Temporary Solutions to Emergency Plumbing Problems

A plumbing emergency

It’s Friday night. You are off to the start of a lovely weekend, eating pizza and binge-watching reality TV. The evening is going swimmingly. Suddenly, though, an unexpected plumbing emergency brings your pizza and TV marathon to a grinding halt. You go the bathroom, wash your hands, and turn off the faucet – but the faucet won’t stop running. No matter how many times you turn the faucet back and forth, the water just keeps running. So what do you do? You can’t just leave the water running, unless you want your water bill this month to cost more than your mortgage payment. You need a temporary solution to your emergency plumbing problem to get you through until the plumber can get there. You don’t have to be a professional plumber to handle the basics in an emergency. You just need to know how to react to an emergency plumbing problem to help you avoid disaster.

Check out these temporary solutions to emergency plumbing problems.

How to Shut Off the Water

Nearly any emergency plumbing problem can be temporarily salvaged by shutting off the main water supply. If water is flowing out from somewhere it shouldn’t or the faucet won’t turn off, you need to know where the main water supply valve is so that you can stop it. As soon as you move into a new home, find out where the main water supply valve is located. All you have to do is turn that valve to shut off the water to the house. Everyone who lives in your home should know where that valve is located and how to turn it off. Not sure where your shutoff valve is? You can usually find your main water supply shut off valve somewhere around the perimeter of the side of your building facing the street. 

Any time you have a plumbing emergency, shut off the water supply until a plumber can get to your home to fix the problem. This will prevent bigger problems like flooding and water damage.

How to Handle Potential Hazards

First, take care of your family and pets. Make sure to get them away from any flooded area and out of the house if necessary. Then, you’ll typically need to turn off the power to any area affected by flooding. Remember, water and electricity are good buddies, and when they party, everyone loses. Other potential hazards include things like sewage exposure and contact with other dangerous substances like heavy metals and asbestos.

If your plumbing emergency is due to flooding problems, then seal off any area where you and your family must remain until emergency services arrive. To do so, fill your empty sandbags with dirt or sand to use as a barrier. You can also use your roll of plastic and duct tape to aid in sealing areas with lower water pressure.

How to Cope with a Leaky Pipe

Obviously, leaving all the water to the house turned off indefinitely is not ideal. If you have one pipe that is leaking, you can temporarily fix it so that you can actually use your water until the plumber arrives. You just need some putty or plumber’s epoxy. You’ll still need to shut off the water supply until the pipe stops leaking and is completely dry. Once the pipe is all the way dry, squish some putty or epoxy on there to cover the leak. The putty should seal the leaky spot, and go a few inches further around the leaky spot for good measure. Let the putty dry, and then you can turn the water supply back on again.

How to Silence Noisy Pipes

Sometimes the plumbing pipes in your home can bang and clang and make you crazy. Instead of lying awake listening to them at night, you need to insulate them. This may not seem like an emergency now, but it will at 3 am when your alarm is going to go off in a few hours and you haven’t been asleep yet. You can fix them temporarily by wrapping foam tubes around the pipes – try slicing lengthwise down a pool noodle and stuffing it around the pipe. You can also smush blankets into the wall openings to help absorb the sound.

Be Prepared

Chances are, if you’re reading this you’re already dealing with a plumbing emergency. If that’s the case, call the professionals at Scott English Plumbing and make sure you’re safe! Moving forward, make sure you have the items on this checklist to be prepared for any future plumbing emergency.

  • First aid kit
  • Bucket(s)
  • Plunger(s)
  • Pliers
  • Duct tape
  • Role of plastic (to seal areas)
  • Empty sandbags (to fill with sand and prevent floods from spreading)

If you have a plumbing emergency, don’t panic. First, shut off the water, and then call Scott English Plumbing. We are available 24/7 to respond to emergencies, so we can get there right away to deal with the problem. Just call Scott English Plumbing any time, day or night.