What should a Denver resident do if they wake up one morning and their ceiling was leaking faster than the Niagara Falls? Unless they’re a professional plumber, they will probably run around unprepared not knowing what to do. Since a plumber can take a few hours to get to their home to resolve the problem, here are some things to do in case of an emergency.
Every home is going to have an emergency shut off valve for its main water line. It’s best to know where this valve is. In case of a major leak, the shut off valve can shut off the water coming directly into your home. With some valves, you’ll need a wrench to forcefully shut it off. If yours does need a wrench, keep a wrench near the valve in case of an emergency. Note that all valves will have to be turned clockwise to turn it off.
Besides the main shut off valve, also make sure that the valves to the appliances, sinks and faucets are shut off. These valves can be found directly behind or directly underneath each item. As a preventative measure, shut these valves off once a year to keep them in a working condition.
Plumbing maintenance can’t be done without the appropriate tools. Always have the appropriate tools laying around so that a leak can be fixed as soon as possible. In a plumber’s emergency tool kit, be sure that you have the following tools:
– A five-gallon bucket to catch the water.
– Heavy-duty rags to clean up a water mess.
– An adjustable wrench.
– Screwdriver and Allen keys.
– Forced cup plunger.
– Sealing tape such as Teflon tape that can help seal leaks.
– Blind caps that help seal the valves if one breaks.
A common problem that many people come across when it comes to a plumbing emergency are cracks in the plumbing. If you can get to the interior plumbing work, try to spot the exact crack or leak in the plumbing. This can often be relatively easy to spot since this is where the water will build up.
If you have the supplies noted on the list above, take some Teflon tape and wrap the pipe to stop the leak. If you don’t have access to Teflon tape, consider using duct tape in meantime. Keep in mind that this shouldn’t be used a permanent solution, but just a temporary one until the professionals arrive.
While not a major emergency, clogs can often happen in a toilet or a bathtub. If a clog happens, a plunger can get the job done 99 percent of the time. By applying force with the plunger, it can often help remove the clog.
If the clog happened in the bathtub, remove the chrome cap so that you can have access to the entire drain. Note that if the clog continues to happen, there may be a problem with the interior plumbing work, and it’s best to call in a plumber to have them look at the issue. They can often place an interior camera through the pipes to spot the blockage.
These are all great tips in order to prevent a major disaster in your home. Always make sure that you have a plumber’s number handy just in case of a worst case scenario. Now that you know how to be prepared for an emergency, the water damage shouldn’t get out of control. For more tips or to schedule plumbing maintenance please call Bell Plumbing and Heating.
Jeff has been blogging since 2007 & contributing on many websites since that time. He is also a consultant and content contributor for New York condos community.