Most homeowners are rightly concerned with heading off any significant problems before they become disasters. Unfortunately, many proud new owners are left utterly in the dark when it comes to avoiding some of the biggest plumbing disasters. Listen in on advice on avoiding 3 particularly problematic plumbing pains.
1. The Burst Pipe and Absolutely No Shutoff
Pipes break for all kinds of reasons. Most commonly they freeze and burst because some listless newbie forgot to disconnect the garden hose or to leave the faucet dripping during a cold snap. What makes this common unpleasantness truly nightmarish is when there isn't ready access to a shutoff. Ideally, every home has a shutoff valve at each supply line: one to the hot and cold water lines to each and every water fixture in the house. Many older homes lack this convenient feature, which means a broken pipe will require an owner to shut off the water at the home's main valve.
Even more inconvenient, sometimes this valve doesn't work, is buried, or doesn't even exist, which means the owner has no choice but to call their water utility company and have them turn off the water where the supply enters their lot. There is usually a fee associated with this service, and it can be hefty if it happens after hours. The proactive solution to this problem is to install new supply lines on your home's fixtures and to install easy access panels to the main shutoff. Don't wait until there's an emergency and you end up with two feet of water before you can get the pipe to stop spraying.
2. The Slab Foundation and Inaccessible Sewer Lines
In an effort to build a home as quickly and inexpensively as possible, builders sometimes opt to pour a slab foundation. The problem with this is that in some cases they also opt not to provide access to ducting or plumbing under the slab, which, as you can imagine, is the setup for a very, very unfortunate punchline.
Any sewer line break is unpleasant, but when it is covered by several inches of concrete which is, more often than not, inside your home, you're looking at a whole new level of uncomfortable. You're looking at having to tear up your floor, saw through the concrete, and hope that you're close to the break so you don't have to tear up even more floor and saw through even more concrete.
Head this problem off by creating a contingency plan. Talk with your plumber and develop a crawlspace under your home to make room for repairs, especially if your home is older and has cast-iron sewer lines, which are prone to rusting and breaking.
3. The Septic Setback
On the surface septic systems are much the same as their cousin, the sewer line. They perform the same tasks, but in different ways. Your septic system is designed to break down waste and leech it out into the surrounding soil, and most of the time it does this very well. Sometimes, though, things go terribly awry.
A backed-up or cracked septic system is going to wreak havoc all over your yard and life, and the best way to avoid that is through routine maintenance. Call your plumber out to inspect the system every couple of years, use an enzyme additive to help break down the waste, use septic-safe toilet paper, and have the tank pumped on a schedule that matches your tank size and usage.
If the idea of a plumbing emergency makes you cringe, then hopefully you found this article useful. If you have other questions, don't hesitate to contact your plumber, or click here for more information.Share
6 February 2017
Hi everyone, my name is Linda Strickerts. I am going to talk about plumbing pipes problems, repairs and upgrades on this site. Although the pipes hide beneath the floors and behind the walls, they are an integral part of the home. Without plumbing pipes, we would still be heading out to the outhouse to do our business. Washing clothes, dishes and ourselves would also not be possible without carrying buckets of water in and out of the home. I hope to explore the different ways plumbing pipes changed our lives for the better. I will talk about keeping the pipes in great shape as well. Thanks.