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Plumbing emergencies are events that rarely cross our minds until they happen. Unfortunately, these emergencies often come as a surprise and may leave people wondering what to do. Emergency plumbers in Richmond, VA, operate outside of normal business hours to address emergencies when they occur in the evening or during weekends or holidays.
Water flooding through a kitchen or basement is alarming and obviously requires immediate attention, but some situations may not seem like an emergency at first. It is good practice to shut off the water supply to the entire home when a plumbing problem develops. Sometimes plumbing outlets have individual shut-off valves as well. Separate shut-off valves may let you wait until business hours if you can shut off one fixture and use water in the rest of the home.
Factors to Consider
Some general guidelines may help you determine the necessity of calling an emergency plumber. Any problem that causes interior flooding is an emergency. An issue affecting an appliance or system that could cause secondary damage requires quick action. Sudden disruption or absence of water in toilets and fixtures throughout the house indicate a serious problem. You should also call an emergency plumber for any condition that poses a health threat.
Timing is another factor to consider when calling an emergency plumber. An isolated issue that can only cause localized damage may be able to wait if you can make a regular car in a few hours. An incident that disrupts the entire household or requires active damage control probably can not wait for business hours, especially if you have to wait for more than 24 hours.
The decision to call an emergency plumber is also influenced by your daily routine and general circumstances. It’s hard to sleep well if you’re worried that a plumbing problem will get worse. Leaving home for work or a planned excursion can cause anxiety if an unaddressed problem is left behind. A small problem can turn into a larger problem and cause damage if no one is home to notice.
Burst or Broken Pipes
A pipe burst is definitely a reason to call a plumber immediately. The first thing to do when a pipe bursts or breaks open is to shut off the water. If it isn’t possible to turn off the water, the room will flood. A leak caused by a broken or loose pipe connection is also a serious matter. This type of leak has a good chance of expanding and releasing large amounts of water if the problem is not fixed quickly.
Freezing can severely damage pipes in Richmond, VA. Frozen pipes are a serious problem, even if you’re fortunate enough to catch them before a pipe bursts and causes flooding. It is natural to assume that melting the frost and heating the pipe will fix the problem, but this is not always true.
Heating frozen pipes, especially with a blow torch or open flame of any kind, can be very damaging. Thawing has to be done slowly and carefully to avoid damaged and leaky pipes. It is usually a good idea to call an emergency plumber for frozen pipes. Waiting for regular business hours is not advisable because the pipes could break or burst in the meantime and lead to much more extensive repairs.
Many pipes are contained inside walls or between floors. Damage to hidden pipes may not be noticed until water starts leaking through walls or dripping from ceilings on upper floors. Repairing damaged pipes inside other structures involves tearing out damaged areas. This situation is further complicated by difficulty pinpointing the leak. It may be hard to figure out exactly where the leak is coming from, especially if it is releasing large amounts of water.
Sewage backing up into your home is a situation that presents a health risk. Possible causes of this problem include clogged drains, blocked pipes and damage to sewer pipes outside of your home. Some older sewer pipes are made of asbestos or concrete and may collapse over time. Unfortunately, there isn’t much homeowners can do when the problem lies outside their residence. Corroding or collapsed sanitary sewer lines are under public jurisdiction. An emergency plumber can probably fix a drain or blocked pipe in your home’s plumbing system, but a plumber’s options are limited when the problem is caused by public infrastructure.
Malfunctioning Hot Water Heater
A broken or malfunctioning hot water heater is not necessarily an emergency in itself. Attempts to fix a hot water heater without professional help can turn into an emergency. Problems inside a water heater can be anything from weak or damaged gas lines to broken heating components. Other possibilities include sediment deposits or cracked water lines.
Pipes carry water to and from the water heater. Poorly handled repairs can lead to broken pipes or faulty connections that cause flooding. The connections and pipes that carry water from the heater to various fixtures in your home could be compromised. Some types of water heaters can burst open from high pressure and cause burns. It is best to leave hot water heater repairs to the professionals to avoid the need for an emergency plumber, or even emergency medical care.
A plumbing problem may not be a true ’emergency’ if shutting off the main water supply is an option. Shutting off the water does prevent additional damage, but each situation must be evaluated individually. Only you can decide if shutting off water in your entire home until regular business hours is realistic or not.
Call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Richmond, VA, if a problem occurs outside of business hours and you need an emergency plumber. A skilled professional plumber will assist you and address the problem immediately to minimize damage and disruption of your daily routine.