Modern plumbing is a great thing. It allows us to live in a comfortable, clean and sanitary environment. But at the same time; stuff happens. Plumbing isn’t perfect and things tend to break down, especially when they haven’t been properly maintained. In fact, with the right maintenance, many plumbing emergencies can be prevented.
However, plumbing emergencies are still very common. If it happens to you, don’t feel bad. People get busy with life and don’t think a lot about the fixtures and pipes that keep their home running smooth. It’s understandable.
So what should you do in a plumbing emergency? Here are a few tips that will help you lessen the damage and hopefully save you a little money.
Familiarize yourself with all the shut-off valves (both water and gas) and the circuit breaker in your home
Your first step during an emergency is to turn off the valves and electricity that feeds the area being affected. This will help minimize damage and keep you safe.
Inspect the pipes carefully, looking for any obvious cracks. If you notice a crack, shut off the main water valve to your house and call a plumber immediately. The risk of the pipe bursting is very real. If the pipes still look intact then you can start thawing them out. Try to expose the frozen pipe to the warm air in your house. You can also use a hair dryer to warm the pipe up. Make sure the hair dryer is on low heat. It’s important not to try to warm up the pipe too fast.
Overheating water heater
This can be dangerous because of the risk of severe burns. First, turn off the gas/electricity to the water heater. Then open the hot water faucets to drain the hot water. Do not open the cold water faucets. Wait until the water coming out becomes cold. Once cold water is coming out turn off all the faucets and call a HVAC technician. There are a number of problems with the heater and only a licensed professional can properly diagnose and fix the problem.
Leaking water heater
Once again, your first step is to turn off the gas/electricity and water feeding the heater. If water is still leaking after turning off the water to the heater, then shut off your house’s main water valve. Once the leaking has stopped call a HVAC technician to find where the leak is coming from and get it sealed up again.
Shut off your home’s main water valve immediately. A broken pipe can be a serious emergency because of the risk of flooding. Further, water damage inside a house can quickly become very expensive to fix. Call a plumber to repair the broken pipe.
Always call a professional
Unless you’ve had the proper training and know what you’re doing, most plumbing emergencies should be handled by a professional. Fixing it yourself is taking a gamble because if you do it wrong, you might end up making the problem worse.