What to do in a plumbing emergency is an essential knowledge every household should learn. At one point or another, everyone will experience it. So, learning how to handle a plumbing emergency will help protect your home from possible damages and get a repair service sooner.
Small plumbing DIYs can be an interesting hobby for many homeowners. But if you come across a major issue that might damage your home, call a professional immediately to minimize the harm and the cost.
If you come home to find a few inches of water flooding on the floor, a leaking ceiling, or a soggy bit of drywall that’s collapsed to the floor, it’s important to take the following precautionary steps.
What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency
Plumbing emergencies can cause a major panic attack, but if you stay calm and think clearly, you can help lessen the damage to your home. The following steps will help you get through a plumbing emergency. Remember, try to contact your plumber the moment you notice a plumbing issue at home.
Here Are Some Plumbing Emergency Tips to Remember:
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Shut off the water source
For common plumbing emergencies, immediately turn off the closest water source. For toilets, you can turn the valve at the base or behind your toilet seat. For more serious emergencies or flooding, turn off the main valve in your home. Most water valves can be turned clockwise to shut off.
Check your water heater
In a plumbing emergency, always remember to turn off your water heater to avoid damaging the unit. Turn it off after the main valve is shut off to prevent the risk of bursting or overheating. However, if you have a gas water heater, turn the gas off first.
Address small leaks
Whenever there are small leaks that’s easy to detect, stop it as soon as possible. Keeping some plumber’s tape handy in your toolbox will make this task more manageable. If you don’t have a plumber’s tape, try stuffing rags and towels around your pipes and put buckets under drips to help control the leaks. When your plumber comes to visit, let them know your temporary solutions to small leaks.
Open drains and plugs
Water will still be present in your pipes even after shutting off the main valve. You can move this water away from your home by turning on any spigots or plugs that are outside of your home. Give your garden hose a few squeezes to ensure it clears out any water too. If you’re experiencing a clog during this process, try to clear the drain with gentle methods such as using a plunger. Never use chemical cleaners in your pipes during a plumbing emergency. These harmful chemicals may cause more harm than good.
Call your plumber immediately
People often forget to call a plumber when faced with emergency plumbing problems. Minimize further damage by calling right away. Trained plumbing experts can give you simple tasks to do or let you know if the situation is too dangerous. When a local official tells you to leave your home during an emergency, do so immediately. It can help save your life and those living in your household.
These simple tips can help save your home and help you address any emergency. Being prepared is the best way to handle any plumbing situation successfully.
What Can You Do to Avoid Plumbing Emergencies?
Some of the plumbing emergencies can be easily prevented. Though problems may arise all of a sudden, oftentimes, they are the result of long-term misuse or improper homemade repairs. Here are a few plumbing emergency prevention tips that you can do at home:
- Know where your main valve is and know how to turn it off – In case of a leak or flooding, shutting the main valve will be the first thing to do. So knowing where your valve is, and how to shut it off can help greatly.
- Don’t attempt to do repairs if you don’t know how to do it properly – If you’re not so sure on how to do minor repairs, don’t try to risk it. Doing so can be more damaging than helpful. Can your plumber immediately instead for assistance.
- Don’t use your toilet for garbage disposal – Most people would find it more convenient just to toss garbage and flush them down. However, in the long run, these items will accumulate and cause a major clog in your pipes. So make it a habit to throw your trash properly.
- Replace worn-out parts of your equipment – Equipment and machines only work in top shape for a certain period of time. After this, you will need to replace worn-out parts. Not doing so can do significant damage to your household.
- Use protection systems – Leak detection systems allow your valve to shut off immediately in case of plumbing emergencies. Given so, the possibility of having huge repairs would be limited.
- Be careful when using chemicals to unclog drains – Home plumbing chemicals may not always work. Depending on the nature of the clog, your drain cleaner may not be strong enough to remove it. Some strong chemicals also cause damage to your plumbing system. So always seek professional advice on how to handle such situations.
Emergencies often come without warning. And though you take precautions to protect your home, it’s not 100% guaranteed that you will be emergency-free. Immediately reach out for professional help if you’re faced with a difficult situation or if it’s your first time to handle a plumbing emergency. Expert plumbers will know what to do in a plumbing emergency and can start with the repairs right away. Find out more about emergency plans.