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In Case of Plumbing Emergency…

It happens in every house. The pipe under the sink springs a leak, the toilet overflows or, worse, something floods. Plumbing is just like every other aspect of a home in that it often needs to be repaired. The main difference between plumbing and other issues, however, is that, when it comes to water, you often have to act immediately or risk damaging your home or personal items.

At All-Star Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, we are always ready to help our customers get out of plumbing jams. Whether they are emergencies or regular repairs, we provide quality service and can help you restore your plumbing fixtures and appliances. However, there will be times when you’ll have to act on your own—say when
a faucet won’t shut off or a pipe bursts. Yes, you should call us asap, but you’ll have to take some kind of action immediately. That’s why, this week, we are focusing on common plumbing emergencies and how to handle them when they spring up on you.

In most plumbing emergencies, the first thing to do is stop the flow of water. This can be done by shutting off either the main water valve or the valve connected to the specific appliance. These are usually located under a sink or toilet and behind washing machines, water heaters and other major appliances. If there is no valve, or if the problem is a leaky house pipe, the main water supply will need to be turned off along with the hot water heater in order to keep it from overheating. Otherwise, the specific valve for the appliance should take care of stopping the water flow. Be sure that you andyour family know where both the main water valve and specific appliance valves are located so that anyone can take care of a problem when necessary.

Once the water flow has been stopped, you are in good shape. Now, based on the severity of the problem you can either attempt to fix it yourself or call us to come take a look. If the problem is a leaky or broken pipe, a plumber will have to make the final repairs, but for small leaks you can apply temporary fixes such as duct tape or pipe-sealing tape if you are pressed for time. These may not stop the leak altogether, but they can slow it down until professional help arrives.

If your emergency is the opposite problem and your pipes are frozen, there are a few simple tricks to help them thaw. If the pipe is inside expose it to warm air by opening a door or vent. Then, use a hair dryer or a towel soaked in hot water to help heat the pipe slowly while preventing it from breaking. And if you really want to go the extra mile, take preventative measures against frozen pipes by keeping your faucets set on very low drips during extremely cold weather if you are going to be away for a period of time, and consider investing in pipe insulation and freeze-resistant faucets outside.

Probably the most common plumbing issue is a clog. In these cases, the first thing to do is, obviously, shut off the faucet before the basin overflows. The next step is usually to plunge the clog or use a household drain releasing product depending on the location of the problem. If the clog is in the toilet and it starts to overflow, reach inside the toilet tank and push the tank stopper down into its valve seat, holding it until the water stops. Once you have the water stopped, shut off the water valve and unclog the drain with a plunger. If that doesn’t work, call a plumber.

When it comes to handling common plumbing emergencies, simply knowing a few basic tips will go a long way in preventing water damage and future issues. Depending on the situation, you may be able to solve the issue completely on your own, but, like we said, you’ll often need professional help. Simply do what you can to stop or slow the issue and then give us a call. From broken pipes to leaky faucets, we at All-Star are equipped to handle whatever plumbing problem plagues you and threatens the condition of your home. Call us today!

 

3 Comments
  1. These are some great ideas! I have often heard of pipes bursting because they were frozen, and didn’t realize that wrapping them will help to slowly thaw them out. Thank you!

  2. I purchased a house that didn’t have any emergency stops on any of the pipes. We will have to manually add those in at some point in case an emergency happens.

  3. There is nothing worse than having issues with the plumbing and realizing, when water is spraying everywhere, that you have no idea how to shut it off. Going around your home and finding all of them could be very helpful in the future!

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