A plumbing emergency is just that; an EMERGENCY! It leaves no room for wasted time. A broken pipe, overflowing toilet, or flooded bathroom is a horrible and often unpleasant event. Of course you would want a solution as quick as possible.
Plumbing problems from ice cold showers, corroded pipes, gas line leaks, flooding and serious sewage leakages -tend to sneak up on us at the most inconvenient time. Chances of plumbing emergencies are considerably higher in homes with poor plumbing maintenance, but unfortunately emergencies have also been known to occur in homes that have diligently maintained their plumbing.
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You will need to turn off the main shutoff valve, which could be located at the front of the house. In case it is a ball valve, the level will have to be turned one quarter in order to turn off the water supply. However, in case of the older gate valve, you will need to move the handle clockwise. An easy way to remember is “Righty tighty – Lefty loosy”.
You could alternatively turn off the water at the meter. To know where it is located, you will need to recall where the local utility company representative goes to read the meter each month to check on your water consumption. You will require the right tools since this procedure cannot be done easily without the appropriate equipment. It is therefore advisable to purchase a meter key from your nearest hardware store and have the peace of mind that you will be able to manage and bring the situation under control at short notice. Even though you will not be able to repair the plumbing damage and will require professional help in replacing the pipe etc, it will save you quite a lot of clean-up if you act on time and have the right tool handy.
Once the water supply is turned off from the mains, you must also keep these two things in mind:
The gas to the water heater should be turned off. This can be done by either using the gas caulk or adjusting the control unit and setting it on pilot, which will ensure that the water heater doesn’t burst if the tank is partially empty.
The hose faucets located outside the house should be opened up, so that the residual water from the water pipes gets drained outside rather than inside.
Gas leaks can lead to serious problems and should be attended to immediately. Commercial gasses, such as the kind of gas your stove or heater uses, have a strong odor. If you smell a gas leak in your home, you need to act quickly.
At Plumbing Plus, we have the experience to safely repair or replace your gas lines.