A plumbing emergency is something that almost everyone will experience at one point. If you are prepared to perform a plumbing repair, you will be less likely to panic and you will be able to minimize the damage before a plumber arrives.
Have a Kit Prepared
To get started, put together a plumber's emergency kit that consists of:
- A bucket that can hold your tools and another one to catch water
- A tool caddy, which can be attached to the side of the bucket and hold more tools
- An adjustable wrench
- A pair of medium-sized slip-joint pliers
- A roll of duct tape and leak-sealing tape
Preparing an emergency kit beforehand means you have everything you need in one place to fix leaks quickly, rather than having to hunt down the tools you need while water leaks onto your floors and walls.
Perform Regular Inspections
Avoid emergencies in the first place by inspecting appliances connected to water to make sure that they are not damaged. For instance, with a washing machine, inspect any hoses that are connected to the washing machine for signs of damage or wear.
Turn Off Your Water Supply
You must stop the flow of water to prevent damage to your property. If the water travels to a fixture, most fixtures have a shut-off located beneath the fixture. This valve is usually made out of chrome. Some appliances have valves that are on the body of the appliance itself or the hose that connects the appliance to the wall. For the water heater, the cutoff valve is above the heater, attached to a connected pipe.
When you have located the valve, turn it clockwise. This cuts off all water flowing to the fixture. The upside of this approach is that you can use other fixtures connected to the main water line while also stopping the leak associated with the single appliance. With the water shut off, you can make any necessary repairs or hire a plumber to perform these repairs for you.
Sometimes, the water leak is so serious that you must shut off the main water valve. The main valve is usually attached to the main pipe that travels into your home. The valve will be brass and have a round handle. The valve is most often located in a utility room, kitchen or the basement.
Perform Emergency Repairs
If the leak continues, try to stop it as well as you can. If you have a rag, you can wrap it around the pipe to stop the leak. If you would like to make a patch, the rag should be used to wipe off the area where the leak is located before adding the patch.
Tightening the joint with a wrench may be enough to stop the leak. Otherwise, you might need to use water-pipe tape or epoxy.
Clear Drainage Traps
If the leak involves a water appliance, the drainage trap needs to be completely open. If the drainage trap is somewhat clogged, this can lead to flooding for the appliance. Removing the hose and then removing the clog is a simple repair. If the machine uses electricity, disconnect any electricity to the machine.
After the water has been shut off, assess the damage. The damage will allow you to determine the problem causing the leak and will assist the plumber when he or she makes the necessary repairs. Depending on the severity of the water damage, you may need to remove damaged items and use a dehumidifier and pump to remove water further.
Place us in your emergency contacts so you can call us when it's time. At Randy's Rooter & Plumbing, LLC, we will be there to perform repairs and get your plumbing issues under control.