The Do’s and Don’ts of a Plumbing Emergency

The Do’s and Don’ts of a Plumbing Emergency

If you’re a homeowner it’s only a matter of time before you need to call a plumber. You may feel confident in your ability to fix a leaky faucet, but a burst pipe, backed up sewer or gas leak can cause serious damage and will require professional expertise.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you manage a plumbing emergency while you’re waiting for help to arrive:

Do shut off the water

If you discover a burst or leaking pipe, it’s important to shut off the water as quickly as possible. If the leak is coming from a toilet or faucet, look for the valve and shut off the flow. If that doesn’t do the trick, or if you are dealing with a burst pipe or significant leak, shut off your home’s main water supply. Then, try to place a bucket underneath your leak, mop up as much water as possible to prevent further damage, and call your plumber.

All homeowners should know the location of their main water valve. Most are located near your water meter but if you’re in doubt, your plumber will be able to find it and show you how to turn it off in an emergency.

Don’t reach for Drano

Clogged drains or toilets may not seem like a plumbing emergency, but if the blockage is not cleared you’re risking an overflow.  Commercial drain cleaners can be effective for small clogs, but they also contain harsh chemicals that can erode your pipes – causing even more damage over time. If you have a reoccurring clog, it’s time to bring in a professional plumber.

Plumbing Emergency - Oxford PlumbingDo check the fuse box

It won’t take long to notice if your central heating fails during a winter cold snap. Make sure your thermostat hasn’t been turned off by mistake, and check your fuse box for a tripped circuit breaker. If you heat with oil, check for an empty tank.  Still no heat? It’s time to call an emergency plumber.

Do call a professional if you suspect a gas leak or sewer backup

If you smell gas in or around your home, switch off the main valve and contact an emergency plumber immediately.

A backed-up sewer is another plumbing emergency that requires professional help. If you notice unpleasant smells in your house, or have blocked drains with water rising back up into the system, you may have a sewer problem.

Don’t rely on DIY

Trying to repair your own plumbing systems can cause more harm than good. Luckily, most common plumbing problems can be easily repaired by a professional.

If you are facing a plumbing emergency, the best thing to do is stay calm, try to minimize the damage by following our tips, and call your 24-hour emergency plumber.

For efficient and professional plumbing help, contact us at Oxford Plumbing.