Call the Plumber! A Homeowner’s Guide to Handling Common Plumbing Emergencies
Plumbing emergencies can happen at any time and cause a lot of stress and damage. Whether it’s a burst pipe, a clogged drain, a leaking faucet, or a broken water heater, you need to know how to handle the situation quickly and effectively. That’s why we have created this guide to help you deal with the most common plumbing emergencies.
Over the last two decades, we have connected over 200,000 service seekers with professional plumbers who can solve any plumbing problem. Through our experience working with professional plumbers, we’ve gained knowledge on the most common plumbing emergencies that homeowners should keep in mind in order to help prepare and hopefully make the process of dealing with a plumbing emergency much smoother.
In this guide, we will share with you the biggest plumbing emergencies and what you can do in the meantime before a plumber shows up at your door to help prevent damage to your home. We hope these step-by-step tips help you feel more knowledgeable and prepared when a plumbing emergency strikes!
Common Plumbing Emergencies
Homeownership comes with many responsibilities, and one of the most important is knowing how to effectively respond to plumbing emergencies. Even if you don’t know how to fix a professional-level plumbing problem, having an understanding of common plumbing emergencies and how to prepare for them can be invaluable.
When dealing with burst pipes, big water leaks, or any kind of water heater or gas leak issue, you’re going to need professional assistance. But there are also steps you can take to prevent massive damage and reduce the risk of harm. With just a bit of research and preparation, any homeowner can be ready for these potential problem areas.
Burst pipes are one of the top 5 emergency plumbing calls we receive year after year and can often be one of the top 3 reasons why people call a plumber during winter months. Burst pipe emergencies require professional help, but you can take some steps in the meantime to minimize damage until a professional plumber arrives.
To stop the flooding, turn off the main water supply which will reduce the amount of water entering your property. If you have had to disconnect any appliances in order to access shut off valves, it is best to make sure they are securely disconnected and drain any hoses or pipes that are still connected to stop more water from entering your property.
If possible, place a bucket underneath the burst area to collect any water coming out and sop up water in the affected area with towels. Doing this will prevent further damage while waiting for professional support and reduce the need for hiring a water damage remediation professional.
Once you’ve been able to stanch the flow of water, contact a professional plumber to ensure that any necessary repairs are made properly and promptly. Handling a burst pipe emergency this way can save you time and hassle down the road, so make sure you take these precautionary steps right away.
This guide gives homeowners the key tips for how to be prepared for calling a local plumbing pro during any plumbing emergency that can happen at home.
While often less dramatic than a pipe burst event, general plumbing leaks can have costly consequences if overlooked, and even a small leak can cause big trouble quickly. First and foremost, locate the source of the leak. As you would with a burst pipe, shut off the main water supply to prevent further damage or flooding. Or, if the leak is coming from a toilet or sink, you might be able to turn off the water supply line for that fixture.
Once the flow of water has stopped, assess any appliances or furniture that may have been affected by the water and decide if they need to be moved away from the area for safety reasons. Drying any affected areas should also be done as quickly as possible to minimize potential damage and start the cleanup process.
Although professional assistance is needed in these types of emergencies, following these instructions can ensure that minimal harm has come about before professional help arrives.
In the event of a gas leak emergency, it is important that homeowners take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and their households. The number one priority should be to evacuate everyone from the residence and contact your professional plumber or local gas company immediately.
Locate the main shut-off to your home’s natural gas supply line, usually located near the water meter. If you know the precise location of the leak, and it is near a gas appliance, you may be able to turn off the gas valve nearest to the appliance.
Once you have assessed the situation with professional help on its way, wait for assistance. By following these steps you can reduce the likelihood of catastrophe.
Sewage Leak or Backup
Homeowners are sometimes faced with unexpected plumbing emergencies like sewage leaks or backups. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s essential to act quickly and stay safe while a professional plumber arrives. First, find the source of the leak or backup by visually inspecting your house and floors.
Second, clear up any standing water caused by the issue and wear gloves and other protective gear if necessary. Once you have removed any visible hazards, it is important to limit activities within your property to prevent the problem from escalating.
emergency. By taking these steps, homeowners can safely mitigate a sewage leak or backup emergency until professional assistance arrives.
