Article Contributed by Brie Taylor
You rely on your home’s plumbing system every day. You may even take these conveniences for granted sometimes. However, if any part of the plumbing starts to experience problems, you need to act quickly and wisely to get things working correctly. In some cases, your health and safety could be at risk. You need to take the right steps to avoid costly, dangerous situations.
What Constitutes an Emergency?
Of course, not every issue with the plumbing at home will require an immediate, urgent response. You’ll want to address something such as a slow drain or a leaky faucet, but these won’t be emergencies. When you need to start worrying is when the following examples occur: a sewer backups, burst pipes, clogged water line, or there is a ruptured appliance such as a water heater or dishwasher. A severely backed-up toilet or drain can also turn into an emergency if flooding occurs.
Turn Off the Water
The moment you discover any of these problems, you should turn off the water to your home. If you know exactly where the leak is, you can try shutting off the valve to that pipe. However, it’s safest to stop the flow of water to the home. You should be able to find this shut-off valve near the water meter outside. If you’re not sure where it is, call a plumber.
Turn Off the Electricity
It’s no secret that water and electrical devices don’t get along well. The last thing you want is for plumbing problems to flood your home and get into the electrical system or onto any appliances or items that connect to your home’s outlets. After you shut off the water, it’s a good idea to turn off the electricity. You can do this by closing all the circuit breakers at the electrical panel.
Clean Up What You Can
Plumbing problems will likely cause flooding. This could result in damage to carpet, hardwood flooring, drywall, furniture, and other belongings. You might not have the tools and resources to remove all the water and clean everything. Still, you should act quickly by extracting as much water as possible with a wet vacuum. The shorter amount of time any standing water remains on the ground or on any materials, the better.
Stay Away From Black Water
When you’re dealing with a plumbing emergency, you could encounter what is known as black water. This water contains raw sewage such as human waste. It will be present if you have a sewer backup or possibly with a toilet overflow. Black water can be harmful if you touch it and lethal if you accidentally ingest it. If your plumbing emergency involves sewage, you should stay away from the water. Do not step in it or touch it, even if you are wearing gloves and boots. Make sure you call a professional immediately.
Call for the Right Help
Minor plumbing challenges may or may not warrant calling a professional. If you are confident with your skills, you can repair a leaky pipe or a clogged bathroom drain. You may even be able to repair a toilet or assess problems with the shower. However, when it comes to significant issues, you need to get a professional on the case right away. For moderate to serious flooding, a plumber can help you stop the leak and prevent further water damage. Plumbers can also unclog drains, repair broken pipes, and fix appliances that use water.
When it comes to cleaning up after a plumbing emergency, a disaster cleanup team is the right call. Water cleanup crews have the knowledge and training to safely remove the water from your home as well as remove and replace damaged materials. More importantly, you can contact a sewage cleanup company to remove any black water following a sewage backup. These technicians have the right safety equipment and supplies. They can also make your home livable again.
When you take these steps following a plumbing emergency, you can have peace of mind. You need to know that further flooding will not continue. You also need to feel at ease knowing your health and safety are not in jeopardy. If you encounter any plumbing problems, you can know how to proceed effectively.