Handling plumbing emergencies in Chicago
Plumbing emergencies are one of those unpleasant things that one has to deal with from time to time. They have the knack of appearing on weekends or when you come back from holidays, or in the middle of the night. It will save you a lot of money and unpleasantness, if you have a plan of action when the plumbing woes come to visit.
With Chicago's cold winters, freezing water pipes can cause them to burst or start leaking. The expansion water undergoes when turning to ice puts pressure on the integrity of your pipe system. And while it may withstand this process a couple of times, the material weakens with repetitive freezing and thawing. So at some point the pipe gives in, causing leaks or bursts.
Another problem that causes leaks and pipes is the rust and calcium that collects in the filters of your water heating systems. Every time you use hot water, it sends these particles through your pipe system, causing rust and calcium deposits to settle in elbows and joint, slowly reducing the water flow and ultimately putting pressure on the pipe to bursting point.
What you can do when this happens:
First of all, when working on leaking or burst pipes, turn off your water mains. One cannot work on a system that is under water pressure – it would cause a major mess and potential damage to your floors and walls.
In winter, keep a tap or two dripping water permanently. This causes the water to flow and it will not freeze as easily as it is in motion. If you have any pipes exposed directly to climate, it pays to insulate the pipes so they do not freeze.
Clean the filter in your water heating system regularly. This will prevent calcium and rust build-up and only takes a couple of minutes – but doing this can prevent major repairs to your pipe system.
Having the right tools handy can make emergency repairs so much easier. Have a look at websites to find out which tools are needed for plumbing repairs. Having spare grommets, thread tape and seal rings for taps and drains will also be helpful doing your own emergency repairs.
In most cases, dealing with leaking or blocked pipes and blocked drains will necessitate the calling of a professional plumber. Your job is to stop water gushing all over your house, so be sure to have the address of a good plumber ready, unless you are willing to crawl around in ceilings, chip open and re-plaster/repaint walls, and replace broken or damaged piping. These days, plumbing is quite a specialised field, so calling your plumber for repairs is the most economically viable and time-efficient way of dealing with the necessity of plumbing repairs.
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