The bad thing about plumbing emergencies is that they can happen at any time. The good thing about being the premier 24/7 emergency plumber in the Fort Myers area is that we’re available to respond at any time. Lee County Plumbing & Well Service LLC is at your service, just a phone call away.
But practically speaking, some plumbing emergencies can’t wait for the professionals to arrive. Pipes burst open and water gushes out, piling up in an awful mini-flood. Faucets drip constantly like something from an Edgar Allen Poe story. Maybe you smell unexplained gas. Maybe the toilet backs up. These are significant plumbing emergencies requiring prompt response.
The important thing is there are solutions. In this blogpost we provide instructions on the immediate steps you should take whenever a plumbing emergency strikes. It’s also a good idea to clue in other responsible people, so they can take the right action too.
Major Emergency Plumbing Problems and First-Response Solutions:
Spoiler Alert: The best response to all of these problems, once any necessary safety measures have been taken, is to call Lee County Plumbing & Well Service LLC at 239-464-6150 anywhere in Southwest Florida.
Clogged, blocked or leaking toilet
When that water (and anything in it, ahem) starts to rise, it doesn’t matter how calmly we say not to panic. It’s only natural – after all, that’s supposed to be a one-way deal. No one wants to see that deal broken.
First, know the location of the valve which controls the toilet’s water supply. It’s usually on the floor near the commode. Turn it to the right to close the valve and stop the flow. (If this is not doable, turn off the house’s main water-supply valve, typically located in the basement.)
Then, plunge the blockage loose – unless the clog is caused by a toy or tissue mass or something not meant for the toilet drain, in which case attempt to remove the offending block with the hook of a coat hanger.
Notice a sudden curvature in your ceiling that you know wasn’t there before? Or maybe the hardwood floor is bowing up in a most unfloorlike fashion. Or perhaps a basement pipe has burst open and water is pouring onto the linoleum.
First, turn off the main water-supply valve. (This is when it’s good to already know the location of your home’s water valves.) Then, drain the system (and prevent more water from leaking or pouring out) by opening up all the cold-water taps in the house, including sinks and bathtubs, and even flush the toilets. The faster you can drain the home’s water supply, the less water will pile up and cause further flood damage.
Remember that electricity and water mix only too well, but you don’t mix very well with them, so turn off power supplies and electronic devices when in or near standing water or flooded rooms.
Constantly leaking faucet or backed-up sink
First, turn off (and leave off) the garbage disposal switch, if your kitchen sink is equipped with one. It’s even smarter to turn off the power to the kitchen from the main switchbox, to prevent an accidental turn of the blades. (Needless to say, it’s smartest to never ever ever put your hands in the garbage disposal at all.)
Insert a long, ideally wooden spoon into the sink’s drain hole to lift up and remove the blockage. Attempt to pull it up; pushing it down into the pipe could result in merely relocating the blockage.
Once unclogged, rinse the disposal with hot water, turn the power back on and see if the backup has been resolved.
Natural gas does not naturally smell, but an additive makes it detectable to our noses, which is good because we don’t want our noses to detect it for long. If you or anyone else in the building or home smells that rotten-egg gas odor from anywhere inside, take these precautions:
- Open doors and windows to allow air to flow through the rooms
- Turn off the main gas-supply valve(s), usually located in the basement of a home or in the utility rooms of large commercial buildings
- Do not use a lighter, match or any open flame for any reason
- Do not use electrical appliances (in case of electrostatic discharge)
- If the gas scent persists, leave the premises
- Regardless of duration of gas smell, contact a local professional plumber
We feel fortunate to serve Lee County, Charlotte, Hendry and Collier and plenty of great folks in Florida since establishing our full-service plumbing company in 2000. We’ve been lucky to solve many different plumbing problems at a variety of building types – some needing standard solutions, some innovative.
Lee County Plumbing & Well Service LLC has performed plumbing work for year-round residents, real estate agents (residential and commercial), office parks, motels and hotels, commercial property managers, Airbnb leases, property flippers, snowbirds and spring training visitors.
We live in a beautiful part of the planet that treats us all year to warm temps and cleansing thundershowers. There’s a uniqueness to maintaining a Florida home or property that the rest of the country doesn’t have to contend with – sand traps, pool water, salamanders. Sometimes emergencies and disasters strike even the most prepared homeowner.
When plumbing emergencies happen, first protect yourself, your family and pets, and as much as possible your belongings. Then please call the top professional plumbers in Southwest Florida, Lee County Plumbing & Well Service LLC: Telephone 239-464-6150; fax 239-321-5132; or send us an email.
You’ll get a prompt courteous response, and one of our mobile units will roll to the location of your plumbing or well-water emergency ASAP for the fastest, most expedited fix, repairing your system back to a state of good use.
Running water is one of the greatest inventions of humankind – and we’re not saying that because we’re the top full-service plumbers here in Fort Myers. Keeping the water flowing in Southwest Florida is what we do for a living.
Just think about it: You get to live in a home and work in an office where the plumbing system – connecting every kitchen sink, bathroom toilet, shower, tub, dishwasher and washing machine in the entire building – carries away all your unwanted waste and used water, day after night after day. It’s a modern miracle we take for granted – though we really shouldn’t.
As miraculous as that plumbing system is, all those pipes, valves, drains, and pumps – like any technology – can and will deteriorate if not regularly maintained and monitored for upgrades and repairs.
To keep the plumbing running smoothly in your home- whether it’s on the lake in Immokalee or on the bay in Port Charlotte-one of the best, most cost-effective, easiest ways to help yourself as a homeowner, property manager or landlord is to get yourself some clean sewer lines, at minimum once per year.
Avoid slow draining, clogs, bursts and leakages; prevent buildup of corrosive materials.
