How To Handle A Plumbing Emergency

Almost every home will have a plumbing emergency at one point or another. The worst part about these emergencies is that you don’t know when they will rear their ugly head. The warning signs can be very subtle and, before you know it, you’re standing in a foot of water. Learning how to handle these emergencies will give you better control over your home before a repair service can arrive. When you come home to a plumbing emergency, here is what you should do.

The First Things You Should Do

Plumbing emergencies can cause you to panic but remain calm. By keeping your cool, you can help minimize the damage to your home. These steps will help you handle a plumbing emergency, but remember to always call a plumber. Your 24/7 plumbing team is only a phone call away and will gladly help you no matter the time of night.

Here are plumbing emergency tips to help you get through a situation:

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Shut off the water: If there is a problem, turn the closest water source off as quickly as possible. For toilets, turning the valve at the base or behind the unit is enough. For larger emergencies or flooding, you need to turn off the main valve in your home. Closing your water-shutoff valve will stop the flow of water to your home, preventing further damage. Most water valves require you to turn them clockwise for shut off.

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Check your water heater: In a major emergency, turn off your water heater to avoid damage to the unit. By turning off the heater after the main valve is shut off, you will prevent heat from welling up inside. A buildup of heat raises the risk of bursting or overheating. If you have a gas heater, turn the gas off before turning the heater off.

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Tackle small leaks: After turning off main water valve, turn on all the faucets in your home. This will train any water remaining in the pipes and divert excess water from where a possible leak could be. If you find a small leak, stop it as soon as possible. Plumbers tape will make this chore a lot easier. If you don’t have plumbers tape, you can stuff rags and towels around the pipes or put buckets under dripping leaks. Keep track of these leaks and let your plumber know as soon as they arrive.

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Open drains and spigots: There will still be water in your pipes even after the main water valve is shut off. After turning off main water valve, turn on all the faucets in your home. This will drain any water remaining in the pipes and divert excess water from where a possible leak could be. You can also move water away from your home by turning on any spigots outside of your home. If you have a small clog or backup during this process, try to open the drain with a plunger. Don’t use any chemical cleaners in your pipes during an emergency because this can cause more harm before your plumber arrives.

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Call and listen:

People often forget to call a plumber while an emergency is occurring. However, this is one of the first things you should do. The best part of calling early is that you’ll get some initial help with the problem. Trained plumbing experts will answer your call and be able to give you some tips on what to do before they get there. They will also let you know if the situation is too dangerous and if you should leave the premises.


Plumbing emergencies can happen in an instant. Rather than scrambling when one happens, prepare yourself now! At The Plumber, we take great pride in your home. With 24/7 Emergency Service, you can trust us to be there when a problem occurs. Call us today at (716) 894-4382.