If you own your own home, you likely spend at least a little time each month performing small maintenance tasks to keep your house in top shape. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, things can go wrong and a bad situation can develop. If you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a plumbing emergency, you'll want to call an emergency plumber right away. That said, you'll still need to take some action on your own to try and limit the damage until the professional can get to your house. Here are three tips to keep in mind that might help you make it through your next plumbing emergency.
Teach Every Member of the Family About Shut-Off Valve
As the homeowner, you are likely aware of where your main water shut-off valve is located. But what about your significant other or your children? A plumbing emergency could happen at any time. If you are away at work and something goes wrong at the house, it can be helpful to have someone else there who knows how to take control of the situation. Point out the shut-off valve to every member of your household and give a quick demonstration on how to turn it off and on. If your children are young, just make sure you make it clear that this is not something to play around with and should only be used in case of emergency.
Understand How to Turn Off Your Water Heater
While the main shut-off valve should temporarily solve most problems, you might someday encounter a situation where there is a problem with the water heater. Water heaters have their own switches and valves, and it can be confusing if you've never worked on one before. With that said, if your water heater runs on gas, you should be able to find a switch that says "pilot" on it. Switching the heater to "pilot" will turn the heater off. If your water heater is more complicated, ask your local plumber the next time they come to perform maintenance to explain what you need to know.
Learn How to Handle an Overflowing Washing Machine or Toilet
If your washing machine or toilet suddenly starts overflowing, you may not want to have to run all the way to the basement to get to the main water valve. By the time you get there, a decent amount of damage could be done. Instead, educate yourself on the location of the valves that turn off the water flow for these two devices on the spot. The toilet usually has a valve located underneath it that can be turned to the right. The washing machine usually has water supply valves behind the washer. Make sure all members of your family are educated on these valves as well. If turning the valve does not work, then make a run for the main water valve.
Plumbing emergencies can come suddenly and cause a sense of panic. But if you prepare yourself and your family for how to shut off various water valves around the house before anything goes wrong, you will hopefully be able to limit the damage until you can get a plumber out to the house to fix the problem. Visit a site like http://terryrossplumbing.com/ to learn about different services an emergency plumber will be able to provide if worse comes to worse.