Emergency Plumbing Tips

Residential Emergency Plumbing Tips

Broken PipeUnfortunately, the emergency part in a plumbing emergency is usually the flow of water. When a pipe, fixture, or appliance begins to leak the damage it can do to your home is extensive.

Your residential plumbing system is designed to manage a constant flow of water from the main water supply. This could be a well on your property or, the closest municipal water supply. In both cases, there is a constant flow of water in your pipes so that, when you turn on the shower or faucet, there is always water running out until you turn the fixture off.

Even in the case of running out of hot water, there is still cold water that will continue to flow until the fixture is turned off. Luckily, plumbers and plumbing manufacturers know this and so most fixtures are equipped with individual shut off valves. Also, your main water supply can be shut off so that water stops flowing to all of the fixtures in your home. Whether your plumbing emergency is confined to just one fixture in your home or, you have a water heater that has burst and is steadily filling your home with water, you have to know how to turn the water off to mitigate damages.

Here are some tips for how to turn the water off to your individual plumbing fixtures, as well as to the main water supply.

To shut the water off to a faucet, toilet, or other plumbing fixture:

  • Locate the plumbing that supports your affected fixture. This is typically housed in a cabinet under a sink, or behind the toilet bowl where it attaches to the wall.
  • Inspect the plumbing where it goes into the wall. This is typically where you will find a stop valve or, shut off handle. If you are turning off the water to the sink, you will need to locate both the cold water and hot water valves.
  • Turn the valve(s) clockwise to turn off the water. If you can’t do this by hand, then get a pair of gloves or a wrench.
  • If you are trying to turn the water off to your water heater, simply turn off the cold water valve that is located on top of the water heater.
  • If you are trying to turn the water off to your washing machine, simply turn off the valve that is behind the machine where the hose attaches.

To shut the water off to your entire house:

  • Locate the concrete box that is near the street and just below ground level. This typically has a green lid covering it.
  • Locate the valve handle and turn it clockwise until it is closed tight
  • If needed, use a wrench or a pair of gloves to grip the valve and get it to turn.
  • Make sure to turn the water back on after your plumbing emergency has been cleared.
  • Always keep this valve either completely opened or completely closed, make sure to turn it until it stops in either direction you are turning it.

Plumbing emergencies are stressful and can cause a significant amount of damage outside of the broken plumbing. Follow these steps to stop the flow of water and reduce the amount of damage you have to repair after the emergency has passed. Contact McCuen PHC, we will have someone to your home ASAP to help you with your plumbing emergency.

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