It's 5 AM — you've got a big day ahead of you and all that you want to do at this moment is slip into a hot shower before the day begins — but there's no hot water! This, and so many other plumbing emergencies, can happen at the most inconvenient times. Do you know what to do if you were to encounter a plumbing emergency outside of regular business hours? Here, you'll find a few tips to help minimize the impact of the next plumbing emergency in your home.
Know How to Shut the Water Off
Do you know where all of the shut-off valves are in your home? If not, do you at least know where the main shut-off valve is? In many homes, you can find the main water shut-off valve near the pressure tank or hot water heater. Oftentimes, it looks like a lever on the side of a wall-mounted pipe. When you pull it downwards, it shuts the water off.
In other cases, the main shut-off valve is located outside of the home, near the water gauge for city water service. If you've never checked your outside valve, do it today. Some require a wrench, while others have a valve that can be turned by hand. If you will need a wrench, it's better to find out when there isn't water gushing all over your home.
Once you've found the main shut-off valve, take some time to go through the house and find the rest of them. Individual shut-off valves can usually be found underneath all of the sinks and beside the toilets. Knowing where they are today will help you in the future, in a number of ways.
Keep a Wet-Dry Vacuum Handy
Lots of people run for the towels when water begins spewing all over the floor — this can be helpful, but it won't clean up the mess as quickly as a wet-dry vacuum with a flat floor attachment. These units can suck the water up as quickly as it's spewing from the pipes. Sure, you'll want to throw some towels down to try to control the flow of the water, but you won't be able to quickly clean it up using towels — at least not a ton of them.
Keep an emergency plumbing company's contact information handy — you never know when you'll need it, but you know that there will be a day that you come home to find that there's an immediate need for the help of the local plumber.