A plumbing emergency can occur for a number of reasons, but it often requires shutting off leaking water or unclogging a stopped-up drain to prevent flooding. Learning how to take a few simple steps until the plumber arrives can spare you distress and save you money on repairs of damaged floors and other problems.
Dealing With Plumbing Emergencies
- Overflowing water – On a toilet or sink, locate fixture valves and turn clockwise to shut them off. If a pipe is leaking in the house, find the main shutoff valve and shut it off.
- Clogged toilet – Shut off the valve at the base of the toilet bowl. Pour a bucket of hot but not boiling water in to loosen the clog. Let it sit for a few minutes, and if it doesn’t dislodge the clog, try plunging. A ball-shaped plunger or one with a fold-out flange is best for making a tight seal. Press down firmly, creating suction. If this doesn’t work, try a drain snake. If the clog persists, call the plumber.
- Clogged drains – Try a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of vinegar, allowing the mixture to fizz for a few minutes. Then flush with hot water. If this doesn’t work, try a drain snake or auger. You can also remove the trap, or the curved portion of the pipe, beneath the sink and flush or clean it out. If the clog is farther down the line, you’ll probably need a plumber.
- Leaking water heater – Shut off the valve on the cold water pipe near the tank. Relieve pressure on the tank by turning the bathtub hot water faucet on for a few minutes. If the leak continues, drain the water heater with a garden house.
- Flooding washing machine – Hoses or connections may be leaking. Don’t unplug the machine or hit the “cancel” button. Turn off power at the main supply.
Learn more about how the pros at Carefree Comfort, Inc. Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing handle a plumbing emergency, or give us a call at 847-388-0115.