What Should You Do During a Plumbing Emergency?

A plumbing emergency is always unsettling but it doesn’t have to be a disaster if you think and act quickly. Here are several scenarios you may encounter in your home, and how to react effectively so that you minimize damage.

  • Turn the water off. With any plumbing emergency involving overflowing water, be it a clogged toilet, leaking pipe or a gushing washing machine, turn the water off. Learn where all your water shutoff valves are, from the main valve to the individual valves located near the appliance or fixture, and practice turning them off. If one is difficult and requires a tool, keep the tool close at hand. If you have to turn off the main valve, also open up the outside spigots so water in the pipes will drain away.
  • Shut the water heater off. Whether the water heater is malfunctioning or you want to drain it, turn the gas valve to “pilot” or “off.” If it’s electric, flip the breaker to “off.” Turn the water valve clockwise till the water is off.
  • Unclog drains. If a drain clog is causing water to back up in a sink, try a few home remedies before calling the plumber. Pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain and leave it five minutes, then flush it with warm water to see if the clog moves. If not, you can try a drain snake, or open the trap underneath the sink and clean it out. If this doesn’t work, the clog is further down the line and may require a plumber’s expertise.
  • Unclog a toilet. Use a plunger with a flange, creating a seal so that there is strong suction. Pull once with a short pull, then plunge more vigorously. If this doesn’t work, try an auger. If the clog persists, it is probably too far toward the sewer to reach without special equipment.
  • To learn more about how to deal with a plumbing emergency, contact Beyer Boys Mechanical and Plumbing of San Antonio. We’ve been providing the highest level of professional service since 1990.

    Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

    Credit/Copyright Attribution: “stockshoppe/Shutterstock”

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