Everyone has experienced a plumbing emergency at one time or another. Many issues, such as clogged toilets or sinks, can easily be resolved with a plunger or snake. More serious plumbing emergencies, however, require the expertise of a certified plumber. If you have a plumbing emergency that's more than a clogged toilet, here's what to do.
Step 1: Cut Off the Water Supply
If you have a leaking pipe, the first thing to do is to cut off its water supply. Slow leaks can sometimes be collected in buckets or pots. More serious leaks can gush large amounts of water that can cause structural damage, though.
Cutting off water from drain pipes, such as pipes that go from sink or shower drains, is easy. Turn off the faucet that feeds the affected drain pipe, and then don't use the affected sink or shower until the leak is fixed. Similarly, if a toilet's drain line is leaking, avoid flushing the toilet.
Cutting off water to a supply line that feeds a faucet is a little more involved. Every home has a main water shutoff that cuts off the water supply for theentire home, as well as secondary shutoffs that cut off water to specific parts of the house or specific fixtures.
Look for a secondary shutoff that will stop water from going to the affected pipe, and turn the shutoff to the off position. Water won't reach the pipe, and you'll still be able to use fixtures in other parts of the home. If you can't find a secondary shutoff that will cut the pipe's water supply, you'll have to turn off your home's main shutoff. You won't be able to use any water fixture in your home, but the leak will stop.
Step 2: Seal Leaks with Duct Tape
If you can't fully stop a leak by cutting off the water supply, you can try sealing leaks with duct tape. Duct tape isn't ideal, but it can work as a temporary solution until you can get the leak fixed.
Step 3: Contact an Emergency Plumbing Company
Once you'd done some immediate triage on your home's pipes, call an emergency plumbing company in your area. Throughout the country, there are plumbing service companies that offer 24/7 support, and send certified plumbers out any time of the day or night.
If you live near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you can call us at Stahl Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning when you have a plumbing emergency. Our number is 412-273-1000, and we're ready to help you no matter what time it is.