After a week of having to deal with plumbers, this collaborative post, written by Roman who is a qualified plumber has tickled me pink.
When there’s something strange about your plumbing and heating, who you gonna call?
Personally, I think it would be hilarious to call the Ghostbusters and see how they deal with the problem, but an emergency plumber is most definitely a safer option.
Plumbing and heating systems are tricky business. There are so many things that can go wrong, but so many of the problems are also minor and can be fixed without expert help. A pilot light going out can often be sorted in a couple of minutes, as can cold radiators or a broken toilet flush.
But how do you spot a trivial problem from the real emergencies? When should you take a step back and say: ‘I should totally not be trying to solve this problem on my own’? Today, we’re going to look at exactly that, so the next time you’re in a situation that calls for a spot of emergency plumbing, make sure you have a plumber on hand.
Winter is coming.
In the cold, untamed wilds of Britain, this means ice is on the way. For most, a bit of freezing weather is purely an annoyance, but for some it can pose real issues. Even on our most bitter of nights, it is an uncommon occurrence in the winter for piping to freeze, yet it can happen.
First, you find that your water isn’t running, then you identify the culprit.
The temptation here is to heat the pipe with a flame or hair dryer and thaw it out like last night’s leftovers. The problem is that the pipe may have frozen because of a leak that has run water to the exterior of the system and, by thawing it out you’ll just start flooding the room. The extreme changes in temperatures will also damage the pipework itself, causing it to become weaker and therefore compromising its integrity and making it more susceptible to problems in the future.
Frozen pipework seems like an innocuous problem, but it really is a job for an emergency plumber. Be clear about your problem when calling one out and they’ll be able to bring the correct tools to ensure your plumbing is repaired successfully without lasting damage.
Broken or Leaking Pipes
A burst pipe seems like a fairly obvious time to call an emergency plumber, but DIYers have a habit of taking matters into their own hands. It’s true, of course, that you can turn off the mains water supply and wrap the thing in duct tape, but is that a solution?
No it isn’t.
A broken pipe not only causes leaks and property damage, but it also affects the pressure within the pipes themselves. Plumbing needs to be a well-maintained system or you’ll find that other problems occur. Tape also isn’t going to hold forever and the fallout from your second leak experience could be far more dramatic. The comprised pipework will likely have gotten worse while encased beneath its space grey wrapping, meaning you’ll need a much bigger mop than last time when the tape inevitably gives way.
It isn’t worth the risk or the additional costs of reactive maintenance. Be proactive and get the problem sorted — and sorted now.
Water Supply Problems
We’ve come to expect our water supply to be pretty consistent. You turn a tap on, the water comes on; you turn it off, it goes off. Simple. But what about when this doesn’t happen?
There are two types of water supply issues you might face:
Constant: You cannot turn your taps off. There may be a pretty noticeable flow or it might just be a constant dribble — or anywhere in between.
Diminished: You turn the tap on and it doesn’t work like it usually does. It may take a while for water to come out, it may come out at a lower pressure or at a reduced quantity, or it may not come out at all.
While both problems differ in nature, they have similar culprits: problems with valves and/or pipes. Any deviation from the norm calls for an emergency plumber. You have no idea what is causing the problem. It could be a minor issue, or it could be a major one hiding out of sight, going undetected until it’s too late. Leaving problems like this can result in serious damage to property if you’re not careful, so take the necessary precautions and get a professional on the case.
Strange Noises Coming from Your Boiler
As your boiler gets older, you may find it gets a little more talkative than it was in its younger years. It might groan more when switched on, or grumble as it heats up. This isn’t particularly concerning. But, there are some other noises you should be on the lookout for.
Sounds such as hissing, clanking, gurgling and knocking are bad news for your boiler.
These are often caused by broken or worn internal components, leading to blockages and pressure build-ups. Don’t worry: your boiler won’t explode on you. They are built to withstand such problems and remain safe. However, these sounds indicate damage being done inside the appliance and without immediate repair from an emergency plumber, it’s only a matter of time until the boiler gives up.