All owners and tenants of a home should know the elementary emergency plumbing techniques to avoid unnecessary damage and not spend a fortune with the high costs of resorting to a 24-hour plumber. To do these emergency jobs, all you need is a toolkit and a few readily available replacement parts.
The 4 most common situations in which to repair pipes
Defrost frozen pipes
A good way to keep pipes from freezing is to protect them under the floor through the attic. If you notice that the tap water does not flow well or that the cistern does not fill as it should, it may be due to an ice problem. In these cases, an ice plug may have formed in one of the supply lines. Normally, the plug is not in a supply, but in a general one that is in contact with the outside. Generally, pipe freezing usually occurs in a space close to the outside, such as under the roof.
The best way to undo the ice plug is to use a simple hair dryer to heat the pipe while leaving the faucet running to let the water flow as soon as the ice in the pipe thaws. In the event that you cannot use a hair dryer, you should wrap a hot towel around the pipe or place a hot water bottle next to it.
Fix a punctured pipe
Unless the exact plan of the home's network of pipes is known, it is very easy to puncture or puncture a pipe when a board is driven into the floor of the house. If this happens, the damage can be detected because the hole emits a hissing sound when the water comes out under pressure; although the most common is that nothing is noticed until a damp stain appears on the neighbor's roof or has a humidity problem in the home itself.
To properly fix a damaged pipe, the pipe must be cut where the break or hole occurred and the area restored with a new joint section. To temporarily fix the problem, an emergency repair can be undertaken. For this, a few easy-to-find elements such as a rubber hose, a clamp or a simple tape, and glue or putty will suffice.
Steps to follow for the repair
- To repair a damaged pipe, close the water stopcock in the damaged area and dry the damaged pipes completely with a cloth or hair dryer.
- Run a file over the damaged area and apply a little putty or glue to cover the break and the area around it.
- Cut a piece of hose, cut the part lengthwise, and wrap the damaged pipe.
- Secure the reinforcement pipe with a few wraps of tape or clamps. The fault will be completely solved when the glue or putty has dried, although it should be checked later.
In the event that there is a flood due to a broken pipe in the house or due to a breakdown of an electrical appliance, the first thing to do is cut off the general key to the electrical panel of the house. to prevent water from causing a short circuit. It is not advisable to reconnect the power until the cables and electrical appliances are completely dry.
To avoid flooding, you must follow the following recommendations:
- Close the general water tap if the house is going to be uninhabited for more than 48 hours.
- Repair leaky faucets or faucets.
- Check the rubber connection of the electrical appliances every 2 years and remove the plug from the toilets after use.
The remains of grease and food, as well as chemicals, sand, mineral residues from the water and small garbage that accumulate in the drain pipes of sinks and toilets or appliances end up clogging the conduit. Modern PVC drains usually have a siphon that is easy to remove and unclog to avoid a general clogging of the pipe; but many other installations do not have this device, so jams are more difficult to solve. The choice of the ideal method to perform the act of unclogging the pipe depends on the composition, importance and location of the remains that have caused the clogging. It is best to try all the possible solutions until it clears. At the first symptoms of traffic jam; When drainage is very slow, check that there is no large enough debris in sight. In these cases, a jug of boiling water mixed with ammonia will loosen the greasy remains of the food.
In the event that the drain does not have a siphon, a traditional rubber plunger can be used, the suction cup is placed on the drain and an energetic movement is made up and down with the plunger handle to send pressure and push the materials that have clogged the drain. In the case of appliances such as the washing machine or dishwasher, these usually have a filter that retains the remains. In the event that the clog has occurred in a pipe, a sharp soft rubber tube can be inserted through the pipe to remove the waste plug. Chemical plungers contain very powerful caustics that dissolve organic waste. They are very toxic and abrasive elements, so it is advisable to take certain precautions for use.
To avoid traffic jams, the best option is to prevent using the following recommendations:
- Do not throw food scraps, used oils, or chemicals down the sink drain.
- Place grids in drains to retain hair and organic debris.
- Periodically clean the filters of the washing machine and dishwasher.
- Do not use the toilet as a wastebasket.
- Do not use wires or sharp objects to unclog.
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