Is your home suddenly experiencing plumbing problems and you can’t find an emergency plumber? Don’t worry, there are still a few steps you can take to keep the situation from escalating. Find out how to stay in control while you wait for help in this article! You’ll be ready to face any plumbing problem that comes your way.
Turn Off the Water Supply
In the event of a plumbing emergency, it’s important to take swift action and address safety issues immediately. One of the first steps you should take when an emergency plumber is on their way is to turn off the water supply for your home. Depending on where you live, the main water valve will either be outside the building or inside.
If it’s outside, you’ll need to identify the pipe that brings cold water into your home; this should have a round ball or gate valve at its base. When you’ve located this pipe, turn the valve clockwise until it stops; this will shut off all cold water going into your house, allowing you to contain any leaking quickly and safely.
If your main water valve is indoors, it should be near or behind a major appliance in the basement of your house. Turn valves like these slowly in order to avoid breaking them––it’s not a race! A half-turn or less is usually enough to cut off all incoming flow; again, pay attention for any spills due to failing connections so that rectifying them becomes easier and safer for everyone involved!
Collect Essential Tools
Though you may want to start fixing the plumbing problem yourself while you wait for the plumber, it is important to do your research and be prepared with the right tools. If you attempt a repair yourself, consider washing your hands thoroughly afterward, being mindful of any flammable materials near open flames or spark-producing tools, and considering the safety of any bystanders.
Before attempting a repair, make sure that you collect all of the essential tools required. Depending on the job this could include:
- Adjustable Wrench
- Soldering Iron
- Pipe Wrench
- Utility Knife
It may also be beneficial to purchase a drain snake for future use. Make sure that you store all of these items in an easy to reach location for future repairs. It is also important to purchase pipe thread tape and putty or compound depending on what type of sealant is needed for the job. Additionally, be sure to have ammonia available as some pipes can require its use for removal.
Try Simple Fixes
When you find yourself in need of an emergency plumber, it can be difficult to know what to do while you wait for the help that you need. Though waiting for a professional to arrive is the only real solution to the problem, there are some simple fix-it tasks that you can safely do on your own before the expert arrives in order to minimize additional damage and contain any messes.
Before attempting repairs, be sure you have located the main water shut off valve – it looks like a wheel or a lever – which should be located near your water meter or at the sides of your home near your main water pipe. Turn them off if possible to halt flow of damaging water while you make minor repairs on your own.
If pipes are leaky, use plumber’s tape (also known as thread seal tape) and wrap it around threads where it leaks out; this should keep any drips from coming out. But be careful: Avoid over-tightening with tools such as wrenches as this could break pipes and make matters worse! Wipe up standing water if possible and place buckets under continuously dripping faucets or showers so any leakage can be contained until a professional arrives for further repairs. If toilet clogs become especially troublesome, try plunging loudly with a standard plunger – but take care not to force anything down the drains when doing so. Finally, never use chemical drain cleaners: These caustic concoctions often cause more harm than good!
Keep the Area Safe
Even though you are in a time of need, it is important to keep safety in mind until the emergency plumbing technician arrives. Here are some tips to keep your home and family safe while you wait for the plumber:
- Turn off the water supply at the main shutoff valve. This is especially important for flooding or gas leaks, but it still can help minimize damage from other plumbing problems.
- Turn off the power if there’s a risk of electric shock. Again, this is more pertinent for flood-prone areas but still applies elsewhere as well.
- Stay outside of any rooms where there’s a chance of flooding or other injury – and don’t let children or pets enter such areas either.
- Be aware of potential hazards like sharp edges or electrical wiring and avoid touching them if possible until repairs are made.
- If you can, gently contain any leaking water with towels, rags or buckets, so that damage to flooring and furniture can be minimized before repairs are made.
