Plumbing First Aid

Plumbing companies like ours seldom receive a non-emergency call. If you have a stopped-up toilet, broken pipes, no hot water or an unwanted wading pool in the basement, it’s an EMERGENCY!

That’s why we emphasize speed of service. It’s our goal to get to every customer within one hour of receiving your call. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. So like soldiers on a battlefield, you ought to know some elementary first aid to stop the bleeding and stabilize the wounded until more thorough help can arrive.  Here are some plumbing first-aid tips:

  • Garbage Disposals – Grease or oils should be collected in a sealed container and disposed of in your trash. If dumped down the sink drain or in the garbage disposal, grease and oil can solidify in your drain, causing a build-up and a potential stoppage. Potato peels are generally okay to toss down the garbage disposal, but can build up in the drain after time or if you’re putting large batches in there at once. Rice, grains and pastas shouldn’t be put down the garbage disposal either. These items can still expand within the drain, causing a slow drain and/or potential stoppage.
  • Gas leaks Water leaks are a nuisance. Gas leaks can be deadly. Here is where marked shutoff valves can be critical. A faint gas odor may indicate nothing more than a burned out pilot light to an appliance. Check the water heater or other appliances in the vicinity to see if the pilot is out. (An absence of hot water is another big hint.) A more powerful odor spells big danger. Turn off the shutoff valve by the gas meter to your house. Turn off all appliances, open windows and vacate the house before you call for service. The most common cause of a major gas leak is someone accidentally knocking open a gas valve or damaging the pipe while moving furniture. Be careful.
  • Overflowing toilet You probably have a plunger handy to remove any clogs caused by toilet paper or other debris. If you can’t stop the water from flowing, it probably indicates a stuck outlet valve. Lift the lid off the toilet tank and check to see why the tank ball or plug is not covering the round opening at the bottom of the tank. Push the ball or plug into the opening.

    If the plug won’t move, don’t force it. Lifting the float arm will shut off the flow. Stretch a ruler or other long object across the top of the tank and position the float arm across it to keep in up in place. Then call the plumber. If none of this works, turn off the shutoff valve to the toilet. Its handle usually is located either behind the tank or underneath it. Then wait for our technician to provide a long-term solution. Usually we can get there within an hour.

For Emergency Service 24/7 Call 909-255-7966

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