5 Ways to Maintain Your Sanity During a Plumbing Emergency

5 Ways to Maintain Your Sanity During a Plumbing Emergency

 

The professionals at Amyotte’s Plumbing & Heating Ltd. know that very few things can be as harrowing as returning home only to find that your basement has been turned into an indoor swimming pool because of a ruptured plumbing pipe. Once the initial shock of the incident has worn off, there are certain steps that a homeowner should take in order to minimize the damage a plumbing emergency will cause.

These steps will vary depending on the type of plumbing emergency that presents itself.

Leaking or Broken Pipes

The first priority is to shut off the main water supply. In many homes, the main water valve is located in the basement or just outside the rear exit to the home. Even if the leak is relatively small, it is still best to shut off the main water supply and wait for a plumbing professional to arrive.

Leaking Water Heater

Disconnect the water heater from the cold water supply. This is usually located right above the water heater. If the cold water supply cannot be turned off completely, then find the home’s main water supply and shut that off. Connect the water hose to the water heater and run it to a drain to empty the tank. If it is a gas heater, cut off the gas. If it is an electric heater, shut off the power at the circuit breaker.

Clogged Toilet

If a toilet looks like it is going to overflow, the first thing you should do is run the water in a sink or a nearby bathtub. This will slow down the flow of water that the toilet receives. Then use a plunger an attempt to unclog the toilet.

Frozen Pipes

If not treated immediately, frozen pipes may rupture and cause untold damage. The first step is to open up nearby faucets. This is going to allow the melting water to escape. Next, get a blow dryer and slowly thaw the pipes. Do not use a blowtorch or other open fire apparatus on the water pipes as this could damage the pipes and could set drywall and other fixtures on fire.

A Plugged Drain

First, determine how serious the plug is. If the drain is draining slowly, a chemical draining cleaning agent can be useful in removing the clog. If the drain is not draining at all, then use a plunger and try to open up the drain. If the plunger does work, then add the chemical draining cleaning agent. If none of these options work, contact a plumber.

The sight of a leaking pipe, a clogged drain, or an overflowing toilet can be shocking at first. However, if a homeowner is able to keep their wits about them and follow the above-mentioned guidelines, they will be able to keep their sanity during a plumbing emergency.

 

This is a guest post written by Karleia. Karleia is a freelance blogger and mother of two young daughters. You can follow her on Google+

 

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92 thoughts on “5 Ways to Maintain Your Sanity During a Plumbing Emergency”

  1. I appreciate what you said shutting off the main water supply during a leak. Our fridge had a leaked in it. We didn’t catch it in time and it did some damage to the wall as well. If we had caught it in time and turned off the water supply we could of saved a lot of damage.

  2. Thanks for the tip on getting the water to slow down on the toilet form over flowing. I had no idea that turning on the sink would make water slow down. This is useful because the water key from my toilet is hard to budge sometimes.

    1. When it comes to plumbing, little leaks can lead to big problems. Be alert to signs of impending plumbing failures: Leaking faucets, damp cabinets, rocking toilets or dripping refrigerators all signal problems that need prompt attention.

  3. What an interesting idea to run the water in the sink when the water in the toilet is clogged. Is there a specific reason the toilet and sink water are connected? As you can tell, I am not savvy when it comes to plumbing. I recently had a problem where the water wouldn’t stop overflowing from the toilet bowl. I had no idea what to do, other than shut off the water.

    1. Hiring a plumber is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly by homeowners. Plumbers are responsible for repairing some of the most important parts of the home like the toilet, faucet and water heater. Failure to hire a high-quality or experienced plumber can result in costly and dangerous repairs in the future.

  4. Wow, this is really smart! I hadn’t thought about opening the faucets before melting frozen pipes. I’ll be sure to keep that one in mind should it ever happen to me. I also liked the bit about the clogged toilet, that’s ingenious! Thank you so much for posting!

