Your Plumbing Emergency Checklist
Plumbing emergencies happen, and you always want to be prepared.
Every good homeowner or renter has some tools and knowledge at their disposal, right? You probably have a hammer and some nails, and chances are you know where your breaker is. However, things seem a lot more complicated to people when it comes to plumbing — even though they don’t have to be. In turn, people tend to be unprepared for most plumbing issues outside of having a plumber and the occasional jar of no-no drain cleaner.
When you think about it, clogged toilets and stuck drains really are just part of life in homes and apartments. On another note, plumbing emergencies can also be a fact of life — most people have a fairly major plumbing issue at least once — and it’s important to equip yourself with some basic tools and knowledge while you’re waiting for a plumber.
Make sure you know how to turn off your water
Every homeowner and renter should know a couple of details about their water supply and plumbing. This starts off with making sure that you know where your water shutoff valve is located. In a house, the valve usually is on the outside of your home. If you live in an apartment, it’s a good idea to ask your property maintenance as soon as you move in. The water shutoff valve probably shuts off water to the entire building, so keep maintenance on speed dial.
Knowing where your shutoff valve is located is key to stopping any major leaks or toilet overflows. People who don’t know how to shut off their water are asking for major issues with their plumbing if anything goes wrong, and no one wants that!
Have some common tools at your disposal
Just like you keep a screwdriver and hammer in the toolbox, it’s important to keep a couple of common tools in your house to help stop plumbing issues before they become problems. If anything, some tools are a good band-aid to have while you’re waiting for a plumber to get there. These basic tools are within reach at your local hardware store, and can be invaluable in the right moment!
- Plunger: You probably have a toilet cleaning brush next to your toilet… but do you have a plunger? Plungers are the quickest way to remove clogs from everything from your toilet to your bathtub drain to your sink. If you’re feeling fancy, consider having two plungers — one purely for toilet related problems and one to keep for anything else.
- Wrench: You might already have a wrench in your toolbox, but if you don’t, it’s a must. With this tool, you’ll be able to tighten pipes and anything else that may need it. It’s great to have a basin wrench — which is self-tightening and great for places a little trickier to reach — along with a pipe wrench. However, an adjustable wrench will probably do the job.
- Plumber’s tape: Plumber’s tape is an easy and cheap must-have for everyone. It’s great for small fixes like a leaky showerhead tube, and it’s also nice for fixing drips on pipe connections.
- Rubber gloves: Plumbing issues can be messy, so have rubber gloves for your own safety (and sanity!) Whether you’re needing to reach in a drain or even down a toilet, rubber gloves keep your hands dry and clean.
- Drain snake: Kitchen clogs and slow drains in the bathroom can be a real headache, and a drain snake is a nice thing to have around. They can reach much further into pipes than you can, and are actually built for the job (unlike metal clothes hangers and the like). Sometimes a drain snake isn’t enough, but it’s a great thing to try.
Keep a trusted plumber in your contacts
The truth is, some plumbing issues really can be fixed with a little bit of DIY action. However, a plumber is usually always the best choice. As long as you have some basic tools and knowledge when it comes to your plumbing, you’ll be well-prepared for small problems. However, any other big issue calls for a plumber. Total Plumbing is the best choice for anyone needing plumbing in the Dallas area, but here are some things to look out for when choosing a plumber elsewhere:
- Scope out reviews on Google and Yelp
- Ask around for trusted plumbing companies used by your friends and family
- Keep an eye out for licensed plumbers who have been trained (All Total Plumbing technicians are licensed, trained, and background checked)
- Look for Better Business Bureau accreditation (Total Plumbing has an A+ rating with the BBB)
When it comes to plumbing, you should definitely know the basics. That way, you’ll be better prepared for any emergencies that come. With some basic tools, a little bit of knowledge, and a trusted plumber at your side, you’re covered.