You might be able to fix some plumbing emergencies in your home if they are small ones such as a clogged drain. However, for bigger emergencies, such as a big leak, a water heater meltdown, a major backup in a pipe, or something similar, it’s best to contact your friendly local neighborhood plumber.

In the meantime, however, there are things you can do to help mitigate the problem until the plumber arrives. Here are some things you can do:

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Turn off the Water to Your Home

Turning off your water should be the first thing you do. Each home has a shutoff valve for the water supply to the entire home. You should know where this is in the event of an emergency. It could prevent a big problem from becoming an even bigger one. There are also shut off valves for fixtures in your home, such as its toilets. If the problem involves something like a toilet, you may only have to use the shutoff valve to that device rather than turning off the water to the entire house.

For an emergency such as a large leak, however, you probably will have to turn your home’s water supply off.

Turn off the Water Heater

If you turn off the water to the entire house, you need to turn off the water heater as well. If you don’t, you risk a malfunction of the water heater or overheating of the water.

Open the Faucets Outside

Again, if you turn off the water to the house, opening outside faucets will drain whatever water is left in the pipes to the outside, rather than having it leak inside.

Tape up Leaks

If water is leaking from a pipe or a device, you can use plumber’s epoxy or Teflon tape to stop it. Even towels may help if the leak is a small one. If a device is leaking, check traps or drains. There may be clog causing the leak. It can usually be cleaned out without too much trouble and that will take care of the issue.

Taking Care of Clogged Drains

There are a lot of do-it-yourself methods for clearing clogged drains, and it is worth giving it a try on your own. But if your efforts are futile, then it’s time to get professional help.

Make Sure You Have Supplies for Emergencies

Things such a five-gallon bucket, a plunger, wrenches and pliers, a screwdriver, Allen keys, leak sealing tape, and rags will come in handy if you need to take some stop-gap measures during an emergency.

If a plumbing emergency does occur in your home, no matter if it’s 5 a.m. on Christmas morning, our plumbers at Plumbing Dynamics will be there for you as soon as possible. Contact us or give us a call.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/