In many situations, issues with drains can wait a reasonable amount of time to be repaired. With some of the simpler problems, you might even be able to resolve the issue on your own. But what happens when a malfunctioning drain has the potential to damage the home or it is causing a significant disruption to your life?
When serious drainage issues occur, you need to call for emergency drain repair service right away. You need to be able to use things like your toilets and your showers, and you certainly cannot wait for a regular service call while a leaking or backed up drain floods your basement.
When it comes to emergency drain service, there are a lot of issues that require the immediate attention of a professional emergency plumber. However, if you have a problem that isn’t causing immediate problems you can get some sleep and call for regular drain repair service the next day. In this post, we are going to look at some common drain problems and why they happen.
Common Drain Emergencies
The plumbing system in your home could experience any number of drain emergencies. Even some drainage problems that seem similar could have very different causes. To provide you with a better understanding of emergency drain service, we are going to take a look at some of these common drainage problems and the types of things that cause them.
Clogged Sink Drains
The drains for your kitchen and bathroom sinks can get clogged fairly easily. In some cases, you might be able to correct the situation by using a plunger, but there are tough clogs that will be too difficult for a homeowner to handle.
When your kitchen or bathroom sink is backed up or draining slowly, you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. Without the use of your kitchen sink, you won’t be able to prepare food or wash dishes, and if your bathroom sink won’t drain, imagine how hard it will be to get ready for work in the morning.
When the drains on these sinks get stopped up, it is usually because a build of debris and muck in the drain line. In the kitchen, it is most likely things like grease and bits of food that have accumulated over time. With the bathroom sink, it is probably things like soap, hair and toothpaste.
For issues with sink drains, there are some options for what you can do. You could consider using a chemical drain cleaner, but this is not always the best solution. The chemicals in a drain cleaner are intended to dissolve the clog and open the drain. However, if you use them too frequently, they can damage the drainpipe and cause a leak.
If you have tools like a plunger or a drain snake, you could try to dislodge the stoppage. In many cases, these tools will be restore function to a drain, but there are some tough clogs that you might not be able to clear with common home plumbing tools. If you find that you cannot restore function to your sink drain, then it is time to call in an emergency plumber.
If your basement starts to flood because of a drainage issue, it is a genuine plumbing emergency. You have the potential for water damage in the home and if it is a drain from a toilet, there is also the contamination of the water that is leaking.
With some drain leaks, it might just be something that occurred over time. If the pipes have been around long enough, things like corrosion can cause leaks and seals can go bad. For some of the most serious problems with basement flooding, it could be something like a backed up or surcharging sewer line.
When it comes to a leak in a drain line that runs in the basement, there is not much preventative maintenance that you can do. As long as the pipes were installed and fitted properly, you should not have problems with leaks for a long time, but they can occur.
If you are talking about a sewer line that has backed up and is flowing into the house, there could be several causes. It could simply be an accumulation of waste material or it could be tree lines that have grown into the line. Sewer lines can also deteriorate over time, so it could be an issue that will require clearing the line and some level of drain repair.
If you have a drain problem that is causing your basement to flood, the City of Toronto has put together a list of things to do if you have a basement flood. First step is to contact your hydro company (aka power company) to shut off the power to your home. The next thing is to stop using any fixture that is connected to the drain. If the water is coming from your connection to the municipal wastewater sewer, then that will mean avoiding the use of any of the drains in the home.
In either case, the basement flooding is something that most homeowners will not be able to deal with on their own. You don’t want to wait around while your basement floods with unsanitary water and you also want to restore function to the fixtures that use the drains.
Getting an emergency plumber is really the only answer. When you call for this type of emergency drain service, you should ask the plumber if there is anything you can do to prevent further damage before they arrive, and if there is anything that can be done to get the site ready for them. Basement waterproofing measures such as installing a backwater valve is a good step to preventing this sort of problem from happening again in the future.
When you go to flush your toilet and it does not drain, it is not a good feeling. A malfunctioning toilet drain is a serious problem, and if it is the only toilet in the home, then you are in some real trouble.
