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Tips for Plumbing Emergencies

Tips for Plumbing Emergencies

Every home is likely to experience some form of plumbing emergency at some point or another. It is therefore important to protect your dwelling by learning how you can handle any type of plumbing crisis.

Research Your Options

While some aspects of plumbing can be an interesting DIY project, when there is a major issue where water can damage your home, you need to minimize the destruction and deal with the crisis quickly. This usually means calling in a trained professional. Unfortunately, not all plumbers offer the same high standards of service, so it is worth researching your options in advance. It’s a good idea to choose a reputable company that offers 24/7 plumbing assistance and keep their number handy.

Locate Your Water Shut Off Points

When a plumbing emergency occurs, the first thing you need to do is shut off your water supply. If there is a significant crisis, such as a burst pipe, you will need to shut off the main valve from the city supply.  For some smaller issues, you may be able to just turn off the valve located under or behind the fixture.

Check the Water Heater

If there is a major plumbing emergency, you can minimize the risk of damage to your water heater by turning it off. Do NOT turn off the unit, until after your shut off the main valve, to avoid heat from building up. This can reduce the risk of the hot water heater from overheating or bursting. Gas models should have the gas supply turned off first.

Open all Spigots

Even after you’ve shut off the main water supply, there will still be water remaining inside the pipes. This water needs to be moved away from problem areas by opening all the spigots outside your home (or bleeding the lines.) Clear out any water from your garden hose and ensure that drains and pipes are clear.

Address any Small Leaks

Small leaks can be easy to identify and simple to fix. Unfortunately, when left unaddressed, these small leaks can eventually lead to major problems. When you find a small leak, plumbing tape, or a rubber compression clamp, can provide a temporary solution until it can be properly fixed. You should also put a bucket underneath to catch any drips and prevent further damage. Let your plumber know about the smaller leak, so it can be corrected when the emergency situation is resolved.

Place the Call Early

Once you have realized there is a plumbing emergency, it is important to call your plumber straight away. While it is likely to be a little chaotic, trying to minimize the damage from a water leak, don’t forget about placing the call. One advantage reaching out for professional help early, is that the person answering the call is likely to be a plumbing expert, who can advise you of any additional steps to take. In the case of a serious incident, you may be advised to leave your home. Although this may seem a little excessive, in the case of gas leaks it could save your life.

If you are unsure whether your home has a REAL plumbing emergency, it is worth erring on the side of caution. A trained plumbing professional will be able to diagnose and repair any problems reducing the risk of long term damage.

By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing

Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half.  A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solutions.