Plumbing emergencies are one of many stressful things that can happen in your home or in your office at any time. Leaks and wet floors are dangerous to anyone in the vicinity, and large amounts of water can cause significant structural damage. Aside from that, the waste of potable water and the huge water bill you’ll be getting at the end of the month is no joke either!
In the face of any floods or leaks, it’s essential to remain calm and act quickly. Water damage only gets worse as the minutes and hours pass, so you need to know what to do as soon as you recognize the problem.
Here are four crucial steps to take in the event of a plumbing emergency:
1) Shut Off Your Water
You will minimize water damage by immediately shutting off the nearest water source. If your toilet is overflowing, there’s a valve at the base of the commode. Meanwhile, a sink’s water source is usually directly underneath it.
For larger plumbing emergencies, you will have to turn off your main water valve; this can usually be found near the outdoor water meter on your property. You can shut it off by turning it clockwise or by turning the lever perpendicular to the pipe.
After you’ve shut off the main water valve, you should also turn on all your faucets—this will help divert water away from the leak!
2) Find the Cause
Once you’ve shut off your water, you should be able to assess the situation. Do you have a blocked or broken pipe? Do you have a clogged drain? Gather as much information as you can before calling in a plumber.
If there’s flooding in your home and you can’t immediately pinpoint a source, look for water stains, warped flooring, or peeling paint. Mouldy pipes can indicate a leak as well.
Some common causes of plumbing emergencies include:
Overflowing toilet – A plunger can often clear any clogged toilet. A plumbing snake/toilet auger can dislodge anything the plunger can’t reach.
Clogged shower/sink drain – Like toilets, a plunger or plumbing snake can clear most clogs. Drain cleaners can dissolve grease or dirt blockages too.
Broken pipe – Pipes can break due to damage over time or when water freezes during the winter. These are sometimes difficult to locate because walls usually conceal pipes. If you find mould or water stains on your walls or floors, call a plumber immediately.
Leaking water heater – If your water heater is leaking or has stopped working, manually shut it off and call a professional to deal with it.
3) Call An Emergency Plumbing Service
There are no DIY solutions to plumbing emergencies, so it’s best just to call in an emergency plumbing service. When calling in, be as specific as possible when describing the situation so that your plumber can bring in the correct equipment.
Do not wait too long before contacting a professional. Every second of free-flowing water in your home can cause severe water damage and can pose significant health risks to you and your family.
If you’re worried about costs, then remember that the potential charges for plumbing services will cost much less than repairing water damage.
4) Clean Up and Make Space
While waiting for your plumber to arrive, work on reducing water damage as much as possible. Soak up the flooding with towels and mops, and put buckets underneath any active leaks. Keep air circulating throughout the area to help with the drying process. Move all furniture away from the leak site so your plumber can have easy access to the root of the problem.
Staying calm and making quick decisions in the event of a plumbing emergency is crucial in minimizing water damage to your property. Teach your household where all the relevant water valves are located so you can all act quickly in the event of a leak or a flood. Include your local plumbing service in your list of emergency contact numbers and store it in your phone.
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