What To Do in a Plumbing Emergency

When A Plumbing Emergency Hits

Many homeowners have had plumbing issues, like clogged pipes or a backed-up toilet. But not everyone has had to deal with a real plumbing emergency. When that happens, you need to know what to do, even if you’ve never dealt with such an issue before. Your reaction is your best first line of defense to protect your home against damage. Once you take care of the immediate problem, call for help to get things fixed up as soon as you can. Here are a few steps to take if a pipe bursts, a toilet is overflowing, or something else has gone horribly wrong.

Step 1: Shut Off The Water

As the homeowner, you need to know where the shut off valves are to every plumbing fixture in your house. Usually, they are right behind that unit. If you can’t get the valve off, or you aren’t sure where it is, shut the water off to the whole house. You might want to do that anyway for larger emergencies, like a burst pipe that is flooding your basement. You will usually turn the water valves clockwise to turn them off. Once the water is shut off, you can relax and step back to figure out what to do next.

Step 2: Check The Water Heater

Whenever you have a water emergency, it’s good to shut the water heater off as well to avoid damage. The water heater mixes electricity and water, which is never a bad thing. When you turn it off, you prevent heat from welling up inside, which could cause it to overheat or even burst.

Step 3: Open Drains And Faucets

Even when the water is off in the home, there will still be water in the pipes. You might want to move the water away from damaged areas by turning on the faucets and emptying the pipes. If there are clogs under certain faucets, it’s best to leave them until help arrives. Don’t try chemical cleaners, as they can actually damage the pipes. Plus, they are only a temporary fix—if they work at all – and then you’ll feel as if you poured money down the drain.

Step 4: Call The Emergency Plumber

When an emergency takes place, at first, you’re in emergency mode and you might forget to call a plumber as you are reducing the damage as much as possible. Once you have the water shut off, though, it’s best to call an emergency plumber before things get worse. They can be on their way while you assess the damage and start to clean up any water that might have leaked. You can also get answers from them as to what might be dangerous and what you should or shouldn’t do.

Identifying Emergency Plumbing Situations

As a homeowner, you need to know how to shut the water off, but also how to identify plumbing emergencies. Some are obvious, like burst pipes, but it’s also an emergency if your water heater is leaking, you have clogged toilets that could overflow, and other such things. When in doubt, call Stephens Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning and we can tell you over the phone whether it’s an emergency or is something that can wait.