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Tuesday, 18 June 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

9 Practical Tips in Handling Plumbing Emergencies

Written by Posted On Friday, 17 May 2019 05:00

As a homeowner, you hold a big responsibility. Your goal is to always stay informed and be knowledgeable about how things work. More than that, dealing with specific problems that may arise and finding solutions. One aspect in your home that's extremely crucial is plumbing.

Plumbing affects several areas in your home ‒ from the bathroom to the kitchen. Plumbing problems can arise suddenly, without warning. While some minor issues are easily fixed, some difficulties can quickly escalate into a major crisis that causes damage to your home. If this isn't taken care of immediately, you can suffer thousands of dollars in loss, with lasting consequences.

How can you potentially limit a plumbing disaster? Here are some helpful tips that you can apply to protect your home:

Shut off the Water

As soon as emergency strikes, turn off the source of water immediately. It can be as simple as turning off the valve at the base of your commode. However, if larger emergencies like flooding occur, turn off the main valve in your home. Most water valves usually have to be turned off clockwise.

Turn Off the Electricity

Electricity and water will always make a deadly combination. If there is any chance that the flooded water does come into contact with any electrical circuit, then, stay away from the leaking or flooded water. If you can reach for the main switch without touching any of the water, the better. The next thing you can do is to turn off the power switch and disable the circuits.

Check Your Water Heater

After you've stopped the flooding and flow of water into your home using the main switch, you will have to turn off your water heater as well. It's crucial to note that once the all the water in your home is shut off, there is a tendency that the pressure and the water levels inside your water heater will start to rise. This situation is potentially dangerous ‒ once the pressure increases above the heater's limit, the unit can burst, making the whole situation even more hazardous.

Wear Protective Rubber Gloves

For your safety and protection, wear rubber boots and gloves if the leak is contaminated by the sewage or is in a drain line. Even after the whole area is cleaned and dried, you still need to disinfect it after thoroughly.

Assess the Damage

Before you call a professional, try to asses the damage first. Providing the plumber with sufficient information over the phone gives them a good idea of the problem at hand. As a result, they can quickly fix the problem.

Open Drains and Spigots

You have to understand that there will still be water in the pipes even after you've turned off the main valve. To move this water away from your home, turn on spigots and open drains. Also, give the hose in your garden a few extra squirts to ensure that you clear out the water as well. If you're experiencing a small clog, open the drain using relatively gentle methods such as the plunger.

Avoid Using Chemicals on Pipes

Try not to use chemical cleaners in your pipes as it can make the situation worse. If you're experiencing a backed-up drain, avoid using a bottle of drain cleaner. Drain cleaners will erode the pipes, and if your home is older, this can cause lasting devastating effects. While these chemicals can usually wash away debris and dirt, they still cause significant problems. As an alternative, try using a plunger. If it still doesn't work out, it's time to call an expert.

Handle Small Leaks

Small leaks are quite easy to identify. The best thing that you can do about it is to stop them as soon as possible. You can try stuffing rags and towels around the pipes. Also putting buckets under those dripping leaks can help as well. Let your plumber know about these leaks the moment they arrive so that they can be addressed in the safest order.

Call a Plumber

When you're facing a plumbing crisis, it's essential to call a plumbing professional or a plumbing company. Doing so gives you peace of mind that your safety and the overall condition of your home is well-taken care. Call a plumbing company that offers 24-hour, emergency service. Try to give the plumber as much information as you can about what fixtures are affected and what you have done to fix or stop the problem.

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