Honey, I Think We’ve Got a Problem: 3 Simple Steps to Take in a Plumbing Emergency
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Honey, I Think We’ve Got a Problem: 3 Simple Steps to Take in a Plumbing Emergency

If you have ever twisted the hot water knob on your bathroom faucet and had it come off in your hand or set foot in your basement only to plunge ankle-deep in water, you have experienced a plumbing emergency. Once you get past the initial feeling of panic and dread, here are three simple steps to take.

Step 1: Find and Turn Off the Source of the Water

The first step is to turn off the source of the water, which is usually simple to find. The valve on the back or at the base of a leaky toilet or under a problematic sink is quickly within reach. For bigger emergencies, find and turn off your home’s main water supply. It is likely in your basement, somewhere near the hot water heater or water softener. If you do not have a basement, check the laundry room or garage.

You can also call Fox Valley plumbing professional to help you locate your home’s main water valve. This may be easier than trying to find it at 3:00 a.m. as water laps over the edge of your slippers.

Step 2: Mitigate the Damage

Once you turn off the water source, you can mitigate further damage by cleaning up floors and other surfaces and plugging small leaks in pipes with a towel or rag. This does not require any plumbing expertise or for you to even find your toolbox. If you are facing a major plumbing issue, consider turning off your water heater to avoid causing any damage to that unit. If your water heater is leaking, do not tinker or attempt a creative solution. Move to step three immediately.

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Step 3: Call a Professional

After you turn off the water source, clean up any water damage and plug minor leaks, call a local professional plumber. An expert can fix the damage to pipes and fixtures, repairing or replacing what is needed so the system functions again.

Plumbers can also let you know if a restoration company is necessary to clean up any potential mold caused by the water damage, or if you need a carpenter to fix the hole in your kitchen ceiling. They can recommend maintenance and other products such as a water softener to minimize the damage caused by chemicals and corrosion on your home’s plumbing systems. Enlisting the help of a professional can ease that initial sense of dread for good.

When facing a plumbing emergency, it is perfectly OK to panic — a little. After you do, find and turn off the source of water, clean up wet areas to avoid further damage, plug small leaks as best you can and call a professional plumber as soon as possible.