  5. I came home to a flooded house today and had a bit of a heart attack. One of the pipes in my bathroom had leaked a substantial amount of water while I was gone. My husband tried to fix it himself but he wasn’t able to. We are definitely going to need to call a plumber!

  6. That’s really smart to turn the water on in the tub if your toilet is about to overflow! I’d never thought about that before. Haha! There really should be some sort of “adult life hacks” class in high school that teaches these things!

  7. The tips addressed in this post are very useful if you find yourself in a plumbing emergency. First and foremost, stay calm. Having a clear head will help you to diffuse the situation instead of escalating it. Appreciate the share, thanks!

  8. I have a clogged drain, but the clog seems far enough down the pipe that I can’t remove it with my little “zip it” tool. And apparently we are out of Drano. We’re a little broke until payday, so does anyone have any ideas for a DIY drain clog remover? It would be nice to use our shower again before Friday.

  9. As a homeowner, it is very likely that you want to cut costs with home maintenance whenever and wherever you can. This mindset affects most homeowners at some point, but plumbing problems when they occur are no laughing matter. If you have a problem with your plumbing or you suspect that you may, consider that hiring a professional Plumbing company is a much better and safer option than attempting to fix it yourself.

  10. I agree that frozen pipes can really be a headache to deal with. I was nervous the other day that we may have had such an issue because our upstairs neighbor said that his hot water was also not working. I am glad you pointed out not to use a blowtorch to melt the water, because if I got desperate I might have tried something like that (after double checking that doing so is legal).

  11. I have always left anything I come across for the plumber and sometimes I feel that I have been so ignorant and could save a lot if I had mastered some simple DIYs. Thanks a lot for sharing these tips, they are really helpful and at least I can say that I can do some things now.

    Cindy

  12. I’ve always thought that you should try and turn the water off behind the toilet if it’s about to overflow. It would be much easier to turn on the tub and the sink! We have terrible plumbing in our basement apartment where we live, so I’m sure I’ll have the opportunity to try this trick pretty soon.

  13. It is important to know where your main water shut off is just in case of emergency, and to try and stay as calm as possible if something does happen. Great tips, thank you for sharing.

  14. I agree that leaking water heaters can be a major problem. We didn’t have one leaking, but we recently had one that wasn’t turned on. As a result, we were only getting the power of our second water heater.

  15. I’m glad there are certain precautions that I can take before the plumber reaches my home to help out. However, like you say, I would still be worried about whether my steps were beneficial for the specific emergency. In any case, it seems like shutting off the water supply is a safe whatever the problem is.

  16. These are great. I’m super inept when it comes to plumbing, so I’m trying to learn some tips so I won’t be stressed out when the time comes. I hadn’t known how to deal with frozen pipes; I figured you’d want to heat them up, but I may not have thought to open up nearby faucets. I also wouldn’t have thought to run water in a nearby sink or bathtub to help alleviate a clogged toilet. Thanks for the tips; I’ll feel much more prepared when a plumbing emergency hits!

  17. Going through a plumbing emergency is not very fun, obviously. We had a pipe break, and luckily, we did just as you said. We shut off the water supply, then called a plumber, and it all worked out.

  18. Great Share,,,

    If you own a home, there’s a good chance you will need the services of a plumber at some point. When you first discover a leak or plumbing problem, shut off the water to prevent further damage.

  19. Maintenance of a septic system involves routine pumping of solids from the septic tank. Over time, and if not pumped, solids can clog up the system or overflow into the leachfield, causing backup and pooling effluent.

  20. Nice share….these are really very useful tips one can apply while plumbing activities. Leaky faucets aren’t only annoying but the continuous moisture wears fixtures and encourages the growth of mildew and mold. Keep your home clean and dry by staying on top of problems and repairing them early on.

    One can hire portable toilet when they are facing plumbing issues till all those problems get resolved. This is really very helpful plus a hygienic one.

