No one anticipates a plumbing emergency and when it occurs it can be extremely disruptive to the day, often keeping someone home from work or having to cancel plans. There are signs and indicators that underlie plumbing issues that can become emergencies if not addressed promptly. Here are a few of the most common – and potentially serious – ones you should be aware of.
- Gurgling pipes. This is usually a draining issue where the system is trying to find air to mix so that the lines flow correctly. It can occur with a toilet while it is not being used or a shower while in use or a running washing machine. Left unhandled, the system could back up water into your home.
- Water running in pipes or toilet when nothing is in use. This can indicate a leak and needs immediate attention. Look for signs of water leakage in walls, ceiling and floors around fixtures and pipes. If you find a damp spot and it is warm, your hot water line is leaking somewhere. You can also check your water meter to see if it is moving when no water is being used. If it is, you have a leak.
You may be able to isolate the leak somewhat by turning off the valve to the water heater and seeing if the water meter stops spinning. If so, you have valuable data to give your plumber. If the running water sound is coming from your toilet tank, most likely the problem is a worn out or misaligned tank component. In some cases, the entire assembly may need to be replaced, but this is not an expensive fix and it can last for years.
- Low water pressure from faucet. Often this is caused by the aerator or screen in faucet when it gets clogged from mineral deposits or other solids in the water line. Just screw it off, clean it out and reattach. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, there are a number of possible causes and you should not delay in consulting a Ben Franklin plumber. Our plumbers can quickly determine if you have a leak, a broken pipe or valve or hot water heater trouble. Many causes of low water pressure are easily and cheaply fixed but can lead to expensive emergency repairs if ignored.
- Slow drain. It’s generally a clog in the pipe that won’t drain properly. Some clogs resolve with some baking soda and white vinegar, followed after a half hour with hot water, or a branded clog buster from your supermarket. Other times the solution may be a simple plunger. However, if it doesn’t resolve easily with either of these solutions, call us now. Waiting risks unnecessary pipe damage and expensive repairs.
- Brown water coming from your faucet. Brown water is generally from too much iron dislodged or disturbed in the water line. This can occur when there has been work on a water main that resulted in a change in water pressure. Sediment is disturbed and finds its way into the water line into your house. Recently replaced water pipes can also cause this temporary effect. It usually resolves if you run your cold water for about 20 minutes or leave all home water system components off for a few hours.
If this does not resolve, you really need to call Ben Franklin Plumbing because there may be a situation with a rusted pipe that has cracked and is bringing in soil. If not quickly addressed, it may lead to the need for major repairs.
Call Benjamin Franklin in the San Francisco Area
Our plumbers and technicians are experienced at quickly tracking down the source of your plumbing issues and working out the best and most cost-effective solutions for restoring functionality.