Laundry Room Plumbing Issues: Flood Prevention

August 20th, 2012

What Is the Importance of Plumbing Shut Off Valves?

Let’s be honest, basement floods are the fear of every home owner.

It’s crossed all of our minds, and we all wonder how we can prevent it.

The damage caused by a burst pipe can be extensive, not only the cost to repair it, but also the damage to the home itself and the precious items in the home. The result can be a personal and serious financial loss. Plumbing valves are important as they will stop the water spill thereby preventing further damage of the home.

The emergency valve is very important and every homeowner should know where the valve is located. If you do not have shut-off valves installed at your fixtures, you should have these valves installed by a certified Salt Lake City Plumbing. You can even acquire shut off valves that have special sensors that will automatically shut off the flow of water if there is a leak which will prevent flooding of the home.

The laundry room, which can be located in such areas as the basement, main floor of the home, or even up in the attic, can be a place where a flood can occur.

When a laundry room flood occurs, the damage can be extensive and expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to prevent flooding of your laundry room. Water and leak detection devices are wise things to include in laundry rooms, especially those that are located on the second floor or main floor above a finished basement.

Part of the responsibility of home ownership is maintaining the plumbing. You should understand and know where the essential components of the plumbing are such as the shut off valves in order to prevent a huge expense and the loss of important and personally meaningful items in the home.

To determine if you have a plumbing issue that could result in a laundry room flood, check to see if the floors and walls around the laundry room sink are damp. If there is a small hole that can cause a leak, you can wrap the pipe in rubber hose and attach clamps at the top, bottom, and at the source of the leak.

Check the joints in the pipe connections to see if they are loose. If they are, you can tighten them yourself. Also, check to see if there are tiny holes or cracks in a pipe. Also, check for corrosion on your pipes that could spring a leak. These may need to be addressed by a plumber.

Large pans that are plumbed in with drainpipes can be placed underneath your washer to avoid problems. Those pans will not be of any help if the plumbing behind your washer breaks, leaking water into the room and potentially through the walls to damage the framing, drywall and even the electrical.

  • Clogs are another cause of a laundry room flood as it can cause the floor drain line or sink drain line to backup. Causes of a clog can include: hair, soap, and lint which can accumulate in the line and eventually cause it to clog. To determine if you have a clogged drain, you can turn off the water, remove the u-shaped pipe, and try to locate the clog. You will also have to examine each side of the straight ends of the pipe to see if there is a clog. Once you have located and removed the clog, put the pipes back in place, turn the water on, and run water through to see if the water flow has returned to normal.
  • Burst pipes are also a cause of flooding. Burst pipes are often due to old worn pipes or frozen pipes. It is important to have a Salt Lake City Plumbing restore old and damaged pipes. To prevent frozen pipes, you should wrap the pipes in insulation wrap. Other times, a flood can be caused by worn parts such as a worn hose connection. If you have old, cheap, or worn connections, you should get them replaced. If your water hose bursts, it will flood the room with hundreds of gallons of water. You should consider installing a shut off valve to prevent such a disaster. As well, installing a floor drain can stop flooding of the room.

Every homeowner should know where their valves are located and how to use the valves. Newer homes will have emergency shut-off valves for every fixture and appliance. Regular black washing machine hoses are cheaply made and prone to failure. However, older homes may not have the shut-off valves so homeowners should have a plumber install them. It will help minimize damage from flooding as they will be able to quickly shut off the valve thereby saving such items as carpets, floors, furniture, and other important items.

The emergency valve is the easiest and quickest way to cut off the water supply in the event of a serious leak. If you have your own well, you will normally find the emergency shut off valve by the pressure tank. If your water comes from your local town or city, you will normally find the emergency valve at the water supply meter. A valve handle can be a lever or look like a wagon wheel (emergency shut off valve). You may need a wrench to close a valve. Inside the meter, you will find the emergency valve. You should be able to see the valve handle. There are other valves located under sinks and by the toilet. They will have a lever that you turn to shut off the water supply to that fixture. If you have a dish washer and washing machine, you will also find valves. As well, you can find a valve on the wall next to the water heater or in the basement.

Water leak detectors and automatic shut-off valves will help to prevent water damage from a leaking washer pipe connection, hot water tank, or a burst water supply pipe. Each valve will contain a sensing valve. A sensor can be installed in a particular spot where a leak may occur. There are also sensor devices that measure the duration of the water spill, the spill rate, or detect a particular appliance that needs the water supply line shut off. Hiring a Salt Lake City Plumbing to install a washer tray under your washing machine will help collect water if a leak develops.

Be sure to make these Plumbing Checks at Least Twice a Year

First, check your home’s main shutoff valve. No matter what sort of plumbing leak or disaster you may have, your main shutoff valve is critical to stopping the water flow at the source. Examine your kitchen and bath sinks and pipes, particularly where the trap meets the wall. Water leaks often occur behind a sink cabinet. In addition, the p-track often the first place where backed-up water will overflow. The valves and supply lines should also be examined to make sure they are in good working condition. The construction of this type of hose is more durable than the rubber hoses.  These should still be checked periodically as all things will wear out over time.  As a proactive maintenance you should replace your hose every 3 to 4 years.

In the bathroom, check around your toilet for signs of leaks. The wax seal under the toilet is most common area for leaks and water damage. This seal is a circular form of wax that connects and seals the toilet to the drain flange beneath. One sign of potential damage is if the toilet wobbles. This could mean the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor are loose or worn. This can cause the wax seal to crack or break. Water (and other material) may leak, causing discoloration to the ceiling on the floor below.

The tub and shower area is another area that can sustain water damage, cause structural damage and mold growth. Check the caulking around the tub, showerhead, and the tub spout and handles. If the caulking is cracked or missing, remove the remainder with a putty knife and replace it with fresh caulking.

Broken washing machine hoses can quickly cause a large amount of flooding and damage. If you observe any bubbles on the hose, replace it immediately. Braided, stainless steel hoses should be used. They are stronger and last longer than rubber hoses. The valves that the hoses attach to should also be checked.

When implementing measures to prevent flooding of the laundry room, it is a good idea to have a Salt Lake City Plumbing inspect the plumbing system, appliances that use water, and plumbing fixtures, to check for damage and old and worn components. An examination and repair of high risk parts and appliances will go a long way in preventing flooding of the laundry room. When it comes to laundry room flooding, prevention is the solution.