How to Prevent Home Plumbing Catastrophes

Some situations will always require an emergency plumber, such as when a pipe bursts and causes water damage to your home. Other cases may not be an emergency but still warrant calling a plumber immediately, such as when your water becomes discolored.


Clogged drains and sewer lines can cause a host of problems for homeowners. If the clog is not prevented or addressed promptly, it can lead to serious damage and flooding that requires costly repairs. Fortunately, there are clues you can watch out for to help prevent this problem and recognize when it is happening. However, if you need professional help, you can contact Plumber Chatsworth.

For instance, if you notice water slowing down in one or more of your bathrooms, it is a clear sign that your main sewer line has become clogged. Since toilets and other fixtures are interconnected, a clog in any one of them can make it difficult or impossible for wastewater to flow into and out of the rest of your house.

The most common reason for a drain clog is human or animal hair. When this material combines with soap scum and grease, it can create a sticky substance that will clog the pipe. You may notice the clog when you flush the toilet or use the bathtub or sink. Other clues include smelly drains, water backing up into sinks and other fixtures, or an overflowing toilet that won’t flush.

If you suspect a clog, start by checking the lowest drains in your house. This includes toilets, basement floor drains, and basement sinks. Since the main sewer line is typically connected directly to these fixtures, it is usually the first place that wastewater will back up when a clog occurs.

Another common culprit is disposal wipes, such as baby wipes and cleaning wipes. While they may be advertised as “flushable,” these items are not able to break down and can form a tough clog that is very difficult to remove without the help of a plumber.

Other common causes of clogged drains include old or damaged pipes, root growth, and hard water. The latter is especially troublesome because the minerals in hard water can build up and block drains over time. It is important to have a water softener installed in your house to combat this issue. Finally, if you have tried using plungers, drain snakes, or drain cleaners and the problem persists, it is likely time to call in an emergency plumber.

Burst Pipes

Pipe bursts are another plumbing emergency that requires the help of a professional plumber. When a pipe bursts, it can cause extensive water damage and even structural damage to your home. This can also result in costly repairs and replacements. Luckily, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage and prevent further problems.

The first thing you should do if you suspect that a pipe has burst is to shut off your water supply. This will stop any new water from entering your home and will help reduce the amount of flooding. It is also important to turn off any electrical power in the area of the affected pipe. This will protect you from electrocution while you wait for a plumber to arrive.

Water pipe bursts can occur for a number of reasons. Some of the most common causes include freezing temperatures, excessive pressure, and corroded pipes. In order to avoid burst pipes, you should have your plumbing system regularly inspected and serviced by a professional plumber.

One of the most common signs of a burst pipe is an enormous wet spot on your floor. However, you may notice other symptoms as well, including a sagging ceiling or walls, increased water bills, and an unusually high water pressure. If you notice any of these signs, call a plumber immediately.

Another way that pipes can burst is due to improper installation. This can include incorrect positioning, incorrect sizing, and loose fittings and fixings. Improper installation can lead to a buildup of pressure within your pipes that eventually leads to them bursting. This is why it is so important to have your plumbing system properly installed by a qualified plumber.

A pipe can also burst due to a clog. This is a problem that can be caused by a variety of things, from hair to bathroom products to food. The clog can put pressure on the pipe until it finally breaks under the strain. The best way to prevent clogged pipes is by regularly cleaning your drains with a pipe cleaner or snake. You can also purchase a drain trap to catch debris and stop blockages from building up.

Faulty Shut-Off

Shut-off valves are your home’s best defense against plumbing catastrophes and should be kept in working order at all times. These handy little devices are what allows you to shut off the water supply to specific fixtures like toilets, sinks, and water heaters in the event of an emergency. They’re also the first line of defense against extensive water damage, such as a leaking ceiling or sagging floor. Unfortunately, these vital little gadgets are prone to failure, particularly as time goes by.

The most common problem with a shut-off valve is that it simply seizes up. This is especially true for older valves that are subjected to frequent use. A common cause of this is rust or corrosion on internal components, such as the rubber washers that are used to moderate the flow of water through each fixture. When this happens, it’s likely you’ll not be able to turn the valve off, which is an absolute nightmare in an emergency situation.

Thankfully, you can usually solve this problem on your own without the need for an emergency plumber. The first thing you’ll need to do is to identify the specific valve that has stopped working. To do this, locate the label that shows you which fixture it controls. From there, you can determine where the valve is located. This will typically be either at the end of the pipe or in a small box that is attached to it.

Once you’ve identified the valve that has failed, turn it off by turning it clockwise. If the valve doesn’t budge, you can try wiggling it or applying some pressure to it. If this doesn’t work, it may be necessary to drain the pipe and spray the valve with some penetrating oil. This should loosen the valve and allow you to turn it off with a little more ease.

Another common issue that can cause a shut-off valve to fail is that the central screw has become stuck or frozen in place. If this is the case, it will likely require professional help to free the screw and re-tighten it. When you contact your emergency plumber, make sure to provide the details of the repair needed so they can be prepared for the job ahead of time. This will save both time and money for you, as the plumber won’t have to spend as much time figuring out the issue on-site.

Sewer Backup

Sewer backups are a serious problem that not only smell terrible and present health risks, but can also cause extensive and expensive damage to your home. If you notice that sewage is backing up through drains, it’s essential to evacuate the affected area immediately and call an emergency plumber right away.

One of the first signs that a sewer line is about to back up is if your toilets and sinks seem to drain more slowly than usual. This can be caused by a simple drain clog from hair, soap scum and grease (or your two-year-old’s fascination with what will and won’t flush). But, it could also be a sign that wastewater is being forced into areas of your home that should not be receiving it.

Another early warning sign of a backup is the appearance of bubbles in your sinks, tubs and showers. Bubbles are created by trapped air that is being forced into your drains by water trying to pass through the clogged area.

A third and most serious sign of a sewer backup is the appearance of standing water in your home. Standing water is a serious safety hazard, and can lead to mold, bacteria and other health issues. It is also an electrical hazard, so it’s important to turn off all power in the affected area and not touch any water until an emergency plumber has arrived to make sure it is safe.

Some causes of a sewer backup are out of your control, including damaged public pipes and natural disasters like floods or hurricanes. But, a homeowner can prevent some of these issues by having their sewer line regularly checked and cleaned.

A professional plumber can clean your drains to remove any obstructions and ensure that wastewater is flowing normally. They can also repair or replace your damaged pipes to protect your home from future problems. If you suspect that a sewer backup is in progress, contact your local municipal government to report it as soon as possible. They will send an inspector to determine whether the backup is caused by a problem with the main sewer line or your home’s plumbing.