Clogged toilets are some of the most common drain emergencies that plumbers are called to fix, and they can have a few different causes. A build up of toilet paper and waste is one of the most common causes. Another common problem is flushing the wrong things down the drain. Some people might try to flush paper towels, baby wipes, tampons and a whole host of other items down the drain. It might seem like the easy and convenient thing to do, but a toilet is not a trash can, and it should not be used like one.
In some cases, a clogged toilet could also be the result of a backed up sewer drain. A compromised sewer lateral can restrict the flow of the toilet drain, and this will cause it to get stopped up. If you find that more than one drain is having trouble, then this could be a sign that the problem is at the home’s sewer connection.
If you are having problems with a backed up toilet, there are some steps that you can take to address the problem. Firstly, you do not want to continue flushing the toilet in the hopes that it will make the water drain. This could result in an overflow situation, and that will only make things worse. If you think there is the potential for the water to overflow the rim of the toilet, then it is a good idea to turn off the water supply as a preventative measure.
The first thing to try with a backed up toilet is to use a plunger. A plunger might be able to dislodge the clog, and this could restore function. If it is a reoccurring clog that you have cleared with a plunger before, then you might want to contact a plumber. As we mentioned with bathroom and kitchen sinks, you could try clearing the drain with a chemical drain cleaner. However, this comes with the risk that it could potentially damage the drainpipe, and it could eventually lead to a leak.
Clogged Bathtub Drain
Have you ever started the shower and found that the water started to rise around your feet? Or maybe you finished a nice relaxing bath to find that the water just sits there after you release the drain. A clogged bathtub or shower drain can be a real disruption to the lives of people living in a home, and it is something that needs to get fixed right away.
A bathtub or shower drain can get backed up for a number of reasons. If people that live in the home have long hair, it can easily build up into a serious clog. You might also find that issues with an accumulation of soap scum have the ability to clog a shower. Quite often, the clog is just a mess of tangled up hair that is loaded with soap scum and grime.
When a shower or bathtub does get backed up, you do have some options for trying to remedy the situation on your own. Drain cleaners are one option, but as we mentioned before, they do have their problems. If the tub has slowly drained over time, you could consider pouring hot water down the drain. Boiling hot water can loosen up many of the most common clogs, so if you have the time to wait, it might be worth a shot.
If you have the tools, you could also try some of the same steps that you would use on a sink that has a backed up drain. A plunger can work just as well in a tub as it does in a sink. You could also try running a snake down the line if you have one.
If all else fails, you should call in an emergency plumber. You can’t do without your shower or tub for a day or two, and you can’t keep using it if it won’t drain or if it drains too slowly. This is especially true if you have multiple people that need to use the same bathtub or shower as they get ready in the morning.
While there are some leaks and clogs that will occur no matter what you do, preventive maintenance can significantly reduce the possibility of emergency drainage issues. Depending on the specific drain, there are different things that you can do to prevent problems.
With most drains, preventing problems in the future is all about controlling what goes down the drain. The different drains in your home are designed for different purposes. When you start using them incorrectly, you can expose yourself to the potential for a backed up drain.
To protect your kitchen sink drain, you just want to start putting more things in the trash. Cooking grease is a big problem for kitchen sinks, so you want to save it in a container and throw it in the trash. Things like coffee grounds and bits of food can also clog a kitchen sink. Try to scrape your dishes in the trash, and prevent food from going down the drain.
The prescription for the bathroom sink is similar to that of the kitchen sink. You just want to try to stop things from going down the drain. Getting a screen for the bathroom sink can help to catch many of the items that might fall down the drain. If you have long hair, try to avoid brushing your hair right over the sink.
Other than toilet paper and human waste, you should not be flushing anything down the toilet. Things like napkins and paper towels might seem harmless, but they are made from a thicker paper and it can clog the drain. If you have children, you also need to talk them about what can go down the toilet and what cannot.
For problems with the sewer line backing up, the best preventative measure is to have a backwater valve installed. It is a simple device that will prevent water from coming back up the sewer line and into the home and it can do a lot to prevent basement flooding that is related to the sewer line.
Serious drainage problems tend to occur at the most inconvenient times. That is why so many plumbers offer emergency drain service. We know that plumbing problems can occur at any time of the day, and that there are some issues that just can’t wait. If you have a drain emergency, you can give us a call any time. We offer speedy service to get emergency issues taken care of right away.