Water Heater Failure
Nobody wants to face a water heater emergency, but if you do, the best thing to do is act quickly. It’s not always possible to have a professional plumber arrive right away, so in the meantime you’ll need to take steps to get it under control and limit any potential damage.
First and foremost, turn off the electricity or gas supplied to your hot water heater before doing anything else; this could be dangerous if it doesn’t happen first. Then, turn off the water supply to the unit. If possible, leave the rest of the faulty system as is without tinkering until professional help arrives. You can clean up any spilled water from the unit whilst you wait.
Calling in professional help as soon as you can is always advised for these situations; but with a little know-how and care homeowners can keep damage at bay until then.
Key Takeaways For Taming a Plumbing Emergency
Homeowners should not feel overwhelmed by plumbing emergencies. Our guide helps you keep calm and remember the important things. Always ask a professional technician questions regarding your home’s plumbing system.
Being prepared and knowing where your main access points are can save a lot of time and money in the long run and make tackling plumbing emergencies easier.
Shut Off the Water
One of the key takeaways for homeowners should be to always shut off the water if an emergency arises. Shutting off the water is a simple, yet important step in order to limit water damage and avoid further issues, such as mold. When it comes to any kind of emergency situation or burst pipe, professional plumbers will advise homeowners the same: always turn the water off first.
Heeding pro advice, and remembering to shut the water off in any plumbing emergency, will keep homeowners prepared to minimize costly damages that result from not providing immediate attention to these types of situations. With this in mind, if there is one thing you can do today to mitigate an emergency, it is to find your main water shutoff valve, as well as as any other accessible valves you can use to stop water from flowing to points of failure.
Call a Plumber
As homeowners, it is important to remember the key takeaway from this plumbing emergency guide – always call a professional plumber in the case of an emergency. You will not regret doing this as professional plumbers are highly trained, experienced, and have access to special tools and techniques to quickly and effectively deal with your plumbing problems.
With their help you can ensure that any damage caused by a plumbing emergency is minimized, keeping your home safe, sound and ultimately stress-free!
Homeowners don’t have professional plumbing skills, but that doesn’t mean they are helpless in the face of an emergency. We recommend keeping this guide handy and in mind so you know what preventative steps to take when encountering a plumbing emergency.
Plumbing Emergency FAQs
How Do I Turn Off The Main Shut Off Valve?
To turn off the main shut off valve, you need to locate it and turn the handle or lever clockwise until it stops. This will stop the water flow to all faucets and appliances in your home. You may need to use a wrench or pliers if the valve is hard to turn. You should turn off the main shut off valve in case of a plumbing emergency, such as a burst pipe or a leaky faucet, or if you are doing any repairs or maintenance that involve the water system.
How Long Does it Take a Plumber to Arrive For an Emergency?
The answer depends on several factors, such as the severity of the issue, the availability of the plumber, and the distance from their location to yours. However, in general, you can expect a plumber to arrive within an hour or two of your call. Some plumbers may offer 24/7 emergency services or same-day appointments for urgent cases.
What Are Signs of a Gas Leak?
It is important to know how to recognize signs of a gas leak and take immediate action if you suspect one as gas leaks can be life-threatening. Often, gas has a rotten egg smell. While natural gas is odorless, utility companies often add a chemical called mercaptan that gives it a distinctive sulfur-like smell. You should listen for hissing or whistling sounds near a gas line. This indicates that gas is escaping from a crack or hole in the pipe.
Can I Prevent a Water Heater Failure?
Yes, there are certainly steps you can take to prevent water heater failure. We recommend that you drain and flush the tank at least once a year to remove sediment buildup that may cause corrosion or inefficiency and examine the anode rod every two years and replace it if it is corroded or worn out. The anode rod is a metal rod that protects the tank from rusting. You can also test the temperature and pressure (T&P) valve every year to make sure it is working properly. Many plumbers can perform these services if you request water heater maintenance.
What Causes a Water Leak?
There are many possible causes of water leaks, such as broken seals, clogged pipes, changing temperatures, loose pipe connectors, rust and corrosion, high water pressure, poor workmanship and faulty appliances. To prevent water leaks, you should inspect your plumbing system regularly and fix any signs of wear and tear.
Get a Quote
Let’s connect you to a top-tier local service professional