Call Your Insurance Provider
If you’re dealing with a plumbing emergency, one of the first things you should do is contact your insurance provider. Your policy may cover the cost of an emergency plumber, or at least part of it. Additionally, insurance may cover additional costs like parts or materials that need to be replaced – or even repair work beyond what an emergency plumber might do.
By calling your insurer first, you can get an idea of what to expect and be prepared should an unexpected fee arise while the repairs are being made. Ensure that you have a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy with you and a list of any questions prior to calling – this will help ensure that you get all the answers you need as quickly as possible.
Prepare a Temporary Solution
Before any emergency plumber arrives, it is important to minimize the amount of water in your home. You can start by turning off all faucets and shutting the main water shut-off valve. This prevents more water from entering the line and causing more damage.
Additionally, you can try any of the following methods for patching up broken pipes or stopping leaks temporarily:
- For leaks coming from a faucet: Replace the washers to stop any leaking.
- For loose connections: Tighten these connections using adjustable wrenches or pipe wrenches.
- For broken pipes: Try to wrap duct tape around the leaky area or plug it using a cork if possible.
- For clogged sinks and toilets: Implement a plunger or plumber’s snake if available.
While these solutions don’t permanently fix your plumbing issues, they may be useful in preventing further damage and slowing down the flow of water until an emergency plumber arrives and takes over with a more permanent solution.
Avoid Diy Repairs (if Possible)
In the event of an emergency plumbing situation, it is important to avoid making any DIY repairs that may worsen the problem or cause injuries. This is because it may be difficult to assess the cause of the problem accurately and also because of potential safety hazards. Doing complicated repairs can be challenging and can further complicate plumbing issues, rather than solve them.
Before attempting any repair work, it is important to:
- Switch off the water supply and locate shut off valves in order to turn off water.
- If the plumbing issue requires repairing a pipe or fixture then make sure you have sealed off all drain lines with brand new faucet washers and valves before you start working on them.
- Remove any tools that could get wet or damaged by splashing water during repair work such as electrical devices and fixtures.
- Check for potential hidden dangers such as wall leaks behind walls after turning on water supplies.
- Making sure gas appliances are properly turned off before commencing repairs can help prevent gas build up in an area due to a faulty pipe connection.
It is generally recommended that you wait for a professional emergency plumber rather than attempting repairs yourself if possible – not only will this help ensure any further issues are dealt with efficiently and lessen your risk of injury but your plumbing system remains safe and secure throughout the process.
Waiting for an emergency plumber is never easy, but there are things you can do to make the wait feel a little easier:
- Make sure that all drains and water supply sources are shut off, including turning off the main water valve as an extra precautionary measure.
- Declutter your home or workplace to allow access to the plumbing fixtures and appliances that are causing issues.
- Order supplies such as new plumbing fixtures if necessary, as this can help speed up the work once your plumbing technician arrives.
- Inquire with your chosen emergency plumber about the expected wait time so that you know what to expect.
Finally, while you wait be sure to stay in communication with your emergency plumber or repair service so that they can give you updates on their progress or possible delays/issues. Having clear communication means that everyone is on the same page and aware of any developments as they come up. Waiting for a plumber may not be ideal, but by taking these steps you can ensure not only safety but also a smoother experience overall.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What can I do to stop the problem from getting worse?
Depending on the problem, you may be able to take steps to stop the issue from worsening. For example, if you have a leaking pipe, turning off the water supply can help prevent further damage.
What should I do while I wait for the emergency plumber?
While you wait for the emergency plumber to arrive, you can start to clean up any water damage that may have occurred. You should also locate the source of the problem, such as a broken pipe or a clogged drain. This will help the plumber identify the issue quickly and get it fixed.
Should I try to fix the problem myself?
If you are not experienced in plumbing work, then it is best to leave the repair job to a professional. Attempting to fix the issue yourself may cause further damage and can be dangerous.
Andrew Lee is the founder of My Plumber. He has been in the industry for over 20 years and has extensive experience in all aspects of plumbing. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and has written several articles and given talks on plumbing.