Many minor plumbing repairs can be performed by a homeowner with basic DIY skills. For example, if the trap under a kitchen sink is leaking, it’s fairly easy to tighten the trap or purchase and install a new one. If low water pressure is an issue, cleaning the showerhead and checking the water meter valve is generally a quick fix. There are times when a plumbing problem is beyond the skills of most people. Knowing when to call in the professionals can help nip a plumbing problem in the bud before it turns into a full-blown disaster. An emergency plumber should be called when:
Rapid Water Supply Line Leak
While this isn’t a common issue, it’s one plumbing issue that can cause a lot of damage quickly. A burst water line will cause major flooding throughout the home. Look for a cut-off valve near the leak and turn it off. If an intermediary valve can’t be located, shut off the home’s major water supply shut-off valve. After turning off the water supply, call a plumber immediately.
No Water in the Home
While water flow stoppages in one specific area are common, it is rare that water will stop flowing to an entire home. Check all water outlets, both hot and cold, to make sure none of them are receiving water. If only the hot water is not flowing, it’s often due to issues with the water heater. If neither hot or cold water is flowing there may be an issue with the street-side water source or the water meter, requiring professional plumbing assistance.
Sewer lines carry all wastewater from sinks, tubs, showers, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines away from a home. If the sewer line is leaking it can cause a number of unpleasant issues that are not easily fixed by the average homeowner. A broken or blocked sewer line often shows up as mushy soil or murky, smelly water pooling outside the home. Other times it may manifest as a bathtub filling with wastewater or a toilet filling when the sink is used. A professional may need to do a video inspection of the sewer to pinpoint the problem, then auger the sewer line. Serious sewer line failures will require digging up and replacing broken lines.
Natural Gas Leak
When any natural gas smell is noticed in the home, the first step is to check all obvious sources, such as an unlit stove. If a source can’t be located and turned off, it could be due to a faulty water heater flame sensor or thermocouple. If gas is detected but the source can’t be located and turned off, it’s time to call the gas company and an emergency plumber.