Plumbing problems are stressful and challenging for homeowners to manage. Leaking pipes, clogged drains, and flooded basements aren’t issues that most homeowners know how to fix, especially when there are major underlying problems.
However, plumbing emergencies are problems that must be addressed immediately, which means you need to have a plumber out to your home ASAP. But what else do you need to do if you are experiencing a plumbing emergency?
1. Call a Plumber
As we mentioned, a plumber is essential during plumbing emergencies. A professional can assess the situation and determine the cause of your problems. You will need to find a plumber that offers emergency visits, especially if your emergency occurs during off-hours.
As you talk to the plumber, tell them what is going on as best you can. They should be able to tell you whether or not it is safe to stay in the home and what you need to do until they get there. They will likely have a few questions for you, so they are prepared when they arrive. Additionally, make sure you understand when they will be at your home.
2. Turn Off Your Water
Turning off the water can prevent significant water damage to your home. For isolated leaks, you can probably just turn the water off at the source. This would allow you to use water in other parts of your home while preventing more water from leaking.
If you have a large leak, you will need to turn the water off at the main valve. The valve is off when it is perpendicular to the pipe. By turning off the main valve, you ensure no water is coming into your home, stopping all leaks. However, when you turn off the main water valve, you won’t be able to wash your hands, flush the toilets, use the washer or dishwasher, or bathe. This isn’t a long-term solution, so you want to make sure that you have a plumber coming to your home.
3. Turn Off the Electricity
Standing water can pose a real danger to you and your family if it reaches any electrical sources in your home. You should turn off the main electrical switch in your home to ensure that nobody is electrocuted when walking through the water.
Even if you don’t have standing water in your home, you might consider turning off the electricity just in case you have missed any water in a different part of the house. It is better to be safe during a plumbing emergency.
4. Check the Water Heater
During a plumbing emergency, you will want to turn off the water heater to prevent overheating and other damage, especially if you have shut off the water at the main valve. If you have a gas water heater, you will need to turn off the gas to your home before shutting off the water heater.
5. Start Working on Small Leaks
Using plumbers tape, you can stop small leaks. You can also place buckets under other leaks to help collect the water and prevent further flooding or water damage. Use rags to soak up existing standing water, if possible.
If you have taped up any small leaks or found any leaks, be sure to keep track of them so that you can show the plumber when they arrive on the scene. This will allow them to identify the problem areas more quickly. However, if you aren’t exactly sure where the leaks are coming from, it’s okay because the plumber will be able to find them.
6. Open Drains and Spigots Outside Your House
Even after you shut off the main water valve, there will still be water in the pipes of your home. You want to get rid of this water, which you can do by turning on the spigots outside your home. Allow the garden hose to spurt and sputter to clear out the water.
If you notice any clogs or backups during this process, you can attempt to open the drain with a plunger, but don’t use any chemical cleaners in your pipes unless the plumber instructs you to do so.
7. Clean What You Can
Excess water can lead to damage to your flooring, walls, and furniture. The faster you can remove the water and start drying things out, the more likely you will be to avoid extensive damage. You can use a wet vacuum, rags, and mops to start removing the water from your home. You can even start on this before the plumbers arrive.
If you are battling a plumbing emergency, look no further than Cates Heating and Cooling. Our plumbing experts service the Kansas City metro, acting on emergency calls on both sides of the Kansas-Missouri border. For Kansas residents, call us at 913-888-4470. Missouri residents can call 816-944-1844. We offer emergency plumbing services that allow a plumber to come to your house the same day as your call.