It’s almost the end of the year. Is your plumbing prepared for another year? If it’s been awhile since you thought about your drains, pipes, and sewer line, now’s the time to prepare for plumbing emergencies in 2018. Clogged drains, ruptured water lines, and sewer backups are the three most common jobs we handle each year. That’s why we encourage you to prepare for these plumbing emergencies now.

Clogged Drain

If your kitchen or bathroom sink isn’t draining, you’re suffering from the most common plumbing problem out there. Fortunately, you can often tackle clogged drains without calling a plumber.

What causes clogged drains?

Most bathroom drain clogs are caused when hair, dirt, and skin flakes bind to soap debris inside the drain pipe. Kitchen sinks become clogged when sticky food residue, soap scum, and cooking grease gunk up the inside of your pipes. The best way to prevent kitchen sink clogs is to never pour grease or oil down the drain.

What to do if you discover a clogged drain

Fortunately, bathroom sink clogs are usually located just a few inches from the drain. Remove and clean the drain stopper. Then, insert a plastic sink hair snare. Pull it back out to see all the gunk you’ve removed.
To unclog a kitchen sink, start by loosening up the clog with boiling water. Use a sink plunger to break up the clog and send it down the pipe. If your kitchen or bathroom sink is still not draining after these efforts, you need a plumber’s help.

Ruptured Water Line

If your plumbing is old, the need to replace your water mainline could sneak up on you. Prepare now to face the possibility of a ruptured water line.

When is a mainline replacement necessary?

The water main can leak or burst due to a sloppy repair job, shifting soil from the seasonal freeze/thaw cycle, or simply old age.

What to do if you discover a ruptured water line

Often, the only way to spot a ruptured mainline is to check your yard for standing water. Mysteriously high water bills are also a sign you have a leak somewhere in your plumbing. Turn off the main water valve and call a plumber if you suspect a ruptured water line.

Sewer Backup

There’s nothing fun about a sewer backup. Once you recognize the causes, you can make sewer backup prevention a priority.

What causes sewer backups?

Your sewer line may back up for several reasons:

  • A clog in the main sewer line prevents proper drainage.
  • Tree roots can wrap around the sewer line and crush it, or grow through pipes, causing leaks and blockages.
  • Older cast iron or clay sewer lines can break down or collapse, blocking the smooth flow of waste water.

What to do if you have a backed-up sewer

No matter the cause, or in what season it occurs, sewer backups can be hazardous to your health. Discontinue using your plumbing right away and call a plumber to help remove the clog from the sewer line.

If sewage starts backing up into your home:

  • Call a plumber immediately. Don’t attempt to clean up the mess yourself.
  • Stay away from the affected plumbing fixture.
  • Prevent the flow from reaching air registers. Turn off your central heat or air conditioning as a precaution.
  • Call a restoration company to begin the cleanup process.
  • Make a homeowner’s insurance claim as soon as possible.