While you can DIY many plumbing repairs around the house, here are some scenarios you should leave to the professionals.
When it comes to plumbing repairs in your home, there are many issues you can fix on your own with a little bit of patience and elbow grease. When your toilet is clogged, you can plunge the blockage, when your water pressure in the shower is low, you can clean the showerhead or many other common issues. However, while many plumbing repairs around the house can be DIY’d, how do you decide when to call a plumber, here are some scenarios you should leave to the professionals:
You have a Rapid Water Supply Line Leak
A water line suddenly bursts, causing major flooding inside your home. It’s an event that doesn’t happen often but certainly always calls for a plumber’s visit. It’s imperative that you act quickly in order to minimize damage to your home.
The first order of business should be looking for any intermediary water supply cut-off valves located near the source of the leak. You might get lucky and discover a knife or knob style cut-off valve that can shut off water to the area that is leaking and not the whole house. If you are unable to find such a valve, find your home’s main water shut-off valve and move it into the off position to stop the flow of water. After shutting down the water, locate your locale plumber that can come immediately.
You Have No Water in Your House
In this situation, water stops flowing in some portion of your house, typically localized around one area of plumbing hardware like a bathroom sink or shower. In our experience, it’s rare that water will stop flowing throughout your entire home.
Check all of the water outlets in your home to confirm the areas that are not receiving water. Check both the hot and cold water supplies. Typically, if there are issues with the water heater and hot water is no longer being delivered the cold side will still be operable.
If you can’t get any water, you may have a serious problem with your plumbing. It’s possible that there is a buried water line leading from the streetside water meter to your house that’s burst or has been damaged, diverting water from being delivered to your home.
You Have a Rapid Drainage Line Leak
Many long-term homeowners are familiar with kitchen and bathroom leaks coming from the trap underneath their counter, it’s an issue that can be handle by a plumber or DIY’d with simple tools and materials. You simply turn off the water, get under the sink, and replace the trap. In kitchens, the biggest difference would be the leak is coming from the garbage disposal. If that is the case, fix or replace the garbage disposal.
However, drainage lines are much different than your trap under the counter and are not always very accessible. A drainage line can be sealed up behind a wall or under a floor, if it’s actively leaking you need to take immediate action. Calling your local plumbing professionals is the fastest and more reliable way to prevent any further damage to your home’s subfloor, floor covering, drywall, or paint.
You Have a Sewer Line Leak or Bad Odors
Sewer line problems don’t often go overlooked. A broken or blocked sewer line will often result in pools of dark, smelly water or mushy soil at the site. Indoors, odd events like toilets filling when you run the sink or bathtubs filling with wastewater can occur. You could dig up the sewer line in an attempt to find the broken or blocked section of the sewer pipe to fix or replace it. But this type of work goes beyond the capability of many homeowner’s even those with extensive DIY experience and can take several days of strenuous back-breaking work.
The sewer line is an important component of your home, it carries wastewater out from your toilets, showers, tubs, sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines. Your home cannot operate properly without this very critical line, so until it’s fixed use of all those activities are halted.
That’s why it’s important to call in your local plumber for repairs of this nature. A plumbing company would typically run a sewer line video inspection through the sewer line clean-out entry point. Upon identifying the issue, they might auger out the sewer line with a motorized drain snake. If the blocked or broken line is beyond repair it would need to be dug up and completely replaced.
Your Water Heater Has a Natural Gas Leak
It’s important to take swift action when you smell natural gas in your house. The usual suspect is a stove burner that is turned on but unlit. However, in situations where you are unable to locate the source of the gas be sure to take necessary precautions and first open your windows and doors before calling in your plumber.
Sometimes, the source of the natural gas leak can be your gas water heater. Newer models of water heaters have a thermocouple, which is a thermoelectric device that shuts off the gas supply to the water heater if the pilot light goes out. This prevents the gas from building up from a dead pilot light.
If you’re smelling gas in the area around your water heater area, it’s not normal. The thermocouple may have broken down or malfunctioned and is failing to stop the flow of gas. There may also be leaks in the rigid or flexible pipes leading to the heater or in the couplings or pipes themselves.