Homeowners often think of plumbing problems as big emergencies. When you have to call the plumber, it's often because sewage is backing up all over the bathroom floor or a pipe has burst in your basement. But while there will always be the occasional plumbing emergency, every plumbing issue does not have to be a catastrophe. Here are three ways to catch plumbing problems when they're small and keep them from turning into emergencies.
Watch for dampness.
When a plumbing leak is tiny, you may not see an actual puddle of water anywhere. What you will see, however, is some dampness in the wall or floor near the leaking pipe. Call the plumber if you notice any of this dampness, and they'll patch or replace the damaged pipe before it springs a bigger leak that could lead to flooding. Areas you should specifically keep an eye out for dampness include: under the sink, in the basement, on walls behind which pipes run, and next to the water heater.
Know where your water main is located.
If a pipe does start leaking more noticeably, being able to turn the water off will prevent a serious flood. Locate your water main, and open and close it a few times to make sure it turns loosely. Apply some lubricant if needed. Consider labeling your water main so that any other family members who happen to be home when a leak appears are able to locate it and turn it off, too. Similarly, make sure you know how to turn off the water supply to your washer, ice maker, and other water-using appliances in case one of them springs a leak.
Clean slow drains.
If a drain starts slowing down, it's best to clear out the drain before it ends up completely blocked. The easiest way to clear a slow drain is with a plunger. Fill the sink with water, and plunge away, using straight up-and-down motions. Keep going until the water starts flowing freely down the drain.
If multiple drains in your home are slow, it could be due to a blockage in one of the larger sewer pipes. Have your plumber out to clear the blockage, or else you may end up with a sewage backup in the coming weeks.
Managing your home's plumbing is all about addressing issues when they are small. To learn more about plumbing maintenance and repairs, talk to residential plumbing services.
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