6 Tips to Handle Any Kind of Plumbing Emergency

During plumbing emergencies, you need to stay calm and try to minimize damage. Check out this article to learn some effective ways of doing it.

Plumbing problems are common in every house. Leaky pipes, blocked faucets, and water clogs are easy to deal with, but sometimes things escalate and cause major plumbing emergencies.

You may not be a professional, but if you stay calm and collected, you can take some preventive measures to reduce potential water damage until professional plumbers can come and take care of it.

But if you panic, you might just accidentally worsen the situation and cause even more problems. Therefore, consider the following tips to handle plumbing emergencies.

1. Assess the Situation

You have to first understand what you are dealing with. The problem may be with your sink, toilet, or drain. By identifying the exact location of the problem, you can explain it better to your plumber.

If you are in Tampa and a plumbing emergency occurs, contact Emergency Plumbing in Tampa and try to locate the major sources of the damage. Some cases are more severe than others. To identify the primary source, look for signs of water damage, stain, mold, moisture, dampness, and musty smells.

Examine the floors in the bathroom, kitchen, and basements for cracked sports or warped flooring. Look for stains and peeling paint on the walls and check the exposed pipes in your basement or crawlspace. These places are usually covered in mold that can damage the pipes.

2. Turn off Water Supply

Even if you cannot identify the source, activate the water shut-off valve. This should cut off the water supply to your toilet, sink, appliances, and other sources. Shut-off valves are usually located on the exterior wall near an outdoor water meter.

If you do not have this kind of valve, then look for the nearest valve. If the problem is with the sink, turn off the valve beneath the drain pipe. If it is with the toilet, locate the valve behind the base of the commode. Involve your household members and ask them to turn off the nearest valves as well.

3. Turn off the Water Heater

It is best to keep the heater off during plumbing emergencies. Otherwise, heat can build up and cause the tank to overheat and burst. If you have a gas water heater, then first turn off the gas supply line.

4. Try to Stop Small Leaks

If you find small leaks, try to reduce or stop the water flow. Turn off the nearby valve and use a rag and towels and wrap them around the pipe so that water remains contained.

Place a bucket beneath the source of the leak and use dry towels to soak up spilled water. If you have a plumber’s tape nearby, use it to seal the small leak and wait until the plumber arrives.

5. Make Space

If you have wooden furniture or other electric appliances near the leak, it is best to move them away before they get soaked in a water puddle. Some furniture can easily get damaged because of water.

This makes it easier for you to use rags, towels, and mops to remove water, and the extra space will make the plumber’s work easier.

6. Open Nearby Spigots

You would want to reduce the amount of water as much as possible to prevent damage caused by it. Even after you turn off the valves, there might still be water stored in the household pipes.

To completely drain it, turn on your outdoor spigots. If you have a garden hose attached, spray it to clear the remaining water and detach it.

Preventive Measures to Handle Plumbing Emergencies

To make sure plumbing emergencies are not an everyday occurrence, consider the following tips-

1. Be Familiar with Your Plumbing System

This will help you turn off the main water valve, heater, gas supply line, and other necessary valves immediately to stop the leak. According to professional plumbers of Tampa, knowing the ins and outs of your plumbing system is the best way to reduce water damage.

2. Do Not Throw Trash in the Drain

Toilets and drains get clogged because many people dispose of waste in them. These are not designed to flush and carry out all sorts of wastes. Many toilets get clogged with used tissue papers.

So avoid disposing of cotton swabs, kitty litter, wipes, tissues, cotton wools, and other wastes that you normally put in trash cans. Also, your drain cannot handle fibrous or sludgy materials, so do not throw away banana peels or oils in there.

3. Replace Worn-Out Parts

Appliances, pipes, and drains go through extensive rough use. They are designed to withstand harsh conditions but need to be changed after a while. If you have a gas water heater, you should definitely change it after 10 years. Electric water heaters have a lifespan of 15 years, but if they malfunction often, you should replace them.

The same goes for pipes in the kitchen, beneath the sink, and in the bathroom. Some pipes can get corroded, damaged, or rusted. If they show any signs of damage, call in a professional plumber and have them replaced.

4. Limit Chemical Use

Harsh chemicals are used to unclog drains. But they cannot get rid of all kinds of waste. Major blockages and hardened crusts will remain unaffected. Instead, if you use too many chemicals, it may thin out your pipes and cause internal damage. Try to look for an alternative solution, and if you have to use chemicals, consult with a reputable plumber first.

5. Keep Some Tools in Your Disposal

It is always best to have an emergency toolbox for electrical and plumbing emergencies. If you know how to use them and have prior experience, you can fix the small leaks and problems without hiring an expensive plumber. The tools can also come in handy in your DIY projects.

Here are a few tools you should always have at your disposal.

  • Plunger
  • Five-gallon bucket
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver set
  • Split-joint pliers
  • Duct tape
  • Allen wrench
  • Drain snake
  • Protective eyewear
  • Rubber gloves

You can buy all of them from your local hardware shop in Tampa.

Final Thoughts

Plumbing emergencies can quickly get messy and expensive to repair. If you follow the tips we mentioned above, you can minimize the damage and hold down the fort till your plumber arrives.

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