Six Plumbing Problems You Can’t Take Care of Yourself

| August 1, 2012

fixing plumbing problemsKeeping your plumbing in working order is a necessary part of home ownership. While you may be able to deal with some plumbing troubles yourself, these six plumbing emergencies require professional assistance. Start your search in the DexKnows local listings.

Leaking Gas Line

Gas leaks occur when there is a crack or break in a gas line, or when a gas appliance has a faulty part. Whatever the cause, untreated gas leaks are highly dangerous plumbing emergencies that can lead to injuries or fatalities. If you suspect a gas leak, which is indicated by the smell of rotten eggs, do not try to fix the leak yourself. Get out of your home and immediately call a plumber and the gas company.

Burst Sink Pipe

Corroded, rusty or frozen pipes can burst, resulting in water pouring from the pipe to surrounding areas. Such a plumbing emergency is best left to a plumber. If your pipe bursts, turn the water off under the sink. If this does not stop the leak, turn the water off at your main shutoff valve and then call a plumber.

Leaking Water Line

Leaks in your water lines, indicated by a damp, musty smell and poor water pressure, threaten the integrity of your home’s walls and floors and can cause the growth of harmful mold. Finding the location of such leaks is not the job of an amateur. Such a plumbing emergency requires the detection and repair abilities of a professional plumber.

Slab or Foundation Leaks

Slab leaks occur when pipes crack under your foundation, and fixing such a plumbing problem is not something you can take care of yourself. Suspect a slab leak if your water bill and usage rises suddenly, you experience low water pressure, or you have unexplained wet floors and damp soil around the outside of your house. Call a plumber right away if you suspect a slab leak.

Badly Clogged Toilet

Minor toilet clogs that respond to plunging are one thing, but if your toilet becomes so clogged that you aren’t able to get it unstopped, that’s a plumbing emergency that requires a professional. A plumber has the tools to reach the toilet’s built-in trap and unclog it. If the clog originates in the pipes below the toilet, a plumber may have to remove the toilet in order to reach the clog. This is definitely not a minor repair.

Malfunctioning Faucet

A faucet that won’t shut off usually requires the assistance of a professional plumber. When such a plumbing emergency occurs, shut off the valve underneath the sink, or if necessary, turn off the main line. Use caution if the faucet is emitting hot water.

Understanding when to call a professional when plumbing emergencies occur protects you and your home.

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Category: Home & Garden, Plumbers

About the Author ()

Julie Bawden-Davis is a Southern-California-based writer specializing in home and garden, real estate, small business and personal finance. Since 1985, her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Entrepreneur and The Los Angeles Times. Julie is a University of California Certified Master Gardener and has written five gardening books, including Reader’s Digest Flower Gardening.