When plumbing fails suddenly, it also tends to fail catastrophically, leaving you to figure out what went wrong through a fountain of spraying water. In these situations, it is best to immediately call in the services of an emergency plumber (at Biard & Crockett Plumbing), who will be able to solve your problem as quickly as possible and minimize the damage to your home. But once you have made the phone call, what should you do to until the plumber arrives? Follow these four steps to reduce risks, protect your home and make your plumber's job a little easier.
Stopping the Water Flow
After calling an emergency plumber, your first priority should be to assess the safety of the area around the affected site. Do not enter standing water if you cannot see through to the floor below, and be mindful of any electrical outlets or appliances that may cause electric shocks through the water. If you have an active leak, particularly an aggressive one such as from burst pipes, find your water supply and shut it off to stop the flow. This will allow the plumber to get right to work and stop the active flooding of your home.
Removing Potential Hazards
Once you have taken control of the situation, you can attempt to make the area safer for both your family and the plumber, who should be arriving shortly. Do not put yourself at risk to do this, however, and always prioritize safety. You may need to cut your electrical supply along with the water supply, if electric appliances are being exposed to the flooding. Be sure to have flashlights and lanterns ready prior to shutting off the power. Once the area is safe, remove any objects that might get in the way or present a tripping hazard for your plumber.
Preventing Further Damage
In some cases, a plumbing emergency is a symptom of a larger issue, like frozen pipes, that can quickly result in even more flooding and expensive damage. Turn up the heat in your home if you suspect that frozen pipes are the cause of your plumbing troubles, and ask the plumber for further advice when he or she arrives on how to avoid the problem in the future.
Reducing Soaking Damage
Finally, when you are certain that the flooding has been contained and the house is safe, you can begin removing any water that has accumulated as a result of the plumbing failure. Although it may be your first instinct to mop up incoming water, this should be saved for last to facilitate faster repairs. Use towels, buckets, mops and anything else at your disposal to contain the water.
Once your plumber has fixed the issue, check the floor and surrounding furniture for signs of mold and water damage for weeks or even months afterward to ensure that no long-term damage was done. With a little luck, your plumbing fiasco can be resolved in just a few hours, with no lasting harm to your home and family.