A plumbing emergency could occur a virtually any moment and become an overwhelming problem very quickly. Plumbing emergencies might involve waste if you have a clogged toilet or a toilet that will not stop running.
You might have clogged sinks, clogged garbage disposal, or maybe a lack of hot water.
Among the worst-case scenarios are a ruptured hot water heater or a burst water pipe. Either could lead to significant internal flooding that might cause extensive and very costly damage to your home. The following plumbing emergency tips can help you to contain those and other plumbing problems and help to prevent them from becoming even bigger problems.
Shut Off the Water Supply
You should learn where the water shutoff valves are located inside your home and outside of it so that you can stop water from flowing into a problem area. Most toilet shut-off valves are located beneath and behind the water tank. Learning how to use them could limit the potential damage caused by an overflowing toilet that is clogged or will not stop running.
You also might find shut-off valves beneath sinks, leading into a hot water heater, or leading into a dishwasher. Most homes also have a master shut-off valve that is located outside. Knowing where it is located and how to use it to shut off the water supply to your entire home could help to protect it against extensive water damage.
Determine the Problem’s Source
Once the water supply is contained, you can look for the problem’s cause so that you can determine how to fix it. Homes commonly suffer similar plumbing problems, so knowing which ones are the most common could help you zero in on the cause. Once identified, you can fix it yourself if possible, or call a plumbing professional to fix it.
According to Architectural Digest, the five most common plumbing problems are a:
- Leaking shower head.
- Clogged drain.
- Lack of water pressure.
- Loss of hot water.
- Running toilet.
Other causes also could cause plumbing problems that are unrelated to the five most common issues. The location of the plumbing issue, such as a flooded bathroom, will help you to narrow the potential causes and identify the specific problem.
Protect Your Water Heater
The water heater sends hot water to dishwashers, faucets, and appliances in your home. Whenever a plumbing problem occurs that involves a possible connection to the water heater, you should shut off the water supply to the water heater and turn it off. Homeowners with gas-fired water heaters also should turn off the gas supply. Until you pinpoint the plumbing problem, turning off the water heater and shutting off its water and gas supply will help to protect it against possible damage.
Empty the Water Pipes
A plumbing emergency might require you to shut off the water supply to your entire home. If so, you should turn on the faucets and any that run outdoors to empty the plumbing of the water that it contains. Doing that will help to prevent further water damage until the cause of the plumbing emergency is addressed. It also will help to make it easier to fix the plumbing problem. Restoring the water supply afterward just required opening the water shut-off valve.
Notify the Water Company
Many homes are connected to municipal water and sewage services, which sometimes creates plumbing problems for one or more homes. A defective water main or a sewer main could shut off your water service or cause a sewage backup that overflows your toilets. When you notify the municipal water company, it can check its water system and determine if it caused your issue. If it does, you might not be liable for the cost of repairing your plumbing.
Get Help from Plumbing Professionals
You should contact a local plumbing service that can send experienced professional plumbers to diagnose the problem and fix it as quickly as possible. A professional plumbing service always is the best-qualified source of plumbing diagnosis and repairs that should cure the problem. It’s even possible that your insurer will cover the cost if the problem causes internal flooding.