When you own a home or rent an apartment, you can have a variety of plumbing emergencies. While most plumbing problems occur in the winter when the temperature drops, it is also possible to have a broken pipe or overflowing toilet when the weather is warmer. You may not have the proper equipment and knowledge to make a major plumbing repair, but you should know how to cope until a plumber arrives. Here are some important plumbing emergency tips.
Plumbing Tip 1: Know Where the Water Valves Are Located
You should understand where the water valves are located in your apartment or home to avoid additional water damage. A toilet’s water valve is located underneath the fixture, and you can turn it to stop the flow of water from a toilet’s bowl. Bathroom and kitchen sinks have water valves inside the cabinets underneath these items. The main water valve for a building is often located near the water heater or outside a building. In many cases, these valves are difficult to adjust, so you may need to use pliers along with lubricating the handles to move the valves.
Plumbing Tip 2: Have Old Towels and Buckets Ready
After water or sewage has leaked onto a floor, you need to work quickly to absorb the moisture before it drips to the lower level of a building. If you have old towels or buckets nearby, then you are prepared for cleaning up a mess. Make sure to avoid any electrical wires or devices while mopping up the water. Pick up items such as area rugs and wastebaskets so that the items aren’t ruined by the sewage or clean water. When water has seeped into drywall or carpets, you should dry the items with a blowing circulating fan, or you can rent a special machine that suctions moisture.
Plumbing Tip 3: Have Toilet Plungers Near Sinks and Toilets
Make sure to buy at least one plunger that has a rubber tip so that you can remove debris from a toilet or sink. If you have multiple bathrooms, then it is a good idea to place a plunger in the sink’s cabinet so that you can use it as fast as possible. Toilet plungers become filthy, so you may want to have a different plunger for sinks. Practice using a plunger in order to know how to push down the debris in a fixture before pulling the device up to create air pressure.
Plumbing Tip 4: Keep a Plumber’s Phone Number Nearby
Keep a plumber’s phone number on your own smartphone’s contact list so that you can call one of these experts after turning off the water valves or making other small repairs. If your landlord offers emergency plumbing services, then make sure to have the proper information to call a maintenance person during weekends or holidays. Create a friendly work zone for plumbers by removing items from the area along with placing your pets in another room.
Plumbing Tip 5: Have a Budget That Includes Emergency Plumbing Repairs
Make sure to have a household budget that includes saving money for emergency plumbing repairs. If you rent an apartment, then your landlord will likely not charge you for making plumbing repairs unless you have been negligent.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.