Whether it's a leaking pipe, a faucet that won’t turn off, or a flooding toilet, at some point every home has some kind of plumbing emergency. Fortunately, you can prepare yourself ahead of time by equipping yourself with some essential knowledge and a few necessary supplies. That way you can avoid disaster and buy yourself some time before a plumber arrives to help.
Here are a few ways to prepare yourself for a plumbing emergency in your home:
1. Make sure you own essential plumbing tools and supplies.
Every homeowner needs some basic household goods to help them get through a plumbing mishap. If you don’t have these items, it’s time to head to the hardware store:
- A cup plunger. These plungers typically are ideal for sink, shower, and bathtub clogs.
- A flange plunger. These plungers usually are ideal for toilet clogs.
- A sturdy pair of rubber gloves. You’ll want to wear these when clearing clogs or cleaning up a mess in the kitchen or bathroom.
- A large bucket that’s easy to lift and carry. You can use this to help empty a toilet that’s close to overflowing, catch water from a leak, or flush your toilet if you have no running water.
- Thread seal tape. Also known as Teflon tape, plumber’s tape, or PTFE tape, this stuff can help temporarily fix a slowly leaking pipe until a plumber arrives.
2. Get familiar with the location of your home’s water shut-off valve.
Most homes have multiple water shut-off valves. They’re typically located near each plumbing fixture, often close to where the plumbing disappears into the wall. Knowing where these valves are can help you if a plumbing fixture starts leaking. Simply twist the valve’s handle to stop the flow of water to the fixture.
You should also know the location of your home’s main water shut-off valve. You might have to search for it in the garage, basement, front yard, side yard, or backyard. If there’s a leak in your home and you don’t know where the nearest shut-off valve is, turn off this main water shut-off valve to prevent extensive water damage in your home.
3. Brush up your knowledge on the problems you’re most likely to encounter.
Depending on where you live and who lives in your household, you may be more likely to have certain types of plumbing problems. For instance:
- If you live in a region known for frozen pipes, learn about how to prevent your pipes from bursting.
- If you own a low-flow toilet from the 90s, make sure you know your way around a plunger.
- If there are small children in your home, it’s a good idea to learn what to do in case your toilet starts to overflow. You never know when a little someone might try to flush a toy “down the hole.”
4. Put important contacts in your phone ahead of time.
Make sure you already have a preferred plumber in your phone contacts so that you don’t have to do Google and Yelp searches in the middle of your plumbing emergency.
If you live in a condo, apartment, or townhouse, it’s also smart to get the phone numbers of your neighbors, in case your plumbing situation might affect them (or in case their plumbing problem is might affect you). If water starts leaking through a wall or ceiling, you’ll be glad that you have your neighbors’ contact information handy so that you can let them know right away.
Need help with a plumbing problem in your home? Call The Rooter Works Plumbing and Drains today at (614) 412-3324 for plumbing services in Columbus, Ohio!