If you suffer a plumbing emergency at home, the last thing you want to do is to attempt a quick fix which actually makes things much worse. Plumbing emergencies can be very stressful, and it can be tempting to try anything in order to fix the issue. However, the best course of action is to contact an emergency plumber straight away. Below is a guide to two quick fixes you should never use during a plumbing emergency.
Warming up a frozen section of pipe
During the colder months, it is easy for water pipes to become frozen. If this happens in your home, you may think about applying heat directly to the pipe in order to melt the frozen water inside. However, this is a very bad idea. When water freezes, it expands. This expansion will place additional stress on the section of pipe. If you apply too much heat, it could cause the weakened piece of pipe to crack and fail.
You should also bear in mind that if there is ice in the connecting pieces of pipe, any ice you melt into water by heating a section of pipe will have nowhere to go. So while you may have the impression that you have fixed the problem, you could face a situation in which water backs up into your home when you begin to use your plumbing system again. If your pipes are frozen, you should contact an emergency plumber who will be able to defrost them.
Placing duct tape around leaking connectors
If the connectors which hold sections of pipe together become loose, they may spring a leak. Your first instinct might be to reach for your trusty roll of duct tape so you can seal the leaking connector. While duct tape is very strong, it is not the right solution for this problem. When the tape is exposed to water for long periods of time, its adhesiveness will begin to fail, and the tape will begin to fall away.
Also, because the water in the pipe is under pressure, you may find that it suddenly burst through the duct tape, causing the section of pipe to fail completely. If this occurs, you could soon have a full-scale flood on your hands. If you spot a leaking pipe connector, you should shut off the water supply at the stopcock and call an emergency plumber.
If you would like further help and advice, contact an emergency plumber today.