We all lead busy lives and it’s understandable that we all take the plumbing in our home for granted.. We assume that water will come out of the tap when we turn it on, and that the toilet will flush when we press the lever. So when we suddenly find there is no water, or that the toilet won’t work, it causes a major disruption to our lives. What is more, there are few things more guaranteed to cause panic than water rushing through the house.
Fortunately, our emergency plumbers are not far away and available to be called on in these panic situations. There are quite a number of problems that could crop up in your home’s plumbing system, which might require our professional help. If you find yourself in hot water, your best bet is to call us right away.
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One situation that can always cause a bit of a panic is a blocked toilet. There are few more alarming sights than the water level in the bowl steadily rising when you operate the flush, and looking as though it will overflow. Most people’s instinctive reaction is to flush again, but that is the worst thing you can do — the bowl will hold one extra flush but not two, and it really will overflow.
There are several things that can cause a blocked toilet, some more serious than others. In fact, the most common cause is children putting things down the toilet for fun, so if you have children around, that’s where you should look first. It could also be caused by excessive toilet paper or other articles finding their way down the system. However, it could also be caused by a blocked drain, and this is more serious.
You can start by using a toilet plunger several times, to see if this works, or if not, a snake or auger. If these don’t work, you must call the emergency plumber, as it is a serious health hazard. The plumber may be able to solve the problem by unblocking the outside drain, but in the worst case scenario may end up removing the toilet from the floor.
Besides a blocked toilet, other signs of a blocked drain could be finding the water level rising in the shower tray, hearing a gurgling sound when you flush the toilet, or noticing a nasty smell from a drain or sink. There are several possible causes for a blocked drain, including hair, fat or food fragments getting trapped between the drain pipe and the underground pipes. An outside drain could also get blocked after a heavy rainstorm, causing leaves and debris to be driven into the drain, or the cause could be a broken pipe. A lot of drain problems are actually caused by pipes having been incorrectly installed in the first place, so it is vital that you call the emergency plumber to ensure the problem is properly dealt with.
Another modern amenity which we find indispensable these days is an efficient hot water system. We expect to be able to have as much hot water as we want, when we want it. So if we find there is no hot water, it is a real cause for consternation.
With a gas water heater, the reason for no hot water could be that the pilot light keeps going out, which may be because the thermo-couple is faulty and is not detecting heat. Alternatively, the gas valve could need replacing. With an electric heater, there could be a problem with the heating elements. You must call the emergency plumber, as tinkering with this yourself could be very dangerous.
Other problems that might need hot water repair might include the water unit starting to leak. The leak could be from the temperature and pressure relief valve near the top of the unit, or the element gasket near the base, where the electrical wires are connected. Alternatively it could be from the cylinder itself, which would probably mean you need a new cylinder. Other possible problems could be dirty water coming out of the hot tap, which could be caused by rust, or the hot water smelling, probably due to a faulty anode. All these are jobs for an emergency plumber.
All plumbing issues are stressful, but few are more stressful than a leaking pipe in the house. You are overcome by a sense of total helplessness, combined with the knowledge that it could have catastrophic consequences, including structural damage, mould and wood rot. On top of all that, you may not know where the leak is coming from.
This is definitely a job for an emergency plumber, but before calling you should turn off your stopcock. The plumber will have an electronic pipe locator to detect the source of the leak, and will provide an immediate temporary fix before deciding how to repair the problem. If it is caused by damaged pipes, the plumber will repair or replace the pipes, or deal with the damaged valve in the water tank, which may have caused a leak in the overflow pipe.
Even more alarming is burst pipes, which often happen with no warning at all. However, if it is a pipe that is hidden, you may only notice damp patches on ceilings and walls initially. Alternatively, you may only know about it when a bulge or a torrent of water appears.
The most likely cause of burst pipes in Australia is a build up of water pressure from pipe blockages. This, combined with old or dodgy pipes, can cause the pipes to burst. Turn the water off and then call the emergency plumber immediately
If you find water pouring from your ceiling, it could be due to a leaking pipe or burst pipes, or it could be due to your roof leaking. A leaking roof can be caused by natural disasters such as gales and storms, or simply by wear and tear. The latter can mean it happens more gradually, so that instead of a torrent of water, you may just see a stain on the ceiling, that has a dark centre with rings round it. This can mean it has been leaking for a while. An emergency plumber can provide a temporary solution, before locating the leak and repairing it.
Turn Your Gas Off Immediately If You Can Smell Leaking Gas
Of all the possible plumbing emergencies, probably the most frightening of all is a gas leak. The most obvious signs of gas leaking are the “rotten egg” smell, and possibly a hissing sound coming from an appliance. Gas leaking is most likely to be noticed around a gas cooker, gas meter, gas heater or water heater.
It is really essential that you call an emergency plumber without delay. The plumber will have efficient leak detection equipment, and can locate your leak and ensure your property is safe. Your life could depend on getting this done promptly.
There are plenty of jobs around the house that you can take on yourself, but plumbing is not one of them. One simple mistake could not only cause ten times worse damage and expense, but be seriously dangerous. When faced with a leak or a smell, the smart move is to get the emergency plumber, and have it done right the first time.