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4 Things Everyone Should Know and Have On Hand In Case of a Plumbing Emergency

A man on one knee and his hand on the wall in front of an open wall showing pipes

Prepare for a Plumbing Emergency

Plumbing emergencies can happen at any time, and when they do, it could send anyone into a panic. While we can always do the best we can to treat our plumbing system well and take care of our homes, emergencies will still happen from time to time.

But instead of waiting and figuring things out during the chaos, there is something you can do right now to avoid major issues or significant damage: be prepared! We’ve put together some tips on being prepared for the most common plumbing emergencies so you can handle them calmly and protect yourself and your home.

1. Know Where Your Shut Off Valves Are

Your water shut-off valves are there to protect your home from water damage in the event of a leak or burst pipe. You have a main valve that controls water to the entire house, usually located near where your main supply enters your home. Shutting this valve will stop the flow of water to all fixtures, appliances, and faucets in your home.

You also have local shut-off valves throughout your home. You’ll find them under sinks, behind toilets, and near some appliances (like your water heater). You can use these when you’re confident of the location of a plumbing issue, like an overflowing toilet. Instead of running to your main valve, you can turn the water off right behind the toilet and stop further disaster. Use the main valve in the event of a burst pipe or when you have a leak and can’t tell where it’s located.

2. Have Two Different Plungers

Be ready for clogged drains with a plunger. You’re probably most familiar with the classic wooden stick with a rust-colored rubber cup. This is actually best used on sinks and other flat drains, rather than toilets. Keep one around in case your sink is clogged and has water pooling in the sink basin.

The plunger you should use for a toilet is one that has an extended flange on the bottom. The flange inserts into the toilet drain and helps the larger cup create a seal, optimal for getting an effective plunge.

3. Know The Number of a Trusted Plumber

It’s always a good idea to have the contact information for all of your home service professionals together so you have one place to reference when you need a hand. Many people wait until they are in the midst of an emergency to seek out a plumber. But in doing this, you miss out on researching the best company and getting the best rate for the work you need done.

Research companies beforehand and look for one that is reliable and has references from other customers. Maybe even give them a call to see how their pricing and scheduling works before you need them, so you can rest assured that you have someone at the ready in case of emergency.

4. Have Towels and Buckets

In the event of a leak, you’ll want to be able to minimize any water damage that could occur. While turning off the water is the best thing you can do, you’ll also want towels and buckets to clean up any water. Place a bucket under the leak if you can, and place some towels around it.

These towels and buckets can really be handy in any plumbing emergency. Use the bucket to remove water from a clogged toilet, and towels to clean up any excess. You can also use the bucket and towels to protect underneath your sink should you need to remove the drain trap to clear a clog.

When Quality Counts, Count on Us

For the best service and skill, contact Quality Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical for all your plumbing, heating, and cooling needs by calling (865) 622-7785.


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