One of the worst things a person sometimes has to endure is a plumbing emergency in their home. Whether it be a burst pipe or blocked toilet it can be pretty upsetting when it happens as the regular home owner usually has very little knowledge of what to do or how to handle a plumbing emergency problem and fix the issue quickly. Also if all plumbing emergencies were the same it would help as you would just need to follow the same steps to sort the problem out. Unfortunately this is not the case as there a many common things that may go wrong with the plumbing in your home and each problem has a different solution. Let's look a few common problems.
Your Bath,Sink Or Basin Isn't Drain Properly
If just your bath or basin is blocked or not draining properly you can most probably solve that problem with a common drain cleaning product. Kitchen sinks usually get blocked from pouring allot of grease down the drain as well. All you need to do if your sink pipe gets blocked is to wrap some tinfoil around your sink trap and heat it up with a hair dryer. The tinfoil then gets hot, melts the grease in the sink trap and unblocks the drain. If more than one of your drains isn't draining correctly you should call a plumber as the problem will most likely lay with the mains which run under your home. A plumber will be able to locate where the blockage in the main pipes are and clear it.
Your Toilet Is Blocked Up Or Overflows
As most people know toilets occasionally get blocked or even overflow from time to time. Once of the most common reasons is if someone uses too much toilet paper and clogs it. That is why people keep a plumber next to the loo. But what if you don't have a plumber, what do you do then? Well, you can through half a bottle of shampoo or dish-washing liquid into the toilet or cut up a bar of soap and through that in. You then need to boil 4 - 5 liters of water and pour it onto the shampoo or dish-washing liquid and wait 3 - 5 minutes. The hot water will then break up the toilet paper and the shampoo or dish-washing liquid will make the toilet paper slide down quite easily. If non of this works though, turn the tap next to the toilet off and call a plumber to come help you.
Dealing With Leaking Pipes
Let's start by saying you have identified where the leak in the pipe is and now have to fix it. Let's also assume you don't have any plumbing pipe patch kits and need to do a emergency DIY job. The next best thing to use is a metal hose clamp and a rubber patch. The rubber patch you can cut out of an old bicycle tire or if you have any sort of rubber laying around the house or in your garage that should suffice. Place the rubber piece over the leaking hole and clamp down with the metal clamps. This is a quick and easy way to stop any leaking pipe and if the pipe is in good condition it can even be a permanent solution.
About the Author
Julian Venter is the owner of Plumbers Cape Town. Plumbers Cape Town offers a variety of plumbing services and solutions to the Western Cape area.