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A plumbing emergency can happen at any time. These types of emergencies could be quite unsettling, especially if you do not know what to do. When this issue arises, it is vital to act as quickly as possible. The following are eight steps you can take to reduce the damage this plumbing emergency may cause.
1. Call a Professional
Sometimes, the emergency is relatively easy to fix. Maybe all you need is a plumbing snake to unclog the drain, but sometimes the issue is more complex. There is no shame in admitting an issue is too big to solve on your own. Your plumber can walk you through any of the following steps if needed.
2. Shut off the Water
The next step is to shut off the water supply, and you will be able to do this by simply finding the supply valve. This is normally located in the basement or near your other utility controls outside.
3. Turn off the Water Heater
Usually, the water heater is next to the water supply valve. This is good because you can turn both off at the same time. The reason you are doing this is because water heaters need a certain amount of water to run effectively. Allowing the appliance to run after shutting off the water supply could damage your heater. Electrical water heaters can be turned off using the circuit breaker while gas water heaters can simply be switched to pilot.
4. Check on the Isolation Valves
Try to close the isolation valve that is close to the fixture with the leak. These valves help control leaks and could help you turn on the water for the rest of your home while isolating the problem area.
5. Open the Spigots
Water pressure can make things worse if you have a leak. It could even cause more damage if the pressure continues to rise, unchecked. This is why you want to open the valve to the outdoor spigots so that some pressure can be relieved. There is usually one in the front and one in the back of the house.
6. Collect Excess Water
Shutting off the water ensures additional water does not come through, but there could still be some water present. You are going to need a bucket to collect the excess water. Sitting water can lead to mold, structural damage, and it could even attract unsettling bugs given enough time.
7. Disinfect When Needed
Mold can grow on furniture or fabric if it is wet longer than 24 hours. This is the reason you need to make sure you dry everything that was affected by the plumbing issue as quickly as possible. Be sure to use a disinfectant as well.
8. Make Areas Accessible
You have a family who needs access to your home and, on top of that, you have a plumbing expert on the way. This means you need to make sure the areas affected by this plumbing emergency are cleared so this expert can get to them. You should also clear a path to the water supply valve and any other area this professional might need to get to. This step might make things safer and could help speed up the work, too.
Hopefully, some of these suggestions make it easier for you to deal with a plumbing emergency. Do not be afraid to ask your plumber for additional advice if needed.
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.