What makes plumbing emergencies so dangerous is that they are wildly unpredictable. They can occur out of the blue, even if everything seems all right with your plumbing system. No matter if you rent a home out or own one, you are bound to experience a plumbing emergency at least once in your lifetime. The greatest advice in this situation is not to panic and to have a reliable emergency plumber’s number on your phone.
Besides that, knowing what to do to minimize the damage in a plumbing emergency is essential. Here are a couple of useful tips to remember if you ever encounter a plumbing emergency.
Know Where the Main Shut-off Valve Is
The first priority in a plumbing emergency is to shut off the water supply to your home. To do this, you have to know where the main valve is. In most houses, it is located near a water meter or the crawl space. In homes using well water, it is most often located near the well pump.
Hot Water Leaks
In case hot water starts leaking from the supply line or the faucets, the first thing you should again do is shut off the water supply. Because hot water is connected to the water heater, you should also shut off the circuit breaker that powers the heater. If the heater continues running without the water, the heating element might burn out, which can endanger your water heater and your family.
Clogged or Overflowing Toilet
This is one of the most common plumbing emergencies homeowners face. Not to mention it can get quite unpleasant. The best way to fight it is to prevent it. As soon as you notice the water level in the toilet is higher than usual, let a nearby faucet run. This can divert the water from the toilet and prevent it from overflowing.
You should also shut down the valve that connects the toilet to the water supply. After this, you can attempt to unclog the toilet. To do this, you’ll need a plunger. Pumping the plunger and pulling it up sharply should help get rid of the clog.
You will need a plunger to solve this issue too, albeit a smaller one. The sink plunger is the size of a cup and has a wider rim. Center the plunger on the drain and pump several times to make a vacuum. Then pull the plunger up sharply. This can help get rid of some clogs caused by hair. However, for others, you might need to call in an expert.
Even the most experienced homeowners dread at the thought of frozen pipes. Not only does this leave your home without water, it can also lead to burst pipes and extensive water damage that can get ridiculously expensive to fix. You can use a heater or a hair dryer to carefully melt the frozen water. You should also shut off the power to the water heater for reasons explained above. You should also leave all the nearby faucets open to allow the water to escape. However, since this is a delicate matter with the looming threat of water damage, you should consider leaving this to professionals.
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