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How To Handle a Plumbing Emergency


Plumbing emergencies unfortunately occur, usually suddenly and at the most inopportune times. Being prepared to handle these situations will ease the stress that you will experience and minimize possible damage to your home. Having the phone number for your plumber on speed dial is handy! There are some emergencies that you may be able to resolve on your own.

Knowing where the main water supply shut off valve for the house is located is critical. In houses with city water supply, the shut off is located near the water meter, while those on well water will find the valve near the pump or in the well house.
A common household plumbing emergency is an overflowing toilet, usually caused by clogging. There is a water shut off valve located behind toilet, close to the floor. This should be turned clockwise to stop the flow of water to the toilet. Once the water flow has been stopped, the issue causing the plugging can be addressed, without having to worry about water damaging the floors. Another quick solution would be to turn on the cold water tap, which will slow down the flow of water to the toilet.
The water supply to a dripping tap or bathtub should be turned off when the leaky faucet is noticed. The water shut off valve for a sink is found under the cabinet, and the valve for the tub is usually found behind an access panel on the wall behind the faucet for the bathtub.
Frozen pipes are a serious cause for concern as they can burst and cause significant damage to a home. A space heater or hair dryer can be used to thaw small sections of pipe. This should be done with caution and only for periods of ten to fifteen minutes a session. Never leave the room where a space heater is being used to thaw pipes unattended.
A leaking hot water faucet or supply line will drain the hot water tank; if the tank is left running while empty it will burn out the heating element. The main water supply and the breaker that supplies electricity to the tank should both be shut off.
Consulting with a professional plumber before starting any repair work on your own is always a wise idea. Are you facing a plumbing emergency in the Arlington area? Stop and call The Plumbing Doctor immediately at 703-525-9280.