Category Archives: Leaky Pipes

How to Handle a Plumbing Emergency

An overflowing toilet, a burst pipe or a malfunctioning faucet is a plumbing emergency that requires your immediate attention. What do you do? First of all, don’t panic and follow these steps recommended by the specialists from Chesapeake Plumbing.

Shut off the water. If you can, shut off the water supply to the pipe that’s causing an issue, but if you don’t know your way around your plumbing system, just turn the main water shutoff valve. It’s typically located in the basement or outside your house. It’s a good idea to get familiar with the plumbing before the emergency occurs. Label the pipes and valves so that they can be easily identified.

Contain the damage. Once there’s no more water contributing to the flood, attempt to contain the disaster area. Prevent the water pooling on the floor from spreading any further by piling towels, blankets, scooping it out or directing to the drains.

Remove everything portable out of the water. Water damages most of the materials that absorb water, so it’s important you take all affected items outside as soon as possible. Be especially carefully with electronic devices that got wet: use safety precautions.

Wipe all the items dry and leave them to air out. If linoleum or carpet got damaged, you might have to discard it because excess moisture will cause mold growth in no time.

Call a plumber. If you are not a handy person, call a professional plumber to find and fix the source of the leak. Our plumbers in Ann Arundel County are trained to deal with all kinds of plumbing emergencies.

Remove as much water as possible. While you are waiting for the plumber, get the floor as dry as possible to prevent serious damage. If you have a utility pump use it to suck up the water. If not – keep removing water with the towels. Run ventilation system and fans full-blast to encourage evaporation.

Take preventive measures. If a plumber finds that an old pipe burst due to age, rust and corrosion, it can be a sign of future trouble. It might not be long until other pipes fail in a similar way. Talk to the plumber to find out how serious the problem is and what can be done to prevent it from reoccurring.

Memorize these steps and no plumbing emergency will catch you off guard. And if you panic, call us immediately and our technicians will work you through while you are waiting for the plumber.

Two Main Causes of Leaky Pipes – Maryland Plumbing

leaky pipeHave you ever had to deal with a leaky pipe? At Chesapeake Plumbing, we know that it can be a messy and sometimes tough business. Calling a professional is usually a good idea, although many people prefer DIY repairs. If you DIY, make sure you understand the cause of the leak, because otherwise you are creating a temporary fix.

 

So why do pipes leak?

1. Corrosion is the number one reason of leaky pipes. No metal pipe is 100% protected from corrosion; even the widely used copper pipes don’t last forever. Corrosion can occur on the entire inner surface of the pipe or only in certain areas, such as elbows and tees. There are several factors that affect corrosion:

    • Water chemistry and pH. Low pH can cause protective inner lining of the pipe to dissolve, which speeds up the corrosion. And so does the high oxygen content in the water, because it causes oxidation and degrades the metal.
    • The temperature of the water. As certified and licensed Maryland plumbers, we know from experience that hot water pipes corrode faster. The reason is simple: the hotter the water, the faster the oxidation process.
    • The velocity and pressure of the water in the pipe. Corrosion can occur when pipes are too narrow to support water flow and velocity produced by the circulation pump. Increased water pressure creates turbulence and washes off protective inner layer of the pipes, particularly in the spots where water changes direction.
    • Metals that pipes are made of. When you have pipes made of copper and steel come in contact with each other, the metals react and galvanic corrosion occurs.

2. Bad connections are also often responsible for leaks. A connection could have been improperly secured to begin with or could become loose over time due to water velocity and vibration. Either way, you are lucky if the connection slowly falls apart and you notice it in time. Otherwise, be prepared to call your local plumbers in AA county, Maryland, because a connection that suddenly bursts open requires immediate attention.

No matter what is the cause of your leaky pipe, it needs to be fixed! Most of the DIY methods, such as applying external solder or wrapping up the leaking part in rubber and securing with clamps, will provide a temporary solution. The problem might reoccur and the next time the damage can be more serious.

Even if you think you fixed your leaky pipe, it’s important to consult with a plumber and get a professional opinion. We know how to inspect the pipes, and we might discover that a replacement of portions or entire piping system is necessary. We can also advise you how to balance your water’s pH and mineral content to prolong the life of your pipes.