Plumbing 101: What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency

By Four Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric - July 1, 2019
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If you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency, don’t hesitate to call a professional Chicago plumbing company for help. Most—if not all—plumbing emergencies will most likely require the services of a skilled and qualified Chicago plumber for immediate assistance Unless you have the proper tools, equipment, training, and professional expertise necessary for handling a plumbing emergency on your own, the worst thing you can do is to try and turn a plumbing disaster into your next DIY project.

While it’s imperative that homeowners experiencing a plumbing emergency call their trusted and reliable plumbing company right away, there are some things you can do in the meantime that can help prevent further damage. In this article, our team at Four Seasons Plumbing and Sewage will share five of the most common scenarios in plumbing emergencies—and what you can do in these situations while you’re waiting for help to arrive.

The 5 Most Common Plumbing Emergencies

In many cases, minor plumbing issues such as lightly clogged toilets or sinks can be handled on your own. When your plumbing situation becomes a real problem, however, it’s time to call in the professionals for help. The five most common plumbing emergencies are:;

  • Burst Pipes: These can be caused by a variety of reasons, including extremely cold weather, corroding metal and joints, erratic water pressure, and damage caused by construction work or other factors. Burst pipes can cause major flooding and water damage.
  • Frozen Pipes: Frozen pipes can lead to burst pipes—which are a much more serious emergency. In any case, frozen pipes should be treated as an emergency, and your plumbing company should be notified.
  • Leaking Fixtures: Unless a screw is loose or another simple solution can be found to address leaking fixtures, call your plumbing company for help.
  • Clogged Toilet or Drain: Any clogs or drain issues that aren’t immediately resolved with a toilet plunger or snake might need professional intervention. Whether it’s your kitchen or bathroom sink or a toilet, contact your plumber for help.

How to React in a Plumbing Emergency

The best thing you can do to reduce the damage of a plumbing emergency is to call your plumber right away. Hopefully, you have a plumber you know and trust on your speed dial already. If not, look on the internet for Chicago plumbing emergency services and find one that looks reputable based on customer reviews and ratings.

For example, Four Seasons Plumbing and Sewer offers highly rated, 24/7 plumbing and sewer services and can be trusted to respond right away in an emergency. When timing is critical, you can’t afford to choose a company that doesn’t provide immediate assistance at all times of the day and night.

While you’re waiting for help to arrive, here’s what you can do in the meantime in each of these five scenarios. Following these tips can help you to reduce the damage to your home (as well as the repair costs), and in some cases, can help save your life.

  • What to Do if Your Pipes Burst: If your pipes burst, your first concern should be flood prevention. Make sure to turn the water off from the main shutoff valve that controls the flow of water to and from your home. This will stop the water from streaming out into the broken pipes and prevent flooding from causing further damage. Once the water has been shut off, turn on the cold water faucets to drain the water left inside the pipes. These steps will help to prevent further damage from flooding and will help facilitate the plumber’s job when he or she arrives to repair the damage.
  • What Should I Do if My Pipes Freeze Over? If your pipes freeze over, turn off the main shutoff valve immediately and check the pipes for signs of breakage. If there is flooding anywhere along the pipes, you might have to deal with the issue of a burst pipe by calling a plumber for emergency services. If the pipes have not yet burst, it’s time to defrost the pipes by thawing them with a warm hair dryer, hot water bottles, or another gentle source of heat. Do not use a match, a lighter, or any open flame to warm up the pipes as this could cause the pipes to split from thermal water expansion. If you need help with this, don’t hesitate to call a plumber to help you warm and insulate the pipes.
  • What Should I Do if I Notice Leaky Fixtures? If you happen to notice water leaking out from the pipes, from faucets, the back of the toilet, or other areas, close the water valve that connects that appliance to the main water supply. Scan the area for signs of visible damage to pipes, or any blockages within the pipes or connections that might be causing water to back up and overflow. Call your plumber to help you diagnose and solve the problem.
  • What Should I do if my Drains and Toilets are Clogged? Use a toilet plunger or a plunger snake to try and dislodge the matter blocking the drain. If this fails to work, try pouring half a cup of liquid dish soap or white vinegar into the bowl and letting it sit for about ten minutes or longer. Afterward, pour a gallon of hot (not boiling) water down the toilet and see if that takes care of the clog. If not, call a plumber to help you deal with the problem in a more sophisticated manner.
  • What Should I Do if I Think I Have a Gas Leak? If you smell gas or suspect that there’s a leak, turn off the control valve of your home’s gas meter (if you know how), and leave home immediately. Call your Chicago plumbing company as soon as you’re out of the house, or the gas company at once. Gas leaks can be deadly, so it’s best to leave the diagnosis and repairs to the professionals for the best possible outcome.

If you’d like assistance with your plumbing emergency issue, or if you need help with scheduling regular maintenance and prevention services to avoid a plumbing disaster, our team at Four Seasons Plumbing and Sewer can help. Give us a call to find out more information from one of our helpful and friendly representatives, or fill out our online form to schedule a no-obligation pricing estimate and consultation now.

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