For homeowners, it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong with their plumbing. And panic is usually the first response when that happens; not without reason.
Leaking water can ruin flooring, roofs, furniture, and your other possessions. Even a slight delay in calling an emergency plumber can lead to thousands of dollars in damage. Don’t let that happen.
If you live in the Bay Area and have a plumbing emergency, immediately call at (831) 476-1712. While a plumber is on the way to your home, here are some procedures you can follow to minimize the impact of a leak.
Shut Off Water Supply
Find out where your main water valve is, and turn it off. That will cut water supply to your home and minimize water damage. In most cases, the main water valve is located near your water meter. In case you cannot find it, coordinate with your plumber. He might suggest alternative places where the main water valve can be. Your plan B to turning off the main water valve can be to find a valve nearest to the place of leak and shut off the flow.
Drain the Lines
Residual liquid will still be left in your pipes even after you have shut down water supply. Drain the pipes. Go out into the yard, turn on all the hoses or spigots. That will completely purge your system of water, and ensure that more water cannot leak inside your home.
Remove Standing Water
Do not wait for the professional to arrive and clean water. Turn on the fans, open the windows and doors, and grab a mop or a towel to get rid of standing water because standing water can ruin flooring, drywalls, and cause mold to develop. It takes not more than three days for mold to transform itself from a barely visible creature into a pungent nuisance.
Check the Electric Appliances
During a severe leak, water can flow out of the pipes and come into contact with your electric appliances. Check the fuse box to ensure it is dry, and if possible, turn it off. Ditto with other appliances, such as your water heater. Running an empty water heater can damage the tank. Electricity and water are not the best of friends, and their coming into contact with each other can lead to more severe problems, such as a fire and an explosive situation.
Move Furniture to a Dry Area
Although a drenched sofa is unlikely to explode, it will cost you a couple of thousand dollars to replace. What is true of a sofa is true of other furniture; such as beds, bookshelves, tables, chairs, couches. Once wet, each of these items can be damaged beyond repair. Move all furniture away from standing water. And if that is not possible—some furniture is not easily moved—use aluminum foil to cover the furniture.
Snap Pictures and Take Notes
Hasn’t your plumber arrived? Take out your camera and snap a lot of pictures if your home is insured for flooding. Your images will assist you in making your case to the insurance provider. They will also help your emergency plumber.
Don’t Try to Fix It
Granted that an emergency plumber’s visit will cost you a couple of hundred dollars, but trying to save that little money by taking on the project yourself is like losing a dollar to save a penny. Any delay in fixing the leak, or completing the job poorly, might mean:
- Your insurance company refuses to pay you
- Your furniture get damaged beyond repair
- The structural integrity of your home is compromised
Fixing each of those problems will cost you thousands of dollars. Avoid that. Although you may feel confident in your DIY abilities, a plumbing emergency demands the sort of expertise that is usually found in professionals. Let a plumber do the job.
In case you have an urge to assist, use your skills to assess the problem and communicate your observations to the plumber. This approach has several advantages:
- Your plumber will know what he is coming for, so he will come equipped with the right set of tools.
- Fixing the problem will be a quicker affair if the plumber is aware of the problem before setting foot in your home.
- The bill will not surprise you a lot. Once the plumber has been given an idea of the problem, he can provide a ballpark figure.
Sudden plumbing problems can not only spoil your day, they can ruin your property. Always call a professional if you have a plumbing emergency. While the professional comes, you can assess the problem, cut off water and electricity supply, move your furniture to a dry place, and take pictures of the flooding. Those procedures will save you time and money, and help you get just compensation from your insurance provider.