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Plumbing problems often occur suddenly. Some are minor, but others can cause a lot of damage to your Sarasota, Florida, home. When a plumbing disaster strikes, you need to act quickly to avoid a catastrophe. Here’s what to do in a plumbing emergency.

A Leak or Burst Pipe: Shut Off the Valves

If you have a plumbing leak, shut off the water supply and assess the problem. If it is a small leak, you can fix it by applying an epoxy paste and wrapping it with self-fusing tape. If it’s a burst pipe, an outside leak, or you cannot locate the source of the leak, you’ll need a plumber. If water has accumulated in the ceiling causing a bulge, make a hole in the ceiling to drain the water before it causes the ceiling to collapse.

If you’re moving into a new home in Sarasota, one of the first things you should do is locate the water valves. When a pipe bursts, water can quickly flood your home. You don’t want to be scrambling to find the water valves. The toilet, clothes washer, and kitchen sink valves are easy to find. Locating the main water valve may require more searching. In most homes, it’s located near the house’s perimeter very close to the outside water meter.

Sewage Problem: Call the Water Company

If you notice a foul sewage smell in your home or septic waste pooling in your yard, you could be facing a major problem. It could indicate a problem with the septic tank, sump pump, or an obstruction in the city’s sewer line. Don’t try to fix a sewage-related problem yourself. You may expose yourself to harmful bacteria. Call the water utility company or septic company who will send a trained professional to investigate and fix the problem.

Overflowing Toilet: Call the Plumber

When the water in the toilet bowl continues to rise after you’ve flushed, panic sets in. If you don’t act quickly, you’ll soon be ankle-deep in water. First, shut off the valve located behind the toilet. If you have young children, put on a rubber glove and stick your hand down the bowl. It may be a simple problem like a stuck toy. If you come up empty, grab a plunger to try and unblock the drain. If neither of these works, it’s time to call a plumber.

Plumbing blockages often creep up slowly. If you notice that your bathtub and sink drain slowly or the water in your toilet bowl takes longer than usual to return to its normal level, a blockage could be forming somewhere in the plumbing system. It’s best to have the problem checked by a professional.

Excessively Hot Water: Switch Off the Water Heater

If you turn on your tap and scalding hot water comes out, your water heater is overheating. Water this hot increases the pressure inside the tank which causes damage to the water heater. It also presents a safety hazard to your family as scalding water can cause serious burns, especially to children. To avoid injuries, turn off the water heater until the problem is solved. Here’s what could be causing the water heater to overheat:

  • The temperature dial. Someone may have inadvertently turned the dial up a few notches. Turn the dial back down and the temperature will return to normal.
  • A malfunctioning reset button on the thermostat. The thermostat will need to be replaced.
  • A failed temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve. The TPR valve releases excess pressure from the water tank, thereby preventing the water from overheating. Get the plumber in to repair or replace the TPR valve.
  • Mineral buildup. Minerals naturally found in water often collect around the heating element. A heating element encrusted in minerals has to work harder, will overheat and eventually burn out. Drain the tank and clean the heating element.

When a plumbing disaster strikes, it’s inconvenient, stressful, and requires immediate attention. For help in a plumbing emergency, don’t waste any time in contacting Aqua Plumbing and Air at (941) 306-3715. We’re available 24 hours a day and we will come to the rescue any time of the day or night, over weekends, and on holidays.

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