If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about plumbing until there’s a problem. And when that problem hits, it’s usually an emergency. That’s why Metropolitan Plumbing has put together this handy guide on essential plumbing emergency tips. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to handle most emergencies with ease!
What is a Plumbing Emergency?
A plumbing emergency is any problem with your plumbing that needs to be fixed urgently. This could be a burst pipe, a blocked drain, or a faulty appliance. Whatever the situation, it’s important to act fast. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get!
What to Do in an Emergency
• Turn Off the Water
If there’s a burst pipe or a leaking appliance, the first thing you need to do is turn off the water. This will stop the flow of water and help prevent further damage. Next, you’ll find the main water shut-off valve in your home (usually in the basement or utility room). Ask your plumber or look up your home’s schematics if you need to find out where it is.
• Check for Leaks
Once the water is turned off, take a look around and see if there are any other leaks. These could be minor leaks from pipes or appliances. But, again, it’s best to leave these to a professional.
• Have a Plan for Sewage Backups
If your toilet is overflowing or there’s sewage backing up into your home, it’s important to act fast. First, turn off the water to the toilet (there’s usually a valve behind it). Then, call a plumber right away. In the meantime, do not use any plumbing fixtures in your home, as this could spread the contamination.
• Be Prepared for a Power Outage
If there’s a severe storm or power outage, be prepared for the possibility of a plumbing emergency. Have a flashlight, spare batteries handy, and a list of emergency numbers (including your plumber’s number!). If you have a sump pump, make sure it’s in good working order and that you know how to use it.
• Open Drains and Taps Outside
To avoid sewage backups, it’s important to keep your drains and taps clear. Have a plumber clean your drains regularly and clear any possible blockages. You can also pour hot water down your drains once a week to help keep them clear.
• Avoid Using Chemicals
Chemicals like drain cleaners and oven cleaners can be corrosive and damage your plumbing. They can also be dangerous to use, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. If you need to unclog a drain, try using a plunger or a plumber’s snake instead.
• Assess the Damage and Take Photos
Once the area is dry, take a look around and assess the damage. Take photos of the damaged areas. This will be helpful when filing an insurance claim.
• Have a Licensed Plumber Assess the Issue
This is the most important step! Don’t try to fix the problem yourself, especially if you’re not a qualified plumber. Not only will you probably make the situation worse, but you could also end up injuring yourself. Plumbing is complex and can be dangerous, so leave it to the professionals.
In conclusion, remember that plumbing emergencies can happen at any time. It’s important to be prepared and know what to do in case of an emergency. Have a licensed plumber assess the issue, turn off the water, check for leaks, and be prepared for a power outage. Be sure to clear your drains and taps, avoid using chemicals, and clean up any affected areas as soon as possible. If you follow these tips, you’ll be better prepared for a plumbing emergency.