen run into a main sewerage pipe, which normally runs in a straight line under your house. In the kitchen it is mostly grease build up that causes a drain to be blocked, while in your bathroom it is normally hair balls and grime that settle in elbows and start blocking the drains. Toilets are normally connected straight to your main sewerage, so if you hear gurgling in your shower or tub when flushing the toilet, your problem might well be a blockage in your mains. This is normally a more serious problem, as it is most commonly caused by tree roots. They can literally break up your mains line.
Either way, leaking water pipes or burst water pipes and blocked sewerage systems can cause major damage to walls and floors, so it is best to have an emergency plan of action.
For pipe leakages:
- CALL your plumber. In almost all cases, a plumber will have to repair or replace the faulty pipes. You might consider your plumber to use hydrogen gas technology to go through your entire line system to determine other leaks that slowly seep into your wall.
- Immediately turn off your water supply. This will prevent more water spilling onto your floor or into your wall.
- If you have the right tools and some thread tape, you will be able to repair leaking joints – make sure your water mains are off before attempting this.
- The same applies if you have some spare seal rings handy – remember they have to be of the same thickness and size to seal efficiently.
For sewerage blockages there are a couple of things you can do to resolve the blockage:
- You can use a sewerage hand pump to force the blockage down the line and dissolve it. Simply place the cup over the drain hole and push down a couple of times. This causes a build-up of air, which forces the blockage into the shape of the pipe or disintegrates. If this doesn’t work, your blockage is quite solid.
- You can use chemical drain cleaners that eat away the hair which is causing the blockage, but remember that with long use they eat away at your drain pipes, causing even bigger problems. Also note that drain cleaner very seldom works trying to remove debris caused by grease build-up
- Blockages invariably happen in elbow joints or traps under sinks and basins. If you have the right tools, you can remove the elbow, clean it out and replace it. Remember to tighten the clamps; otherwise the drain will still leak.
- If your main drain is blocked, it could be caused by roots. Call your plumber. They have special cables with blades that can cut through these roots and remove them.
Even the smallest particles can pile up over time and block the flow of water to and from the building. Once your drain is clogged up, the situation becomes worse. Simpler problems can be addressed individually, but for complex situations, you need to call upon the professionals. They are not only capable enough to handle complex situations but also capable to provide the desired results on time.
When searching for a reliable provider, be clear and communicate properly. Get an exact quote for the work in writing. Also, be sure that the company or individual provider you choose is reliable and has been in the business for a long time. Inexperienced plumbers can make the situation worse.