  21. Tips don’t get any easier than this. Put the kettle on or use the stove or microwave if you don’t own a kettle and boil up as much water as it will hold. Now pour it slowly down the drain in two to three stages, allowing the hot water to work for a several seconds in between each pour. This is usually the easiest and quickest way to unclog a drain.

  22. I’m not a homeowner yet but it’s good to know the different things that can go wrong in case of a plumbing emergency. I haven’t had a problem with a water heater before but this post gave me the info I’d need to fix one if the problem arose. Thanks for the helpful plumbing article.

  23. I have been having problems with clogged toilets in my new apartment. I didn’t realize that running the sink or bathtub could slow down the flow of the water, so this tip was really helpful. I also appreciated the tips on how to unplug a drain; I wouldn’t have thought to use a drain plumber.

  24. I don’t know anything about plumbing, so I appreciate the tips you have here. We live in a cold climate, so frozen pipes are a real danger, and I never knew how to deal with them. Now I know to open up the faucets and blowdry the pipes. Thanks for the help!

  25. Just this morning, my mother noticed that there was an issue with the toilet in the basement bathroom that she was using. I found it to be odd because my brother and I just installed that toilet a week ago. Now that the toilet is still leaking, it seems like we might need to find an emergency plumbing service to come over to my house soon before the bathroom floor begins to flood.

    1. The need for only minimal maintenance is one of the major benefits of septic systems.  Most septic tanks are energy efficient because little energy is required for operation.  The initial installation of building and installing the tank, distribution box, and lines are the major energy users. Preventing plant growth on the septic field is the most energy required for maintenance after installation. 

      1. If you’re looking to get rid of a lot of leftover grease like you’ve made bacon or fried something then you just need an empty can or something OTHER than a Styrofoam cup. Pour the grease from the pan into your can or bottle, that way it doesn’t clog up your drain.

  26. Many people don’t understand that private septic systems offer many advantages over public sewer systems. Septic systems provide simple, effective onsite wastewater treatment, as compared to sending waste to a public wastewater treatment plan.

  27. Hey buddy..!!!
    You have mentioned really worth noting tips and are almost ignored by most of us.We can stop the water being wasted and any further damage by following the above guidelines.
    Thanks for such a lovely post..!!!

  28. Have your plumbing cleaned and checked at least once a year. Progressive service companies offer these services for a modest annual fee.
    Homeowners also should consider replacing ancient water heaters, toilets, boilers, and other appliances with new high-efficiency or water-saving models.
    blocked drain Red Hill recently posted…Plumbing EmergenciesMy Profile

  29. Awesome Post

    If you own a home, there’s a good chance you will need the services of a plumber at some point. When you first notice a leak problem, shut off the water to prevent further damage.

  30. Drainage is as overlooked as the one inside, and the problem could be many times worse. If your rooftop does not have adequate gutters, rainwater will flow on just anywhere and could leak into your home, thus damaging your ceiling. Pools of water would also develop on your lawn or plant garden and heavy stormwater flow will wash away across impervious services directly to water bodies, carrying with them various pollutants. Stormwater should be addressed with a proper drainage designed for it.

  31. Hi Jenn,

    Thanks for sharing such a useful post!!

    Most homeowners overlooked plumbing issues which get worse after some time. I think we should have your plumbing cleaned and checked at least once a year.

    Clogged Toilet is a common problem that many people used to face every now and then. If we throw water from a great force then we can easily get rid of this issue just like you have mentioned.

    Looking for more great posts!!

    Regards
    Steven

  32. If you are looking for someone to install your grease trap, make sure you get someone with experience. Make sure to ask how long the person preforming the installation has been in the business. Another important aspect is to find out if other restaurants have found the grease traps that they have had installed worked out well for them in the long run. Don’t forget cost either, make sure non of the reviews say that they felt ripped off by the installation company.

  33. Commercial plumbers are well versed in all types of plumbing installation services. The plumbers know how to install a wide range of fixtures including faucets, sinks, toilets, shower heads, garbage disposals, and water meters.

