Mistakes That May Make A Plumbing Emergency Worse

Posted on: 27 March 2019


Having water come rushing out of your pipes or having all of the drains in your home back up at once are definitely both emergency situations. Your best bet in a plumbing emergency is to call the plumber, take a deep breath, and try not to panic until they arrive. You'll also want to avoid these mistakes that can make a plumbing emergency a whole lot worse. 

Mistake: Wading through the water to reach the water main valve.

You're standing on the stairs of your water-soaked basement, looking at the water main on the other side. Before you trudge through the water to turn it off and stop the gushing, you had better turn the power off. If you cannot reach the breaker without stepping in water, call your power company and have them turn your service off remotely. If you skip this step, you could become electrocuted when you step in the water, turning your plumbing emergency into a health emergency. 

If you cannot safely turn the power off and reach the water main, one option is to call the fire department. They can probably get there before an emergency plumber, and they can test whether the water is safe to enter and then proceed to turn the water off for you if needed.

Mistake: Putting drain cleaner in the toilet.

If multiple drains are not draining, your instinct might be to get as much drain cleaner down into the system as possible. Some homeowners attempt to do this by flushing drain cleaner down the toilet — which is a very bad idea, indeed. The drain cleaner may splash up, causing injuries to your eyes and face. It could also injure your plumber if they come to work on the toilet later on. Additionally, drain cleaner can cause damage to the pipes if it sits in them for too long, which may lead to another big leak and emergency a few weeks down the road.

Mistake: Trying to replace the leaking section of pipe yourself.

You're a DIY enthusiast. You've built tables, tiled floors, and painted walls. But plumbing repairs are different. Chances are that you do not have the right equipment to cut the pipe precisely or to form a proper joint with the existing pipe, so any repairs you may yourself will be prone to failure. Rather than having to call the plumber again in a week, just call them in the first place. Plumbers study and practice hard to learn their trade; it's not a great DIY endeavor.

Mistake: Waiting until morning.

If you have one blocked drain or a single toilet that won't flush, there's no harm in waiting until morning and then calling a plumber. But a big leak or multiple blocked drains are not issues that should wait. You'll either end up with sewage or fresh water all over your home, both of which present a number of hazards — mold growth and bacterial contamination, for example. If your regular plumber is not available late at night to handle an emergency, contact an emergency plumber that is available 24/7.

Mistake: Continuing to use the water.

When your drains are blocked, you may be tempted to use the water just a little bit while waiting for the plumber. However, even allowing a little more water into the drains can be a mistake. That water might come trickling out of another toilet or drain down the way. Any water that enters drain pipes should be considered contaminated since raw sewage goes through those drain pipes. Don't use the water at all until your plumber says it's safe to do so.

For more information, reach out to a company such as Vines Plumbing & Water Restoration.