If you’re a homeowner at some point you are going to have a plumbing crisis. It’s unavoidable, inconvenient and often costly. Being prepared ahead of time can turn major disasters into minor ones while saving you time and money.
#1. Don’t panic
Be prepared ahead of time and know what steps to take in a crisis. If you have any type of leak go to the main water valve and turn it off. Make sure you know ahead of time where your main water valve is located. This will stop the flow of water and prevent any further water damage. Very often, because the main valve is not always touched, it is a challenge to turn it off. Make sure you keep a wrench handy to do the job.
You should also check each plumbing appliance (sinks, toilets, etc.) for their own shutoff valves and verify they work. If the valves fail to turn off water to the appliance, you should have them fixed by a professional plumber. These valves come in handy when the need arises to repair individual appliances. If an appliance has no valves, you will need to shut off your water at the main valve to repair it.
#2. Know the signs
Sometimes water leaks are very obvious to us and other times we aren’t even aware we have a problem. Below are some common signs indicating a water leak. Knowing these signs can help you recognize them before they become a major problem.
- Water running when no taps, fixtures or appliances are in use.
- Signs of mold or mildew in your home.
- A higher than normal water bill.
- Water meter is running when no water is being used in your home.
- Warm areas on the floors in your home or garage.
- Wet spots on floors, walls or ceilings.
- Wet spots in your yard for no reason.
- Unusual green patches in your lawn.
- Wet spots around the base of your water heater can be a sign that you have a leak.
#3. Call a professional
For leaks, big and small, contact a professional plumber. Professional plumbers have the expertise to detect even the invisible problems and can help head off minor problems before they become major ones.
Have more plumbing questions? Contact us on our Ask An Expert web page.