Plumbing emergencies typically involve overflowing water, which can happen due to a couple of different scenarios, or an inability to get rid of your waste. When these situations strike, you need to call an emergency plumbing service immediately. But there are also some steps you need to take before the call and while you wait for the plumber to arrive that can keep your home safer and the problem easier to solve.
What are some of the must do's when facing a plumbing emergency?
Turn Off Water Supply for Leaks or Overflows
Has your toilet started overflowing onto your bathroom floor? Did a pipe break in the basement and you're looking at the potential for a flood? The most important thing you can do in a leak or overflow emergency is to turn off the water supply.
When the problem is happening in one location, such as the toilet overflowing, you can often simply turn off the shut-off valve for that particular unit. The shut-off valve for the toilet is usually located just next to or slightly behind the tank and positioned near the floor. Turn the valve to the right until it stops and no more water will flow into the toilet's tank. You might still have to deal with the flooding from the tank water that was already in the toilet, but turning off the shut-off will minimize how much water you will have to deal with.
Larger pipe leaks require you to turn off the main water supply for your house. This is often located outside of your house perhaps in a pit in your yard that is covered with a metal lid. If you're not sure where your main shut-off is located, call your water company for assistance. You want to know where the shut-off valve is before an emergency strikes so that you don't waste valuable time scurrying around trying to find the valve.
Call Plumber Immediately for Sewer Blockage
A clogged sink or toilet is sometimes just food or toilet paper stuck in the upper part of the drain. The problem is solvable with a drain cleaner or auger. But you need to recognize the signs of a main line or sewage blockage that poses more of a threat than a simple drain clog.
If you flush your toilet and water backs up in the nearby sink, you might have a blockage in your sewer. Another sign is that your toilet or toilets smell stinky for no clear reason. You want to call a plumber in immediately to deal with the sewer blockage so that potentially hazardous sewer gases don't end up backing up into your home.
If you run your dishwasher and the water backs up into your kitchen sink, you could have a problem in your main line. Call an emergency plumbing service immediately before more problems develop such as backing up water and waste or a complete loss of water pressure throughout the house.