What steps should I take in case of a plumbing emergency?
The first thing you must remember when faced with a plumbing emergency is to remain as calm as possible at all times even though a burst pipe or broken valve can be alarming. Next you will have to locate the water shut off valve on the fixture that is leaking or having the problem. These are usually oval metal knobs located on or near the water feeder pipe on the fixture.
Many times it may be difficult to find the shut off valve or it isn't exposed, such as with a shower or bathtub, you may have to turn off the main line shutoff valve for the house. If it is necessary to turn off the main household valve you must also find and turn off the circuit breaker to your hot water heater if it is electric and both the breaker as well as shutting off the gas supply to the hot water heater if it is gas, this will insure that the hot water heater does not overheat while the main is off and helps avoid possible injury.
Now things will be a little less hectic luckily and you can begin to assess what the problem is, clogs in general and clogged filters are a common culprit for certain appliances however if the appliance still leaks or isn't functioning properly after this has been eliminated it will need to be seen by a professional plumber. It is also worth noting that trying to use snake devices on your own can often damage your plumbing further and should be avoided. You will definitely want to use a pan, pail or any empty receptacle to place under the problem area to catch water runoff; this can help prevent damage to surrounding areas like cabinet interiors or flooring as well as preventing puddles of water that can be hazardous.
Lastly, if pipes are leaking inside of a wall or in the ceiling or floor the home’s main valve should be turned off and a plumber called immediately. This is important to avoid water damage to walls and even flooding.
Are you facing a plumbing emergency in the Berkeley area? Stop and call Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating immediately at 510-843-6904.