It’s hard to stay calm as you watch water pouring into your house from a broken water line, but you must act quickly to minimize the damage. There are several things you can do to reduce the impact of water damage to your property while you wait for professional assistance to arrive. Just follow these simple tips and remember - Don’t panic!
Unless you are dealing with a full-blown pipe burst, in which case you should shut off the water immediately, your priority is locating the cause of the leak. Look for running water and follow it to the source. This information will help your plumbing contractor resolve the issue quickly when he does arrive. It may also provide you with an opportunity to stem the tide by stopping the flow of water to the damaged fixture.
If the leak is coming from the pipes around a toilet or sink, you can stop the flood by adjusting the local valve. In most setups, the valve knob is located beneath the tank of the toilet or under the basin of the sink. The knob itself is usually oval shaped, which allows you to grasp quickly and turn it during an emergency.
If a pipe burst in the basement or a wall, a local valve may not be enough to stop the water. If this is the case, head directly to your main water shut-off to avoid further damage. Keep in mind that turning off the main valve will terminate water flow to the entire system, so you should warn other occupants of the impending “drought.” In conventional plumbing systems, there is a control valve located before and after the building’s water meter. If you live in a cold area that regularly experiences freezing temperatures during the winter, then the main valve may be in your basement or another utility space instead.
Once you’ve turned off the flow of water, you can try to salvage possessions that are in danger of being soaked. Move any sensitive objects to high ground and place towels to keep the water from spreading across the floor. Learning proper emergency plumbing procedures when a pipe bursts or a toilet overflows can go a long way toward preventing additional damage to your home. For emergency plumbing services, call Rooter Hero Plumbing near you!