Handling and Preventing Plumbing Emergencies

Feb 28, 2018

A dripping faucet can usually be dealt with at your convenience, but that sudden, scalding torrent from under the kitchen sink waits for no one. Knowing what to do before and during a plumbing emergency will keep a minor irritation from becoming an expensive headache. When in doubt, you can always call the local experts for emergency plumbing service.

Know where and how to turn off your main water supply.

It’s a good idea to have shut off valves installed on the hot and cold water lines of every plumbing fixture in your house. Not only can you shut off a leak at its source, you can also do minor repairs without turning off the water to the rest of the house. In the event of a severe leak involving a water heater, or broken pipe, quickly shutting off the main water supply to your home is your best defense.

Depending on the age and type of home, the main shut off valve will usually be located on or near the water meter. For older homes, this may be outside, near the street or beside the foundation where the main water line comes in. Your city’s utility department can usually help you locate your meter.

In newer homes, and those with fire sprinkler systems, the valve will be inside the home, in the basement, or near the water heater or boiler. While some systems have shut off levers or wheels, others will require a tool called a key that you can get at most home centers or hardware stores. Find out what you need and how to use it before you have a problem.

  • Even small leaks can cost you money. Put a bucket under that dripping faucet overnight and you’ll see how much water has been going down the drain. Learn how to change the washers in your current faucets, or upgrade to fixtures with ceramic disc cartridge systems. They last longer and are often guaranteed by the manufacturer.
  • Turn off the hot and cold water to your washing machine after every use. Leaving the hoses under constant pressure can weaken them and result in failure. Inspect your hoses and replace them if they show signs of wear.
  • Flood-proof your water heater by installing an emergency shut off. A moisture detector or a float system that shuts off the water to the tank when a pan beneath the heater fills up can save you a costly cleanup. Don’t forget to inspect the pressure release valve on the side of the tank and replace it if it is leaking.
  • Avoid DIY disasters. Locate pipes between the walls and under flooring before driving nails or doing demolition for remodeling projects.

Need help in the Peoria, AZ area? 

Our licensed, bonded, and insured technicians at The Plumber Guy offer a full range of plumbing services from emergency repairs to complete plumbing remodels. Contact us any time of the day or night by phone or complete our online form for more information.