I am Tim from Boulden Plumbing based out of Newark, DE, here to share some plumbing tips.
When you have a plumbing emergency, the last thing you want to do is make the problem worse, but if you don’t act fast, that’s exactly what might happen. To help you take the right actions and avoid the wrong ones, here are some quick tips for how to handle a plumbing emergency.
- Shutting Off the Water – If a pipe bursts or you have standing water somewhere, the very first step you take is to shut off the water. Cleanup is pointless if more water pours in. So, we need to stop the flow. Usually, this water valve is located outside, but it can be found under an access panel or in the basement in some cases.
- Flooding Toilet – Watching the water slowly rise in a toilet, dangerously close to the rim, can be scary. But, there are tricks to slow or stop the flow until the plumber arrives. The first is to turn on your sink faucet to slow down the water flow to the toilet. If you can reach it, turn off the cold water supply to your toilet as well. As soon as the tank is empty, no new water will enter.
- Turning Off an Appliance – Sometimes the problem isn’t a house-wide problem but a specific appliance overflowing. If your washing machine or dishwasher is about to overflow, turn off the supply valve immediately. It could be several gallons of water per minute if you don’t.
- When Electricity is Involved – If your basement floods, don’t go down there until you can be sure there is no electricity flowing into the water. That much water with live electricity is incredibly dangerous. If you can’t be sure, get a plumber out there fast.
- Gas Leaks – Sometimes, a plumbing problem is really a gas problem. If this is the case, don’t try to fix it yourself. Get everyone out of the house and call the gas company immediately.
- Hot Water Leakage – If you notice that hot water is leaking somewhere in your home, turn off the main water supply and then turn off the hot water heater’s energy source. There should be an emergency shutoff valve on the hot water heater for gas and a switch on the device if it is electric.
In each of these cases, the very next step you take should be to call a professional, but if you act fast you can hopefully mitigate the damage.