The holidays are a stressful time and it is difficult to be thoughtful about every decision you make regarding your plumbing system. Sometimes, it just makes sense to shove a sink full of potato peels down the garbage disposal.
Unfortunately, the end result is usually a clog or overflow in your plumbing appliances or fixtures. Sometimes, plumbing emergencies are out of your control this time of year in the form of a burst pipe due to freezing.
In any case of a plumbing emergency, make sure that you follow these tips to minimize the damage and get your system back up and running quickly:
- Stay calm. It sounds like a cliché but, it really is the most important thing that you can do in the face of any kind of emergency – including one involving your plumbing system. It might be the most difficult thing to do at the time, but it will have the best long-term benefits. For instance, if you have a toilet that is overflowing contaminated water and human waste all over the floor of your bathroom, your first instinct might be to panic – and understandably so. But, this won’t help the situation. It is best to stay calm, and follow the next step.
- Water valve. Turn the water valve to the affected fixture or appliance off. If there is any flooding or overflowing involved in your plumbing emergency, the best thing that you can do is to turn the water off. This will significantly limit the amount of water damage that you have to repair and clean-up after. If you are dealing with a pipe that froze and has broken, you will need to turn off the main water shut off valve to the entire house. And, then you will be without water until the pipe is repaired. This is the only way to eliminate further water damage that will be expensive and difficult to clean up.
- Call a plumber. Once you have the water turned off, make sure to call a plumber for help. Discuss with him or her all of the steps that you have taken to contain the situation. And, thoroughly describe how the malfunction happened. He or she will need to know all of this in order to develop a plan and ensure the right tools are on the truck.
This is the time of year when people “abuse” their plumbing system in an effort to get tasks completed as quickly as possible. Perhaps something gets flushed down the toilet that really shouldn’t or, the garbage disposal is used in a way that was not intended. Make sure to follow these steps to deal with any kind of holiday plumbing emergency that you are faced with.