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Correctly Handling A Plumbing Emergency


A house is like a car. No matter how new it is or how well it runs, sooner or later there will be an emergency that requires immediate attention. If that predicament involves your plumbing, there are important steps to take in order to minimize potential damage.

The first thing to do is to locate the water shut off valve on an overflowing or leaking fixture. If the valve on the appliance cannot be located then the home’s main shutoff valve must be turned off. It’s a good idea to know where all shut off valves are located prior to any problems developing. If it turns out to be necessary to shut off the main valve, also turn off the circuit breaker and the gas source to the hot water heater. Once the water flow has stopped, check to see if there is a clogged filter. If that isn’t the case, then it’s time to call a licensed plumber.

If pipes are leaking place a bucket underneath to avoid further damage to floors or other surfaces and cover the leak with electrical tape. The next step is to call a plumber to assess the problem and determine if the pipes need to be replaced. Replacing the pipes should always be done by a licensed professional.

A very common plumbing emergency is a clogged drain or toilet. If a plunger doesn’t work then it’s time to call a professional. Trying to put anything down the drain, such as a snake, can cause much greater damage and should not be attempted by anyone who is not a licensed plumber.

If a shower, tub, or sink becomes clogged a rubber plunger may be able to remove the blockage, if used carefully. If that doesn’t work after a few tries it is best to call a plumber to remove whatever is causing the problem. Trying to insert anything into the drain can damage the pipes, causing further problems.

While a plumbing emergency can send a homeowner into panic mode, it is very important to remain calm and assess the situation carefully, then take the necessary steps to minimize damage without causing further problems. If the problem can’t be resolved without professional knowledge, then do yourself a favor and call a licensed plumber to fix it correctly, saving you time and money and giving you peace of mind.

Are you facing a plumbing emergency in the Naperville area? Stop and call Jim Wagner Plumbing, Inc. immediately at (630) 577-9241.