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 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 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.