When it comes to your plumbing, an emergency can end up being a big mess. Leaky pipes, plugged toilets, and broken water heaters can all create huge problems in your home, from water damage to rot to mold. If you have a plumbing problem, you may be wondering about the best way to apply a temporary fix until your plumber can get there. Here are a few tips from Drainworks Plumbing and Heating for some makeshift repairs you can make while you find a plumber. While it should be emphasized that these are meant to be (very) short term fixes, they may help you prevent some damage while you wait for the plumber to get there.
Know Your Shutoff Valves
Whether it’s a broken pipe or an overflowing toilet, you’ll need to shut off the water supply before you can get anything else done. That’s why it’s best to identify the shutoff valves to all your fixtures now, while the water’s still in the pipes where it belongs. The most important valve to know is the water main shutoff, which is generally located right after your water meter. For toilets, sinks, washing machines, and other appliances, a secondary shutoff valve can usually be found on the water lines going into the fixture. If anything goes wrong with your plumbing, your first move should be to locate the applicable valve and shut it off while you call a plumber immediately.
Temporarily Fixing Broken or Cracked Pipes
If you have a pinhole leak or small crack in one of your pipes, it may be possible to apply a temporary fix while you wait for a plumber to arrive. There are a number of products on the market known as “pipe repair clamps” that are actually designed to stop a minor leak in emergency situations. First, shut off your water supply, drain out any remaining water, then tightly apply the repair clamp. Of course these temporary fixes are meant to be just that – temporary, so it’s best to call a plumber right away or you’re likely to end up with another leak shortly after.
We’ve all been in a situation where the toilet won’t flush and the water level is rapidly approaching the top of the bowl. When this happens, you’ll be lucky to have a minute in which to act, so what do you do? The first step to preventing water from spilling out from your toilet is to find the shutoff valve, usually located behind the tank, on the lines leading into it. Once you shut this valve off, you’ve bought yourself some more time to get that clog dislodged. Try hitting it with the plunger, or with a commercial drain cleaning product. If that doesn’t work, it’s definitely time to call a plumber.
At Drainworks Plumbing and Heating, we deal with plumbing emergencies every day. The truth is there’s no good time for a plumbing problem to pop up, so your best emergency fix is to keep Drainworks on speed dial so you can call us right away when you have issues. We’ve been Philadelphia’s trusted emergency plumbing service since 1988, so don’t forget to call (215) 333-8780 right away when you have a plumbing emergency, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including evenings, weekends, and holidays!