How To Deal With A Plumbing Emergency

You've just come home from work and the kitchen floor is flooding with water. Time to panic, right? You might like to think that you are as cool as a cucumber under pressure, but plumbing emergencies can be shockingly stressful events. They also have a weird way of showing up at the least opportune times, making them that much more difficult to deal with. Keeping a plumbing emergency from turning into a total catastrophe is all about doing your best to stay calm and collected, however.

Remember these simple tips to help keep things under control during your next plumbing disaster.

Tip #1: Calmly But Quickly Locate the Source of Water

This is most important when there is a leak coming from somewhere and water is getting onto your floor, dripping down your walls, or coming through your ceiling. Water damage can be costly, so your number one concern in these situations is to stop the flow of water and worry about everything else later. First, check to see if the source of the water seems to be a faucet. Is the problem something simple, like a sink or tub that was left running and overflowing? If not, determine if there is a valve (such as the one behind your toilet) near the source of the leak that can be turned off. If there isn't, shut off the main water supply.

Tip #2: Determine the Type of Leak

The type of leak and the type of water coming from it will determine your next steps. Is the water leaking from a toilet or waste water pipe? If so, this is what's known as black water and it will require professional clean-up services to deal with. In these cases, do not attempt to clean the water yourself. Avoid using the toilet or anything else that feeds into the leaking line and get professional help immediately. If this isn't the case, then you can consider doing some basic clean-up yourself once the leak is under control and you have determined who to call for help.

Tip #3: Deal with Small Leaks Immediately

It wouldn't be much of an emergency if it was just a small leak, but sometimes small leaks can create big problems if they're left alone for too long. If you determine that the source of your water isn't a major leak, then you may be able to temporarily solve the problem with some plumber's tape or even with rags and duct tape in a pinch. These solutions won't last long, but they might allow you to at least keep water running in your home while you wait for a plumber to show up. If your stopgap solution fails to stop the leak, turn the water off and wait for a professional.

Tip #4: Call for Help Quickly

Don't wait before calling for a plumber. You want to be able to describe the situation in as much detail as possible so that the plumber you contact can both understand what the problem may be and determine whether you are facing a true emergency that requires an immediate visit. When speaking with the plumber, they may even be able to offer some advice to help get the situation under control until they can show up and perform a permanent fix. Coincidentally, the potential for plumbing emergencies to crop up is a great reason to have the number for a trusted local plumbing service ready to go.