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Plumbing Emergencies Often Occur Without Warning

Jan 14

Plumbing Emergencies Often Occur Without Warning

Walking into your home and finding water everywhere is a property owner's worst nightmare. Unfortunately, plumbing emergencies often happen without any warning signals. Homeowners need to know the signs of certain plumbing emergencies in order to avoid catastrophic damage or worse, a flooded home.

Crimping is one of the most common causes of water leaks, according to Paul Davis, general manager of OC Plumbing in Huntington Beach. He says that when someone installs new appliances, they often don't realize that it's necessary to install copper lines that are strong enough for these items. Instead of buying larger pipes at additional cost—thousands extra in some cases—they just crimp the line and continue on their way. This practice over time weakens lines until one day--boom--there's a burst.

"On occasion homeowners call us because their neighbors have them about the leak," says Davis. "But sometimes we get a frantic call from the owner, and by the time we arrive they've tried to stop it with towels or fix it on their own."

And you guessed it: Sometimes these home remedies make matters worse because the homeowner has no idea what's doing more harm than good. For example, covering up cracks with spray foam is something homeowners have done for years–and there are still contractors who recommend this practice to their clients. But in reality, once water comes into contact with foam over time--it expands. This means that when there's a crack, instead of stopping water leaks, all you're doing is creating bigger ones until the entire system breaks down.

Davis says that plumbers can't stress enough that homeowners need to be proactive about their water systems, even if they don't think there will ever be a problem. "It's like when you get your oil changed. It's expensive now, but you're preventing possible bigger problems down the road."

A proactive approach not only prevents major damage from happening, it saves money in the long run because contractors are less likely to have to make emergency repairs on damaged pipes.

Plumbers recommend that property owners take preventative measures by having an annual inspection performed by a plumber who specializes in water systems. Usually this doesn't cost more than $100 or $200 depending on the size of the house and the number of fixtures.

Davis offers these additional tips for property owners:

· At least once per year, water heaters should be flushed to maintain efficiency and avoid the buildup of sediment.

· Don't use drain cleaners; they can corrode your pipes over time.

· If dripping occurs after using a fixture such as a shower or toilet, it's usually because air pockets are getting trapped in the line. Turn off water and re-open fixture to let fluid go through and clear out bubbles.

If you're not sure what is causing damage to your home's plumbing system then be safe and call a professional plumber for help. You'll prevent further damage and save money down the road by hiring someone who knows exactly how to handle emergencies involving water systems.