The first thing most homeowners do in a plumbing emergency is panic or go into paralysis (or both!). But that doesn’t have to happen to you. If you don’t know what to do in a plumbing emergency, then this troubleshooting guide is for you.
With this handy guide, you can quickly look up an emergency problem and we’ll tell you the basic procedures involved in making sure the problem doesn’t get any worse.
How Do Plumbing Emergencies Occur?
First, let’s get an understanding of where most emergency plumbing problems come from.
- The relatively high water pressure that delivers fresh water throughout the house (and the relatively low pressure that carries it away) is the primary culprit.
- On the water supply side (the potable, drinking water coming into the house), the same pressure that sends water to a showerhead or lawn sprinkler also forces water through a leaky faucet or defective pipe.
- On the drainage side (the wastewater leaving the house), the pull of gravity may not be enough to draw wastewater through drains that are clogged by debris. A greater force, usually a plunger or auger, needs to be applied to clear the blockage.
Even a slow leak can waste about 15 gallons of water per day, enough for a comfortable bath. Left unchecked, an annoying drip will become a steady stream that leads to a highly visible and expensive plumbing and water damage emergency.
What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency: Troubleshooting Guide
Now that you know how most of these events happen, here’s a guide that shows you what you should immediately do in such a situation.
IMPORTANT: Keep in mind, in a true emergency, you need a professional. So, call a trusted local plumber who specializes in emergency plumbing and they will get to you immediately.
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Final Thoughts: What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency
As you can see from our guide, there are a few procedures that stand out as being the most common first steps.
- Shut off the water supply (either at the fixture or to the entire house)
- Shut off power if flooding occurs and you need to work in that area
- For flooding of 1/2″ or more, you’ll need a plumber experienced in water damage emergencies. The damage from major floods simply can’t be repaired and restored as a DIY project.
- Sewer and gas odors are potentially dangerous and may require you to leave the home. Call a plumber or your municipality if you can’t fix the issue quickly.
While many problems can be prevented from getting worse by your quick actions, the actual repairs might require a professional plumber. However, in an emergency situation, consider using an experienced emergency plumber with water damage experience.
1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.