Do you know what to do in a plumbing emergency? Knowing a few basic action steps can mean the difference between a simple repair and a catastrophic flood cleanup. Take a few minutes to learn how to minimize water damage to your home when a plumbing emergency strikes.
1. Shut off the water
Perhaps the most important step to take when your plumbing springs a leak is to turn off the water. Often the fastest way to do this is by shutting off the water main, which is where water enters your home from city pipes. Locate your water main shutoff valve now and be sure you understand how to turn it on and off, so you can act quickly if disaster strikes.
Sometimes, rather than shutting down the entire water supply, you can turn off water to the particular appliance or fixture affected. For instance, if you can isolate the problem to a kitchen or bathroom sink, you can shut off the knob that controls water to that fixture. As you did with the water main valve, you should take a quick look ahead of time to quickly know where everything is located and how it works in case there is a plumbing problem.
2. Shut off your water heater
If a plumbing emergency requires you to shut off your water main, be sure to shut off your water heater as well. You’ll need to close the valve that allows water to flow into your water heater and also turn off the power to the unit. Be sure to do both steps, because if the power is not also disconnected when you cut off water to your water heater, pressure inside the unit will begin to increase and could eventually cause the heater to explode. Some units are electric, and some run on gas. It’s important to know ahead of time which power source your unit runs on and know how to turn the unit off.
3. Patch Leaks Until a Professional Arrives
Once water is cut off and you’ve shut down your water heater, you’ve taken important steps to avert a major disaster. However, there will still be water in your pipes that can leak and cause damage to your home. Minimize the mess and cleanup by temporarily patching any leaks. Keep a supply of plumber’s tape, rags and a couple of buckets on hand. Use these materials to create a temporary patch to slow or stop the water until a plumbing professional can repair the damage. You can go a step further and reduce the amount of water left in your pipes by opening the outside spigots to let water drain.
A plumbing disaster can strike at any time. If you know what to do, you can act quickly and drastically reduce damage to your home and avoid a costly cleanup. Take a few minutes to locate important shutoff valves, become familiar with how your water heater works, and pick up supplies that will help you in case of a plumbing emergency.
If you do experience an unfortunate plumbing issue, Mr. Green Plumbing is your go-to service for repairs. Our technicians will make any needed repairs and are dedicated to providing you with the best customer service.