What to Do When There’s a Plumbing Emergency

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If you own a home, there’s a good chance you’ll battle a plumbing emergency. It may not be a catastrophic plumbing emergency, but odds are, you’ll experience some kind of plumbing situation. Every home has a bathroom, a kitchen, and usually a hot water heater, right? This means broken toilets, pipes rusting and the chance of a whole lot of plumbing problems.

Six Steps to Help Keep Calm in a Plumbing Emergency

Most people dream of owning a home. However, we’re not always told of the un-sexy side of home ownership. The burst pipes, backed-up toilets, and plethora of plumbing emergencies.

When the time comes, and we all know it’s a matter of when, not if, you’ll definitely want to follow these emergency plumbing tips:

1. Do NOT Panic

The simplest advice is always the best advice! Keep your cool and locate your 24/7 plumbing service. You’ll need the number after you get through the next couple of tips!

2. Shut Off the Water

Before any household emergency happens, homeowners should always familiarize themselves with their household utilities. Before even moving your furniture and belongings into your house, take a walk around and learn where all your on/off switches are; learn where and how to turn off each water source, and the main water valve; and, finally, understand your breaker box.

During any kind of plumbing emergency, knowing where the water valves are and how to shut them off, will help you with our first tip…. NOT PANICKING.

When a plumbing emergency strikes, turn the closest water source off as fast as humanly possible. HOWEVER, if there’s a flood, you’ll want to locate the main water valve to the house and turn that off, too.

3. Turn Off Outdoor Spigots

After shutting off your main water valves, there’s still water in your pipes. Take a walk around your home and turn on the outdoor spigots. It’ll drain all the water out of your pipes, and keep it out of the interior of your house.  

If you have garden hoses, give those a squeeze to empty out the water from those pipes, too. 

4. Look at Your Water Heater

To avoid damaging your water heater, it’s best to turn it off during a major plumbing emergency. 

BEFORE turning off your water heater, if you have a gas water heater, turn the gas off first. Most gas water heaters have a box-like valve towards the bottom of the heater. Again, this should be something you familiarize yourself with when moving into your home.

An electric heater can be turned off with your circuit breaker. If your unit has a plug, unplug it 

AFTER turning it off at the circuit breaker. 

Now, find the large valve above your water heater to turn off the cold water line feeding your water heater. 

If you aren’t confident in turning off both the water heater, and the water to the hot water heater, see Step 5 below.

5. Call a Plumber

Now that you’ve handled the immediate threats, it’s time to contact a licensed plumber you trust as quickly as possible to fix the issue. Motor City Plumbing & Drain, can help you understand what’s happening with your plumbing.

Once our experts hear the situation, they can assess if you need to leave the home for your safety, or just sit and hold tight until they arrive.

6. Prepare for the Plumber’s Visit

If your plumber says it’s safe to stay at home, clear the area the plumbing team will need access to. Make it as easy for them to get to the problem areas so they can quickly assess the situation and provide options to fix the emergency plumbing problems.

And remember, give us a call during your plumbing emergency, as well as any of your other plumbing needs!

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