Clean sewer lines don’t stay clean. Many substances go down your drain and pretty much stay there. Soap, food particles, hair care lotions, grease, sediment, even organics like skin, hair and fur can accumulate in your home’s drains and pipes, causing restricted water flow through the drain. Eventually the pipe could seal, leading to a clog…which leads to water pooling up…which leads to pipe erosion and broken pipes. A thorough professional cleaning greatly reduces the likelihood of such damage.
Avoid damage to drains and connective valves; prevent buildup of sand.
In our corner of Florida, salty air and sandy surfaces are a reality of life. We enjoy hundreds of miles of coastline and sometimes sand (despite our best efforts) gets into our homes and our plumbing systems. If you reside near a beach in Sanibel, Pine or Naples, you have billions of tiny reasons to clean sewer lines and drains.
Avoid hard water; ensure the water you drink, bathe in and cook with is as clean as possible.
Consider the route your water takes to reach your faucet, spigot or tap. Whether your supply is municipal or well, the pipes, valves and drains in your home are the last system with which your water comes into contact. With drain cleaning and water softening (reverse-osmosis purification treatments), we’ll help you keep everything clean.
Be mindful of what goes down the drain – not everything “disposable” really is!
Ever throw a sanitary wipe or hygiene product down the toilet? It may swirl away but it’s hardly gone. Those often collect in the hooks and elbows of your plumbing pipes, leading to potential water leaks and bursts. If you think you have anything like that in there, it would be best to get it cleaned out.
Also, many tourists and some residents here in Lee County and around Southwestern Florida use sunscreen with micro-beads. We cannot stress enough how much trouble these are for your plumbing system, not to mention your local environment in general.
Since Lee County Plumbing & Well Service LLC has been serving Lee, Hendry, Charlotte and Collier counties here in Florida (our full-service plumbing contractor company was founded in 2000) we’ve been called for many dire emergency plumbing situations where a little minor maintenance would have prevented a lot of major replacements. Cleaning your plumbing system’s drains is always Recommendation No. 1.
We perform a lot of re-pipe work here in Southwest Florida, sometimes for those older homes around Fort Myers, sometimes for fairly new construction in Cape Coral, sometimes for commercial tourist spots out on Pine and Sanibel. A lot of that repiping wouldn’t be necessary with a plumbing pro on a regular maintenance schedule.
A little prevention goes a long way, and the best way for great money-saving preventive maintenance is to call us, Lee County Plumbing & Well Service LLC, at 239-464-6150 anywhere in Southwest Florida. Let us take care of the little things like regular drain cleaning maintenance, so it’s less likely we’ll need to talk about big things like re-piping and replacements.
We all know the movie “The Money Pit.” Shelley Long and Tom Hanks are hapless first-time homeowners who go more than a little crazy trying to keep their lovely country home from crumbling to the ground.
One of our favorite scenes has to be when the bathtub crashes through the floor. We know that laugh Tom Hanks made. In the plumbing business here in Southwest Florida for almost 20 years, we definitely know that exasperated laugh.
Your home is very likely the most important investment you will ever make. Taking care of it is part of the ongoing costs of investment – and you are rewarded with things like equity, resale value and a great home for your family.
But you still need ways to save money. You can’t break the bank, going cash-poor to remain house-rich. So, from your professional plumbers here in Fort Myers and Cape Coral, here are some smart home plumbing tips to avoid draining your bank account:
Gallons are dollars.
Use water conservatively. Essentially, when you need water, turn it on; when you don’t, turn it off. Do not allow the water to pour out for every moment that you’re brushing your teeth or washing the dishes. Also, look into investing in water-efficient toilets and shower heads.
A water-saving shower head can save about five gallons in a minute (and you still get clean).
Use Energy Star-rated washing machines and dishwashers.
Look for the familiar blue insignia on your residential or commercial appliances. According to EnergyStar.gov, a new dishwasher with an Energy Star certification will save an average of 3,870 gallons of water during its lifetime.
Have your system’s pipes inspected to ensure they can handle our part of Florida.
Codes for installation of sewer, septic and well piping are very strict here in Lee County and across South Florida. Around here we need to deal with sandy soil that shifts pipes and salty air that corrodes metal.
To avoid an unbelievably costly re-piping catastrophe, get your whole indoor and outdoor plumbing system on a regular maintenance schedule.
Be flexible! Use flex tubing instead of copper.
One of the latest advancements in plumbing technology is the material from which pipes are made. Considering Fort Myers was the winter escape of both Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, it’s fitting that this area should embrace technological improvements – especially when they can save money over the life of your plumbing system, versus standard copper piping. At Lee County Plumbing & Well Service LLC, we specialize in Viega Pex Press plumbing systems.
Planning a major renovation or build-out project? Plan ahead.
Being in the plumbing industry since 2000, we’ve been fortunate to be part of large-scale construction projects and remodels from Estero to Lehigh Acres. New outdoor showers, new pierside spigots, new guest houses. The money-saving tip for remodelers: Call us early. We’ll plan the installation of the various plumbing components on the best schedule for your overall project, keeping with your timeline and your budget.
It’s cheaper to maintain than it is to replace – usually much cheaper.
A pound of prevention is worth – in the case of many plumbing problems – thousands of dollars’ worth of cure. Let’s clean those drains before it causes a backup. Let’s solve that low-pressure problem before it becomes a clogged pipe. Let’s look into that foul smell or suspicious noise before it becomes a plumbing emergency – and your savings go down the drain.
Every building’s plumbing circumstances are unique, so the best ways you can save money could be different from high-density areas like LaBelle and pristine neighborhoods around Bonita Springs. Let’s see what tips are best for your Southwest Florida home or property.
Call us at 239-464-6150 when you need service – actually, better yet, call Lee County Plumbing & Well Service LLC long before you need service.