Common household disasters and solutions

Category Property Advice

Whether you're living alone, with a significant other or family, you would have realised that your home comes with its fair share of emergency situations and inconvenient scenarios. 

When trouble hits, you might find yourself dealing with a burst geyser, leaks or blocked drains - and sometimes these are not isolated cases and can hit at the same time or one after the other. This is especially true if your home hasn't been maintained properly or regularly. 

However, it is comforting to know that you're not alone and every homeowner or tenant experiences one, if not all, of these "oh no" situations. Of course, if you're a tenant, you will first have to consult with the owner of the property before handling repairs.

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, we have put together a list of the most common household disasters and how to deal with these. In this way, you will be better prepared and ready to handle any situation like a pro.

Burst Geyser

A burst geyser can be a traumatising experience especially if it bursts while you're not at home. If your geyser is located in your house, such as the bathroom, prepare yourself for a flooded house when you return as the water from the geyser will empty out and run throughout. And if your geyser is located on the roof of your home, it will pour out onto your ceiling and water could possibly seep to the room below. As soon as you see this nightmare unfolding, immediately turn the water supply off at the mains and switch off the geyser's power supply on the distribution board (DB) to prevent it from heating.

Without getting too technical, a burst geyser can be identified by checking which pipe the water is pouring out from. If you see the water pouring from a plastic (PVC) pipe (about 5mm in diameter) then the geyser has most probably burst. But leave it to the experts to identify this. After you switch off the mains and power supply, the next step is to call a plumber who specialises in geyser installation as you will need to instal a new geyser. 

Tip: If you have building insurance this will cover burst geysers as well as resultant damage (the damage caused to your household items as a result of the burst.) So, ensure that you claim.

Leaking Tap, Showerhead or Toilet

Dripping showerheads, taps and toilets are common household problems that almost every homeowner experiences. If these problems go unattended, you can expect to receive a significant water bill at the end of the month as you will lose water every day until it is fixed. To avoid this, sort the leak out immediately by first turning the water off at the mains and calling a professional plumber to check and fix what's causing the leak. Those who are more skilled in plumbing choose to fix leaks on their own by following a DIY guide. However, it is generally advisable to use the help of a professional as the problem may be bigger than anticipated. For example; if your showerhead is leaking, the source of it may not be immediately recognisable as it could be a result of an old showerhead or faucet, or the problem could lie in worn out washers. 

Blocked Drains

If the drains in your kitchen, bathroom or toilet are blocked, the first thing you should do is pull out the materials causing this blockage using a drain plunger. You can also unblock a toilet by flushing a large bucket of water straight into the bowl. If these recommendations do not rectify the situation, the next option is to pour a caustic-soda mixture down the drain. You need to follow the instructions on the packaging carefully as this is a strong substance. To protect your hands from unsanitary and harmful situations, ensure that you use gloves at all times. Of course, if none of these yield results, the best solution will be calling a plumber for assistance. 

Remember, there are always solutions to every household problem, even the ones that seem too big to handle. So when trouble strikes, it's best to keep a level-head and get the professionals involved. 

Author: CSi Property Group

Submitted 27 Sep 19 / Views 413