6 Tips for Handling a Plumbing Emergency

When a leak, clog, or other plumbing emergency occurs, it can be hard to remain calm and collected. After all, the last thing anyone wants to deal with is flooding and water damage in their home. Every homeowner will encounter a plumbing emergency at some point—which makes it all the more important to know exactly what to do when one occurs. Here are six tips for handling a plumbing emergency like a pro.

1.      Assess the problem

The first step for handling a plumbing emergency is understanding what you’re dealing with. Is the toilet, sink, or drain blocked? Has something sprung a leak? By accurately assessing the problem, you can make it easier to explain the situation to the plumber when they arrive.

Some emergencies are more obvious than others. To narrow down the area where a leak is occurring, look for signs of moisture or water damage such as water stains, dampness, mold, or a musty smell. Examine the floors around your appliances for signs of moisture such as warped flooring or cracked spots. Walls and ceilings should be checked for stains and bubbling or peeling paint. Exposed pipes in basements or crawlspaces that have mold around them can indicate a leak as well.

2.      Locate the water shutoff valve

When facing a plumbing emergency, it’s important to do whatever you can to minimize damage to your home. Once you’ve assessed the problem and know that you have a leak, you should locate and activate your water shutoff valve. This will cut off the water supply to all of the toilets, sinks, and appliances in your home, and buy you valuable time you can use to move your belongings and mop up any flooded areas.

Water shutoff valves are typically located on an exterior wall of your home, near the outdoor water meter. If you’re not sure where yours is located, consult the property inspection report you received when you purchased your home. Typically, this information is located in Section 6.1 of the report.

3.      Call a plumber

When it comes to a plumbing emergency, sometimes its easiest to just bring in the professionals. If possible, describe the problem to the dispatcher to the best of your ability. This will ensure that the plumber is prepared with the right tools and equipment.

Many plumbing services offer 24/7 emergency calls, so you don’t have to worry if your emergency occurs overnight. At Chas Roberts, our emergency services are available 24/7, 365 days a year, so we can always be there when you need us the most. Best of all, there’s no additional fee for our services during off-hours.

4.      Reduce water damage

If flooding has occurred as a result of your plumbing emergency, start working to soak it up as soon as possible. Towels and mops can absorb puddles, while buckets can be placed under active leaks to collect dripping water. Open windows, turn on fans, and make sure air is circulating throughout your home to help your dry faster.

5.      Make space

While its not required, your plumber will appreciate if you could clear the area they’ll need to access to complete the job effectively. If possible, move any furniture away from the site of the emergency so it’s easy for the plumber to get directly to the root of the problem. This is also a good time to secure any pets you may have.

6.      Take preventive measures

Once the emergency has been taken care of, it’s time to take the necessary steps to keep it from happening again. Before the plumber leaves, feel free to ask if there’s anything that needs to be taken care of—such as faulty pipes, leaks, or blocked drains. Some of these problems may be fixed during your emergency call, but if not, you should schedule a service visit as soon as possible.

Once the problem has been fixed, you should take preventative measures to avoid any other potential emergencies by preparing yourself and your family to handle basic plumbing jobs. You should also try keeping basic tools and supplies in your home.

Plumbing tools to have in your home

Having your own emergency plumbing kit can help you address small problems before they become larger ones, and potentially fix emergencies on your own without the help of a plumber.

Here are the main tools we recommend every homeowner have on hand:

  • Five-gallon bucket
  • Plunger
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Split-joint pliers
  • Screwdriver set
  • Allen wrench
  • Duct tape
  • Drain snake
  • Protective eyewear

Get the family involved

Everyone in your home who’s old enough to help out should know how to handle basic plumbing tasks in the event of an emergency. Make sure everyone knows where the water shutoff valve is, and how to turn off the water to appliances and fixtures such as toilets, water heaters, and washing machines. Have the phone number of an emergency plumber on hand, or saved in everyone’s phones for easy access. If leaks or clogs do occur, make sure everyone knows the basics of unclogging a drain or fixing a minor leak.

How Chas Roberts can help

Time is of the essence when dealing with a plumbing emergency, and a delay of even minutes can result in costly damage to your home. Fortunately, as Arizona’s leading plumbing authority, we’ve dealt with emergencies ranging from mild to catastrophic—and there’s no job we can’t handle with our 24/7 emergency services. When disaster strikes, we’ll be there to take care of it. Contact us today for all your plumbing needs.