When a burst plumbing pipe sends water spewing through your home, or a sink or toilet overflows, it’s easy to panic. To minimize mess and water damage during a plumbing emergency, it’s better to stay calm and use the following tips to help get the situation under control.
Turn Off the Main Water Valve
Knowing the location of your main water shut off valve is essential in a plumbing emergency, so it’s wise to look for it in advance. Then, if a pipe ruptures or a fixture overflows, you can go there quickly and avert a major flood by shutting the valve. Once it’s closed, check all your plumbing fixtures and accessible water pipes and shut the isolation valve at the source of the leak.
Shut Off Your Water Heater’s Gas Valve
If the gas stays flowing when the water is shut off, the pressure and temperature inside the water heater can increase to unsafe levels. You can prevent a possible explosion by finding and turning off the nearby gas valve, but don’t turn it back on until your plumbing emergency is resolved.
Address Leaking Pipes
If a pipe is cracked and leaking, place a container underneath it to catch the flow, then wrap duct tape around the damaged spot for a temporary fix. You can use plumber’s Teflon tape for a short-term fix on a threaded connection that’s leaking.
Deal With Clogs and Backups
It’s possible to unstop a clogged fixture if you use the right tool. A forced cup plunger works best for a kitchen sink or toilet, while a regular cup plunger is right for bathtubs, bathroom sinks and shower drains. If multiple plumbing fixtures are backing up at the same time, you probably have a main sewer line clog that plunging can’t solve.
Get Help From a Professional Plumber
If you need emergency service, call a licensed professional. Be sure to describe what’s going on and the steps you’ve already taken to deal with the situation.
When a plumbing emergency occurs in your Portland home and you need expert help, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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