A plumbing emergency can strike without warning. This is especially true in the winter months when temperatures and weather patterns fluctuate daily. Not only can frozen pipes, backed up sewers, and gas leaks occur without warning, but not taking immediate action can be detrimental to the rest of your home, as well. In the event of a plumbing emergency, it is essential to take the proper steps in order to minimize damages.
Below is a list of steps you should take when disaster strikes your pipes:
- Turn Off the Water!
- The first action to take in a plumbing emergency is to shut the water off immediately. It is important to know where your main water shutoff valve is, as well as the shutoffs for the individual appliances in your home. If the problem can be sourced to a specific fixture, such as your sinks and toilets, you can turn the valve clockwise to stop the flow. If the problem cannot be pinpointed, or just to play it safe, turning the main valve clockwise will eliminate water flow to your entire home.
- Shut off Your Water Heater!
- After turning the water off in your home, pressure and hot water will begin to rise within your water heater. If the pressure exceeds the units limit, the water heater could burst leading to even more problems. To eliminate this possibility, turn off the unit itself as soon as you have turned off the water to your home.
- Open Spigots Outside your Home
- After shutting the water off, you will want to open the valves for all the spigots located outside of your home. By doing so, you will drain the pipes that would otherwise direct water into your home.
- Stop Discovered Leaks
- Lingering water will continue to leak even after turning the water off. Using tape, plumbers epoxy, rags, and buckets is usually sufficient until a professional is able to assess and fix the problem.