When faced with a plumbing emergency, most of us don’t hesitate to call in an expert. But many homeowners wonder what steps they can take in the few minutes it takes for someone to come and save the day. Instead of wasting precious minutes and watching the water level rise, there are a few things you can do to decrease the mess and increase your chances of prompt repair and thorough clean-up.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is find and shut off the water valve. Whether it is a leaky toilet, sink, washer, or other fixture, you can usually find the shut off valve at the back of the appliance. Turn it clockwise to shut it off. If you can’t find a local shut off valve, then you should find the main water valve (often near the circuit breaker) and turn that off.
Do you need to call someone in the middle of the night? Professionals often charge more outside of regular business hours. You can prevent local damage to flooring by covering leaky pipes and putting buckets under dripping fixtures and if the damage is minor or the leak slow, you may save some money by not calling a plumber in the middle of the night. Instead, make sure the bucket is in place and call a professional during regular business hours. However, you should never attempt to fix or address problems of leaky pipes within walls. Calling a professional immediately can help prevent extensive damage.
By following these few simple steps during plumbing emergencies, you should be able to save money and prevent more damage that can be caused by delayed reaction. Empower yourself as a homeowner by learning where individual and main water valves are located. And always turn clockwise!