Last week, I talked about dealing with fresh-water Boston plumbing emergencies. This week, I’ll talk about “dirty” emergencies that can happen when something bad happens to a drain pipe.
Fresh water is only one source of potential problems with plumbing in your home. Your drains – which don’t have shutoffs – can create some nasty messes. For regular drain maintenance, use a product like Bio-Clean. This will remove the naturally occurring bacterial growth and by-products that accumulate in your drain and cause clogs and slowdowns. Keeping your drains clean can prolong their useful lives.
Inspect your drainpipes regularly. Look for signs of corrosion and leaking. Corrosion might look like rust depending upon what the pipe is made of. It might also look like a mineralized build-up around joints or couplings. Check the floors and walls around your sinks, tubs, toilets and other fixtures for signs of water damage. Look for discolorations, water stains, softness in flooring or walls, bad odors, standing water, calcification, mold or mildew accumulation, changing colors around pipes and joints and other signs that something may be amiss. If you have a slow drain and treatment does not seem to help, this is also a sign that the interior of the drainpipe may be compromised by corrosion.
If you find corrosion somewhere in your pipes or drains, respond immediately. Pipes rarely wait for a convenient time to break down, so you can avoid more serious repairs by replacing portions of the system that are corroded or fatigued. How you handle a plumbing emergency at the time you discover it really controls the kind of damage that is done and the repairs that may be needed to correct the problem. When you call in a professional plumber, repairs must be “done to code” and the fear of added expense may be why homeowners (and landlords) are reluctant to seek professional assistance.
If the job seems bigger than you thought or you don’t know how to proceed, give us a call at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating at (617) 288-2911 and we’ll be happy to evaluate your situation, help you avoid a disaster, or rebuild a pipe that has gone bad.