  34. A drain drainer is a great tool for keeping hair from going down your drain. Place a strainer in the opening of the drain. You will want to be sure to clean the strainer regularly, this will help prevent hair and other debris from entering your shower drain. If you have standing water in your shower you may have a blockage further in the line.

  35. Thanks for including the bit about shutting off the main water supply when you have a plumbing emergency like a leak or a broken pipe. It sounds silly but I’ve never considered shutting off the main water supply when I’ve had a leaking pipe or other plumbing emergency. What are generally the most expensive types of plumbing repairs? Thanks for the tips!

  36. Hi
    I like your post. Many useful tips you share with us. And if you have a leaking pipe in your building, this is an emergency and the first thing you need to do is to turn off the main water valve. You can then call an emergency plumbing service to fix the leaking pipes.
    Thanks for sharing this post with us 🙂
    Warm Regards
    Kenneth A. Wharton

  37. There are some important things to consider when installing and maintaining a grease trap. First we will look at who to hire for installing a grease trap, and who to hire for maintaining. There is a lot of crossover, and it is extremely common that the same people that install it are the best people to clean it. It is important to be aware of all your options.

  38. As someone who has experienced a leaking water heater and frozen pipes, I know how frustrating a plumbing emergency can be. My landlord handled those issues, but I have my own house now. I’ve noticed that some of the drains are draining very slowly, and I’m worried that they will clog. Thanks for the advice about trying a chemical cleaning agent. If that doesn’t work, I’ll contact a plumber.

  39. I really like your tip about running the water in the sink or bathtub when you think that your toilet might be overflowing. We have been having some issues with our toilet lately and it has overflown a few times already. We are going to be calling in a plumber hopefully tomorrow but we will be sure to keep these tips in mind for the future, thank you for sharing!

  40. When it comes to plumbing issues like this, you better believe that you need to have plenty of plumbing supplies. Usually the plumber you hire to work on these problems should have his own. If you happen to be working on it yourself then you probably should make sure you have what you need.

  41. I had never thought of using a blow dryer to thaw out the frozen pipes. I can see why this would be a better way than using something that could damage the pipes. My dad always leaves the faucet on just a little bit at night time so that the pipes don’t freeze. I’ll have to ask him if there are any other things he does to prevent any damage.

  42. Another excellent home remedy is vinegar. Straight vinegar rubbed on from a cloth or sponge can clean away the grease and food build-up in no time. Keep in mind, however, that the smell may linger for a day or two, but it won’t last much longer than that. If your cabinets aren’t too dirty, you can dilute the vinegar in a little warm water.

  43. There are some important things to consider when installing and maintaining a grease trap. First we will look at who to hire for installing a grease trap, and who to hire for maintaining. There is a lot of crossover, and it is extremely common that the same people that install it are the best people to clean it. It is important to be aware of all your options.

  44. Never lean over a septic tank opening or stick your head into tank to examine its interior — you could become overcome by gases, fall into the tank, and suffocate. Leave tank cleaning and repairs to trained professionals.

  45. Thanks for the nice tips. These plumbing emergency tips will help a lot of people to repair their plumbing system easily while tackling emergency situation as well.

  46. It was so handy to know that running water will slow down the flow of water that the toilet receives. Last night around 4:00 am I woke up to our 5-year-old screaming and the toilet overflowing all over the place. Next time it overflows I will be sure to keep that in mind to help de-stress the situation!

  47. When it comes to plumbing, little leaks can lead to big problems. Be alert to signs of impending plumbing failures: Leaking faucets, damp cabinets, rocking toilets or dripping refrigerators all signal problems that need prompt attention.

  48. Tips don’t get any easier than this. Put the kettle on or use the stove or microwave if you don’t own a kettle and boil up as much water as it will hold. Now pour it slowly down the drain in two to three stages, allowing the hot water to work for a several seconds in between each pour. This is usually the easiest and quickest way to unclog a drain.

