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. After they enter the drains, they’ll start to congeal. They’ll then get bits of food attached to them, and with enough time, you’ll have a miniature fatberg clogging your drains.
Likewise, be careful of flushing anything down the toilet that isn’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 fumes. 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.
With tank water heaters, the possibility always exists that heat and pressure can build until the tank bursts. This can cause serious harm if someone is nearby.
Thankfully, water heaters are typically placed away from spots where someone can be harmed. Not only that, but temperature and pressure valves are designed to prevent these accidents by releasing excess pressure and heat. As long as the temperature of the water heater stays between 120°F and 125°F, there should be no danger.