Even modern plumbing systems will inevitably encounter problems from time to time. Of course, some issues can be remedied with a bit of do-it-yourself knowledge while others will require the expertise of a trained professional. Let us therefore take a look at a few of the most common issues; some instances when you may be able to address them yourself and finally, when it is advisable to contact a trained plumber.
A blocked toilet is normally caused by the buildup of organic waste or toilet paper within a section known as the trap. In some cases, the use of a plunger or a strong clog remover may do the trick. However, there are undoubtedly instances when a seasoned repair professional will be required. So for example, if the blockage is too big or too far down the pipe to unblock without professional tools, or you simply don’t want to tackle what could turn out to be a rather unpleasant task yourself.
Sinks can become blocked for a number of reasons. Some of the most common causes include food or an accumulation of grease around the circumference of the pipe. As grease is insoluble, the pipe will eventually narrow and allow water back up into the sink. Before calling in a professional, try investing in a decent drain cleaner, or flush out the pipes with extremely hot water.
Frozen pipes are another real issue within many homes. Should they not be properly insulated, the water inside may freeze. Water also expands as it cools; potentially leading to broken seals and a considerable amount of leaking or flooding. Finding the section of pipe that is frozen and attempting to thaw it with a heat lamp is one possibility, but burst pipes clearly need repairing or replacing.
Drain odours can be caused by sewer line issues as well as drainage problems within the plumbing system. There are a number of drain cleaners and products you can buy that aim to remove drain odours and leave drains clean and free from whatever is causing the smell – so you can try these out before calling in a plumbing specialist.
Choosing the Do-It-Yourself Option
There could be several reasons why you may choose to tackle these problems yourself. A handful of the most common include:
- Worries in regards to the cost of the call-out service.
- The time frame involved between contacting the plumber and his or her arrival.
- The belief that the issue could be solved with a few easy steps
Of course, there are times when a bit of a basic examination can prove useful. Checking for hair or soap scum in a bathtub drain pipe, or a buildup of leaves within outdoor drainage areas, are two easy steps which could solve major issues.
That said, it is still a fact that professionals are the best option on numerous occasions, especially if you don’t have knowledge of drainage systems.
Professionals: Offering the Tools of the Trade and More
Firstly, the sheer benefit of professional experience cannot be paralleled. We should also recall that plumbers will come equipped with the specific tools to handle even the most challenging of tasks. There are additional dangers with handling strong effluents and potentially hazardous chemical solutions (particularly if you have children or pets), so it is best to let the experts handle such substances. Finally, you may actually void a warranty on new work if you attempt any do-it-yourself tasks without consulting an expert in the field.
What to Do While Waiting for an Engineer to Arrive
Although the response times of professional plumbers are generally very fast, there can still be instances when they require a few hours (or more) to arrive at your property. This is especially the case if you live far outside of their normal service area or if it happens to be a holiday when the emergency occurs. So, what can you do to prepare for their arrival and mitigate the chances of any further damage occurring? Some tips include:
- If you have a burst pipe or you are concerned about a major leak, be sure to switch off the mains water supply to your home.
- In the case of an overflowing toilet, open the lid of the tank and push the flapper down to prevent any further water from entering the bowl. You may then turn off the water via the valve (usually located behind the toilet).
- Lay down any towels to soak up existing water or if you are afraid that more flooding may occur.
- Avoid contact with any raw sewage.
- Alert neighbours if the incident could possibly affect their property.
With these suggestions, you will be able to minimise any damage to your property while making the job of the plumber easier when he or she arrives.
Express Drainage Solutions
The team at Express Drainage Solutions are on hand to help with emergency drain repairs. So if you’ve tried unblocking the sink yourself with no luck, or you just don’t know where to start with overflowing drains, our team can attend quickly, identify the problem and carry out a full repair to restore order.