A plumbing emergency can ruin your day and more. A major leak or overflow in the toilet or clothes washer can end up costing you considerably, damaging floors, walls and home furnishings. Learn how to take charge in a plumbing emergency, limiting damage until the plumber arrives.
In our region, the cycle of freeze and thaw can result in burst pipes. Cut off the water at the main valve to stop it from flowing. If you’re going out of town, have someone check your home for leaks in your absence. Keep in mind that though freezing is the most common cause of burst pipes, they can burst for other reasons. Big leaks or burst pipes most likely will have to be fixed by a plumber. Open up outside spigots so that water still in the pipes will drain away.
If your toilet isn’t flushing away waste as it should or has a tendency to fill too high or to overflow, you may have a clog in the pipes or in the sewer line. Remember, when the toilet starts to overflow, you can turn the valve at the base of the toilet to stop the water flow. Use a plunger with a flange, which creates a better vacuum seal to dislodge the clog. Plunge gently with the first plunge, and then more vigorously. The plunger should be covered with water. If this doesn’t work, use a drain snake. If neither effort works, call a plumber. The clog could be further down the line.
Generally, a drain clog is annoying, but not necessarily an emergency. It’s usually caused by hair, coagulated soap and other materials. Try to dislodge the clog with baking soda and vinegar or a drain snake. If it’s further down the line, you’ll need professional help.
Overflowing Washing Machine
Washing machine hoses wear out. Replace hoses that are cracked or bulging.
For more expert advice on how to handle a plumbing emergency, contact Roth Heating and Cooling. We’ve provided air conditioning, heating, plumbing and electrical services in the Portland area since 1976.