  49. Simple enough, but surprisingly effective. Take a regular wire coat hanger and straighten it out as best you can. Then, bend one end over to create a small hook. Push that past the drain cover and start fishing. You should be able to get all sorts of hair and nasty stuff out of the drain. Remember, you always want to be pulling gunk out, not pushing it further. When you’ve got as much out as you can, run the hot water, and it should clear things up nicely.

  50. Hii
    Great post!
    All tips are really beneficial in order to minimize the damage that occurs during the repair of the washrooms.So, by using these steps one can minimize the pluming emergency.

    Thanks,for sharing this valuable information with us.
    Nicole Smith recently posted…Sewer Line ReplacementMy Profile

  51. Your warning about frozen pipes are interesting. The fact that the rupture can affect the status of a home immensely is one that will be news to some readers.

  52. Many people don’t understand that private septic systems offer many advantages over public sewer systems. Septic systems provide simple, effective onsite wastewater treatment, as compared to sending waste to a public wastewater treatment plan.

  53. These are great advice for maintaining your sanity during a plumbing emergency! I have had a septic backup once before and didn’t know what to do because running around the house freaking out! These are good things to remember in case of a plumbing emergency! Thanks for sharing!

  54. The average plumber will fix a leaky toilet without any problems, but they may not be qualified to work on commercial plumbing systems. You need to hire someone who knows the regulations for commercial plumbing and can keep your building within code standards.
    blocked toilet Brisbane recently posted…007 spy software downloadMy Profile

  55. Tips don’t get any easier than this. Put the kettle on or use the stove or microwave if you don’t own a kettle and boil up as much water as it will hold. Now pour it slowly down the drain in two to three stages, allowing the hot water to work for a several seconds in between each pour. This is usually the easiest and quickest way to unclog a drain.

  56. I had never thought to run the water in a nearby sink or bathtub if the toilet is overflowing. I know that whenever someone turns on the water when I am taking a shower, the water pressure automatically lessens. I will definitely remember this should I ever have this problem.

  57. I once had to live in a hotel for 6 months due to old pipes under the house that needed to be replaced. That was a nightmare, so I know how hard it is to maintain your sanity during the entire process. Thanks for sharing!
    Aaron C recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

  58. When it comes to plumbing, little leaks can lead to big problems. Be alert to signs of impending plumbing failures: Leaking faucets, damp cabinets, rocking toilets or dripping refrigerators all signal problems that need prompt attention.

  59. I would honestly say that frozen pipes have caused the most middle of the night calls out of anything else that I’ve had to deal with. The client starts freaking out, I have to deal with them and explain that it’s going to cost a lot more to fix because of the damage!

    ~ Liam

  60. Many people don’t understand that private septic systems offer many advantages over public sewer systems. Septic systems provide simple, effective onsite wastewater treatment, as compared to sending waste to a public wastewater treatment plan.

  61. Always pay attention to plumbing problems before they turn into a disaster. A small leak can often reveal a lot more when you look deeper. Always get any plumbing issue inspected!

  62. Hey Jen, thanks for sharing the tips that Karleia has for us in times of emergency.

    It’s a great post, and I’m sure we have experienced at least once issue just like the ones mentioned in the post.

  63. I love your point about the importance of keeping your wits at the sign of a plumbing emergency. This seems like great advice to make sure you make good decisions and not cause further damage. Contacting a plumber who’s available for these kinds of emergencies would be pretty important too. I would assume that most people might not know the best way to fix it on their own.

  64. Hello Jenn,
    I found some amazing tips and DIY solution for my bathroom problem solution. You share wonderful tricks that quickly solve the sanitary problem.
    How can I choose the best bathroom mirror?

  65. Excellent post! I can only add that low water pressure doesn’t continuously mean a clocked piping, occasionally the issue is in the pipe building and design. An expert plumber will be able to know the problem and afford a solution. Trying to fix it on your own can harm the drain lines. Thanks for sharing these amazing tips!

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