Have you ever had an overflowing toilet with a water line that keeps rising closer and closer to the top? Or how about a leaking faucet that keeps you up all night right before a day where you need to be mentally sharp and focused?
While those are certainly some scary or annoying plumbing problems, they’re not the stuff of nightmares. Now that we’re entering the month of Halloween, we’d like to talk about some real plumbing nightmares.
A 140 Ton Ball of Fat
Yes, you read that correctly. In September 2017, in the sewers underneath Whitechapel, London, lurked a mass of fat that weighed over 280,000 pounds. We think “monster” is an understatement.
So how does this possibly happen? It’s what happens when an entire city didn’t follow the golden rules of keeping your drains clean:
Never pour fats, oils, or greases down your sink. Don’t flush trash down the toilet.
When it comes to your home plumbing, there’s no way you can compete with the fatberg of London, but the same rules apply.
Fats, oils, and greases, collectively referred to as FOG, might be liquids immediately after you finish cooking with them, they will congeal soon after entering your drains. They’ll then get substances attached to them, and with enough time, you’ll have a miniature fatberg clogging your drains.
Likewise, be careful of flushing things down your toilet that aren’t toilet paper. London’s fatberg was partly made up of wet wipes that many must have thought were safe for the drains and sewers.
A Sewer Line Breaks… Right Under Your Home
There aren’t many plumbing problems that will cause you to evacuate your home, but this is certainly one of them.
A slab leak is what happens when a pipe bursts under the foundation of your home. And if that pipe happens to be from the sewer line, you’re looking at a health hazard and complete nightmare.
These leaks can cause the concrete foundational slabs to press against the floors of your home, possibly creating cracks and forming puddles. If the contents of the sewer line began puddling inside your home, not only would it smell terrible, but it can fill the home with dangerous gases. Call immediately for emergency services from a plumber in Surprise, AZ if this is ever the case (and we really hope it never is).
Water Heater Bursts
We’re not trying to scare you, so we’ll tell you up front:
The chances of having a water heater burst are very slim if you make sure to either A) get regular maintenance for your water heater or B) replace it when it’s too old. The important thing is that you know when your water heater is at its limit.
Since a tank water heater is essentially a giant tank full of heat, the possibility exists that the heat and pressure can build and build until it bursts. This can cause serious harm if someone is nearby, but thankfully, water heaters are typically placed away from spots where someone can be harmed.
Temperature and pressure valves prevent this from happening by releasing heat when appropriate. Temperatures of 140 to 145 degrees are too high, so you’ll want to make sure the temperature is down to 120 to 125 for normal operation.