How to Protect Your Home From a Plumbing Emergency

Posted on: 17 March 2017

As with many other aspects of owning a home, a bit of maintenance and care for its plumbing can help to avoid an emergency and many major repair bills down the road. Unfortunately, many homeowners don't even think of the home's plumbing until there is such an emergency, and this can be a costly mistake. Note a few preventative tips you'll want to keep in mind to ensure your home's plumbing is always in good repair or to signal the need for minor repairs before they become major disasters.

Check for leaks under sinks

Plumbing pipes may get "sweaty" or show some condensation during warm weather, but if you notice drips of water under the pipes or along the body of pipes under the sink, this signals a small leak. You want to have this fixed as soon as possible, as even a small leak can lead to mould and mildew forming in the building materials around the sink. A small leak can also become bigger over time if threads in connectors are stripped or if a pipe is beginning to corrode. You may be able to find the source of the leak and replace a washer or an old pipe yourself; otherwise, call a plumber to have this work done as soon as you can.

Look for water at the base of the toilet

When you flush the toilet, note if there is any moisture that appears around its base. If so, this means the wax ring that seals the connection around the toilet is getting old and brittle. Once this happens, the toilet may begin to leak quite a bit, and this can also lead to mould in the bathroom and low water pressure in the toilet. This ring should be replaced as soon as possible.

Monitor the flow of drains

When a drain in the home begins to slow down, you don't want to ignore this, and you don't want to rely on harsh, caustic chemicals to clear it. A slow drain often signals the start of a clog and, if ignored, this clog can eventually put pressure on the pipes so that there is a risk of a leak forming. Harsh chemicals only eat away at pipes and may be ineffective for some developing clogs. Remove the drain stopper and see if you can clean anything collected at the base of the drain, or use a plumbing auger to reach debris deep in the pipes. If this doesn't fix the slow drain, have a plumber address that growing clog before it becomes larger.