13 Aug Emergency Plumber Series: Temporary Plumbing Solutions You Should Avoid
Imagine relaxing at home on a weekend when suddenly a faucet won’t stop running. You try to turn it on and off but the water keeps flowing. What do you do?
Aside from shutting down the main water switch, you’ll need to call an emergency plumber. But it will still take some time before they get to your home, so you need a temporary solution to your plumbing issue.
Unfortunately, not all DIY plumbing solutions help. Some even make the problem worse and result in expensive repairs. Check out some of the temporary plumbing fixes you should avoid:
Drain cleaners may help in some way but they are often made with strong chemicals that may harm your pipes. Using too much of these substances, or using them frequently, can damage metal pipes and traps. This can lead to serious leaks or other greater complications. The safest way to get rid of bath and kitchen clogs is to use a barbed drain cleaning tool or plumber’s snake.
There are instances when turning the water off is not a feasible solution. Some DIYers might be tempted to fix a broken pipe temporarily using a pipe clamp.
If the rest of the pipe is still in good condition, you might think about leaving the pipe clamp attached as a permanent and cheaper solution. However, this stopgap measure will not last a long time and might even cause other problems down the road.
Saddle valves are known for causing leaks, particularly after they get repeatedly subjected to the open-and-shut cycle. These parts are often installed in places that are hidden, so the leak might go unnoticed for months and promote excessive mold growth.
Although piercing saddle valves do not meet plumbing codes, they are still being sold in home centers. They often come packed in furnace humidifier and ice maker kits, which means homeowners who want to take the DIY route can purchase and install them anytime.
Instead of using a saddle valve, an emergency plumber may suggest you use a ball valve for your plumbing.
Epoxy is a kind of adhesive putty that hardens against a solid surface, like that of a pipe. While it may seem like a good idea to patch up leaks and cracks with epoxy, it’s actually not. Epoxy can serve as a temporary fix for cracks but in some cases, it’s more cost-effective to simply install a new pipe.
Most repair tapes on the market claim extreme durability and strength. However, the truth is they only offer a quick fix for people who want to stall the inevitable repairs for a short period of time. Compared to any other patch repair tool, they will likely fail much sooner.
Your plumbing system is an investment and you should treat it that way. Leave repairs to an emergency plumber and don’t try out temporary plumbing solutions if you’re not sure about what you’re doing.
When dealing with an emergency plumbing concern, don’t panic. Simply shut off the water supply in your home and wait for the professionals to get to work.