What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency

11 Feb

The plumbing in your home or office is a vital part of your daily life and well-being. We rely on water flowing freely through our taps, toilets and sinks. Because most of your plumbing is hidden behind the walls of your home or office, it’s not surprising that many people forget about it until something goes wrong.

The reality is that almost everyone has to deal with a plumbing emergency at one time or another. Because plumbing is a significant part of any building and home construction, it’s not surprising that from time to time there’s a problem. So it’s a good idea to be prepared and know what to do in a plumbing emergency.

Let’s look at how you can prepare for plumbing emergencies and the steps you can take to deal with them.

Common plumbing emergencies to be prepared for

Your plumbing system is complex, which means there are many issues that can arise in your home or office. Here are some of the most common plumbing emergencies you could face:

  • Leaky pipes
  • Overflowing toilet
  • Dripping faucets
  • DIY repair jobs gone wrong
  • Frozen pipes
  • Water heater leak
  • Clogged drains or pipes
  • Running toilets
  • Bad odours
  • Very hot water

What to do in a plumbing emergency

Clogged drains, leaking pipes and overflowing toilets – there are so many different types of plumbing emergencies that you could face. But no matter what goes wrong, follow the steps below to find out what you have to do to fix it.

Turn off the water

In every type of plumbing emergency, the first thing you do is turn off the water. However, whether you turn off the main water valve or just the local water source depends on the nature of the plumbing emergency. If you have a small leak in one space of your home or building, it doesn’t necessarily require you to turn off the water to the entire home or office.

In these cases, you can just turn the water off at the local source, which could be behind the toilet or under the sink. Doing this means most of your home or building will still be able to access water. For larger floods or leaks that appear in different parts of your home or office, turning the main water valve off will be the only way to stop it. Turning the water off may not fix the problem but it will prevent it from getting worse.

Call a plumber

One of the next things you need to do is contact a professional plumber. When something goes wrong with your plumbing system, it’s usually a symptom of a bigger problem. So, it’s essential to call a professional to investigate the source of the problem.

While on the phone with a plumber, they will ask you questions so they can get an idea of what the problem is and how best to help you. You must follow their directions, especially if they tell you to get out of the building. Tip: Keep your professional plumber’s phone number and after-hours contact details on hand. This can help you deal with any plumbing emergency you might encounter.

Turn off your water heater

Plumbing emergencies can damage other parts of your plumbing system, including your water heater. To prevent this from happening, you need to turn off your water heater. But don’t turn it off until you’ve already turned off the main water valve.

If you turn off your hot water heater first, heat could collect inside and present a possible risk for overheating or even explosion. If you have a heater that runs on gas, you’ll need to remember to turn the gas off and then the water heater.

Plug any leaks

After you’ve turned off the water and water heater, you should try to locate leaks in your plumbing system. Whenever you find a leak, try to plug it with anything available. That may include wrapping towels around a burst pipe or setting out buckets to collect water dripping from the ceiling. Once the leaks have been stopped, you can be confident there will be no more damage. And your plumber will be able to begin repairing the system.

Tip: Make a note of each leak that you locate and plug. Your plumbing contractor will need to inspect all of them, and if there are several leaks that you’ve plugged, it can be easy to lose track of where they all are.

Drain water

Even though your water has been turned off, there will still be water in your pipes that you’ll need to drain. To get the water out, turn on spigots and open drains to give the water somewhere to go. It’s important to remember that water will also be in pipes that lead outside.

You’ll need to go and clear those pipes by turning on any outside faucets. If you have a garden hose attached to the faucet, you can disconnect it. If you can’t detach it, just shake out any water that’s still inside the hose.

While doing this, you may come across some clogs in the system. The best way to deal with these is to carefully and gently work them out. Don’t apply any chemicals to your pipe or plumbing system to try and get them free. Chemicals could make things worse. If you can’t easily remove the clog, leave it for the professionals at Brothers Plumbing. We understand drains and the best methods to unclog them and keep things running at your home or office.

Emergency plumbing situations can be stressful and sometimes scary. But, by understanding the steps you need to take to control the situation, you’ll be better prepared to handle nearly any plumbing emergency you encounter.

For more information about plumbing emergencies, or to speak with a plumber in Toronto, Mississauga, or the GTA, call Brothers Plumbing at 1-800-742-8471 or contact us here.

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