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Even the thought of a plumbing emergency can strike fear into the heart of a homeowner.  Most of us are completely at a loss when something plumbing related goes wrong.

One of the best things you can do is to keep on top of maintenance and issues in the house so that emergencies don’t have the chance to arise in the first place.  Even if a leak starts small and doesn’t cause any initial problems, it’s something that deserves your attention.  Often these small issues can be looked after by the homeowner themselves, or aren’t very costly if you do decide to hire someone to look after it.  Waiting too long can allow the leak to become bigger and cause damage to other areas of your home.  Toilet problems are very common, and just like a small leak, if the issue is tackled early on, further damage and frustration (not to mention cost) can often be avoided.  Check taps, pipes and elements often and keep tabs on what fixtures might need a fix.

If you do have an unfortunate plumbing emergency, here are some tips for keeping the problem as small and contained as possible.

Stay calm

First of all, don’t panic!  We all want to run for the hills at the sign of plumbing trouble, but keeping a cool head can save you from an even bigger problem.

Call the experts

Keep your plumber’s number handy so that when you need it, you’ve got it.  Call him or her right away and explain exactly what’s happened.  Make sure that your door is unlocked and that you keep your phone next to you in case they need to ask further questions.

Shut off your water supply

This is one area that should be addressed before a problem starts; locate and take note of your home’s main water supply so that in the event of a disaster, you can make a beeline for it.

If possible, turn off the water at the source first – whether it’s a toilet, a sink, or your appliances.  Often it’s as simple as turning a valve that attaches to the back or the bottom of the fixture.  If you can’t get to the valve on the fixture or appliance, shut off the entire water supply to the house.

Turn off the water heater

To avoid damaging your heater with a flood, turn it off right after you’ve shut off the water supply.  If you don’t, heat could potentially rise inside of the heater and cause it to burst or at the very least, overheat. If your heater operates on gas, always shut off the gas first.

Take care of things while you wait

While you’re waiting for your plumbing hero to arrive, take care of anything that you can.  Tape small leaks or put buckets under leaks to try to contain the water.  You can also start clean up if the water has seeped into the house or onto the floor.  The sooner water is mopped up and the home is dry, the less chance there is of damage to drywall and floors, not to mention furniture.  

Drain away water

Even though you’ve turned off the water, your drains and pipes will still have water sitting in them.  Turn on spigots – only the ones outside of your home and from which you can direct the water away from the house.  Don’t use any chemicals to attempt to clear blockages.  Your plumber may have something specific that he or she uses that may be hindered by your own chemical applications.

All the credit goes to Aslan Plumbing.