Homeowners do all they can to keep their home in working order, but sometimes things happen that are plainly outside of their control. One of the worst fears a homeowner can realize is the emergence of a “plumbing emergency.”
Plumbing emergencies will most likely be signaled when faucets start to leak, water gets extremely hot beyond your control, or you have one or more leaky or bursting pipes. If you experience any of these issues, don’t panic. There are some simple and straightforward steps you can take to limit the damage these problems cause, in addition to calling an emergency plumber.
Turn Off Your Water
During a plumbing emergency, it’s always imperative to turn off the closest source of water to that emergency. If the emergency is occurring in your bathroom, turn off your toilets by turning the valve at the base or behind the commode.
If you believe the problem is more widespread, you’ll want to turn off the main valve that connects your water supply to your home. These main valves are found in different parts of different homes but most require people to turn them clockwise to shut them off. Once you hire an emergency plumber, they can tell you which actions to take next.
Make Sure Your Water Heater is Not Compromised
If there’s truly a plumbing emergency, you’ll want to check your water heater. In most emergencies, you’ll want to turn your water heater off, and it’s not a bad idea to do this ahead of time whether it looks compromised or not.
You’ll want to wait until you’ve turned the main valve off to turn off your water heater, as heat can accumulate in the heater which may cause it to burst, either from excess pressure or overheating. If your water heater uses gas, turn off your gas before you mess with the water heater.
Do What You Can Around the House
Depending on how pervasive the problem is, there may be multiple leaks around your house. In times of a plumbing emergency, it’s important to do what you can to find and limit these leaks before they begin to accumulate. Making a note of each leak you’ve observed or stopped will greatly aid your plumber.
Open Your Drains
Water is always in your pipes and it will remain there until you open your drains and spigots. Even when your main valve is off, there’s still excess water just sitting in your pipes. To eliminate this water and drive it away from your home, let it run through the pipes by opening up your drains and letting it drain through the system.
You should also give your watering hose a few spurts to make sure every drop of water is out of your pipes and all other possible places. Be gentle when opening pipes, as pressure can easily build up.
Contact an Emergency Plumber
After you’ve made sure to limit all potential damage areas, it’s time to call an emergency plumber. Plumbing emergencies happen more frequently than most of us would like, but plumbers can help you minimize any further damage and fix the key problem areas. Don’t forget this step, as many mistakenly forget to call a professional while trying to observe and handle the problem themselves.