You’re a mom and you can handle anything. Nobody in your family disputes that, not even your spouse. You’ve seen and handled it all, but there are times when you should step aside. Bloody noses, scraped knees, the latest argument over what to watch on TV is right up your alley; a burst pipe underground – not so much. There are plumbing issues you can handle on your own, and there are some that are best left to the professionals. Here’s a list to help you differentiate between the two.
Clogged Sinks and Toilets
Even if your husband dubs himself the plumbing king, certain clogs cannot be handled with drain cleaner. Plus, do you really want to use that dangerous chemical in your home? Yes, eventually sink and shower/tub drains slow down because of their daily use. Hair, grease, grime, and even spit from brushing your teeth build up inside the drainpipes.
To keep them clean, pour baking soda down each drain first and then chase it with white vinegar. Let the foaming solution sit for 30 minutes to an hour and then pour boiling salt water down the drain. Should a drain clog anyway, plunge it to release the clog. You can also use a pipe snake, but be careful. If you don’t know how to use it properly. You could punch a hole in your pipe.
If your toilet is clogged, turn off the water supply at the valve (behind the toilet) and plunge it. You can also snake the toilet pipe, but again, this is best left to professionals if you don’t know how to use the auger safely. If this does not resolve the clog, call for professional help. Some pipe clogs are too tough for common DIY solutions, and a professional can isolate the issue and fix it.
Burst or Leaking Pipes
Unless you and your partner feel like a huge weekend project, a burst or leaking pipes is not necessarily a DIY thing. Leaking pipes often go unnoticed, unless they are visible to the eye. If you see water stains on your walls, ceiling, floor, or notice the ground is always wet outside, you might have a leaking pipe somewhere. This must be addressed right away, as water damage is expensive to repair.
Water damage also causes mildew and mold concerns, which are particularly dangerous if you have anyone in your home with compromised respiratory or immune systems. Outside or underneath your home, water can damage the foundation, which compromises your home’s stability and is extremely costly to repair. Inspect your plumbing indoors and out to check for signs of leaking pipes.
You’ll know if your pipes burst, and if they do, shut off the water supply to the home immediately. Your goal in doing so is to reduce additional damage to your plumbing and home. If you or your husband is familiar with plumbing systems, you may be able to fix the burst pipes yourself. If not, leave it to the experts to repair. They’ll know what to do and offer the best solutions.
These are just two instances of household plumbing emergencies that require immediate attention. Other issues include a malfunctioning water heater or sewer/septic system failure. The latter can cause environmental issues, so you’ll definitely need professional help to fix that.