How To Prevent Plumbing Emergencies: A Homeowner’s Guide

Women Doing Emergency Plumber Phone Call In Kitchen

There is no denying that your home’s plumbing system gives you the greatest convenience in getting instant access to clean water while ensuring that wastewater is far away from your home as possible.

It’s one of the most hardworking systems in your home, but it doesn’t receive much thought unless something goes wrong. When it does act up, the results are often detrimental.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take so you won’t have to experience a costly or unsightly plumbing emergency. In this article, you’ll learn the basics of a plumbing emergency and how to prevent one from happening in your home.

Understanding A Plumbing Emergency

Plumbing emergencies refer to plumbing issues or situations that are more severe than usual. It often involves the risk of significant damage to your property while also compromising your family’s safety.

Although it takes on numerous forms, some of the common situations that constitute a plumbing emergency are:

  • Sewage Backup

Any sewage leak or backup is a serious issue requiring an immediate response. Sewage water can cause serious health issues and needs to be resolved immediately.

  • Burst Pipes

Burst pipes cause significant flooding and damage. In fact, a burst pipe can discharge gallons of water in just a few seconds, which can seep through your home’s structure and cause damage.

  • Water Leaks

Small leaks are no problem if resolved immediately. However, hidden leaks are more problematic since you may not be able to notice the issue until it creates major damage to your property. In addition to hidden leaks, any visible leak is considered a plumbing emergency and shouldn’t be left alone. Once leaks are detected, regardless of how small, it is best to address them immediately.

Preventing Plumbing Emergencies: 4 Tips To Consider

Woman using baking soda to unclog sink drain, closeup

So, how do you avoid experiencing the hassle of a plumbing emergency? Check out these maintenance tips to keep your plumbing in optimal condition.

1. Maintain A Regular Plumbing Inspection And Maintenance Schedule

As mentioned, most homeowners tend to neglect their plumbing system until a problem arises. If you don’t want to experience the inconvenience of a plumbing emergency, you need to make time for a regular plumbing maintenance schedule.

Regular inspection allows you to determine the integrity of your plumbing system and help find potential issues, resolving them before they escalate and turn into a massive dilemma. That said, while you can inspect the plumbing system yourself, it’s best to hire an expert at least once a year to do a professional check.

Hiring a specialist like DM Select—a reliable plumbing company Leesburg has to offer—can help thoroughly inspect your system. They can spot even the most minor issues and irregularities in your plumbing and can offer services to resolve them accordingly. Plumbing experts can also provide you with plumbing tips to help keep the system in good condition.

2. Take Good Care Of The Drains

Drains take a lot of abuse, particularly in the kitchen. Most people don’t pay attention to these holes until they notice water draining slowly. While slow-draining sinks and tubs are common plumbing issues, they can quickly become a headache if left unattended.

Regular drain cleaning helps prevent a plumbing emergency, such as a burst sink pipe or water backup. While it can be tempting to use store-bought chemical drain cleaners, consider using home remedies instead. Chemical drain cleaners can help temporarily solve the issue, but they don’t completely clear the clog. They may also contain harsh chemicals that eat up and damage your pipes, which could cause serious health issues when inhaled and pollute water bodies.

Instead, you can make your own drain cleaner from ingredients already in your kitchen. You can use hot water, vinegar, and baking soda to clean pipes and prevent clogging.

Aside from regular cleaning, you also need to do preventive steps such as using drain screens to prevent large debris from entering and clogging your pipes. It is important to be mindful when using your drains. Never treat it as a trash can, dumping small debris or pouring the grease into sinks. The same goes for your toilet and shower drains.

3. Regulate The Water Pressure

Generally, residential plumbing systems are set to a water pressure of 40-80 pounds per square inch (PSI). A higher water pressure than these figures can cause unnecessary strain on your plumbing system, weakening pipe joints and increasing the risk of bursting.

Low water pressure is not a good sign either. If it takes too long to shower or finish chores due to slow water, this low water pressure may indicate a leak somewhere in your system.

Therefore, you should always check your plumbing’s water pressure. You can do this by using a pressure gauge to determine if the water pressure is too high or too low. You can also invest in a pressure regulator, which helps ensure that water pressure doesn’t go above the suitable PSI.

4. Insulate Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the most common plumbing emergencies during winter. When water freezes and expands in plumbing lines, it can cause severe damage to the joints, causing water leaks. A burst pipe can incur costly damages to your property.

You can protect your pipes against freezing temperatures by keeping them insulated. You need to insulate all exposed outdoor pipes before winter. It would help if you also insulated pipes in unheated areas, including the basement, crawl space, and attic.

Aside from proper insulation, it would be best to keep your tap running for a few seconds or let it drip slowly during a chilly day. This help keep the pipes active, preventing them from freezing. Also, consider opening cabinet doors under your kitchen and bathroom sink to allow heated air to circulate in these areas.


No one wants to experience plumbing emergencies, and it’s up to you to ensure you never experience the dilemma of plumbing issues. Fortunately, as complicated as the system may be, taking care of your plumbing is relatively easy. Following the tips above and other preventive care can help avoid dreaded plumbing emergencies.