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What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency

Plumbing EmergencyThe worst part about a plumbing emergency is that you’ll never know when it’s going to rear its ugly head. Sometimes, the warning signs are a lot more subtle than you might expect. Other times, you’re standing in a foot of water not knowing what to do next.
Ready or not, you’ll probably experience a plumbing emergency. When you do, here’s what you should do.

The First Things You Should Do In a Plumbing Emergency

Head over to the water shut-off valve and close it. This will stop the flow of water headed to your home, preventing further water damage from occurring. Make sure you know where the water shut-off valve is before a plumbing emergency arises.
The shut-off valve is almost always located near the perimeter of your home. There’s no need to check the central portions of the house. Forget the upstairs too, as shut-off valves are going to be located on the ground floor. For those with basements, it will usually be located here.
The next time we do a service call or plumbing inspection of your home, the experienced emergency plumbers at Brown’s can advise you where it is located.

Plumbing Fixture Shut-Off Valves

When a leak springs, it’s not always a slow drip. Sometimes the water will begin to rush out and start pooling on the floor of your home. Before you run to the main water shut-off valve for this particular emergency, see if this fixture has its own personal shut-off valve.

  • Toilet– On the wall that your toilet sits against, you should see a small valve. It is usually located below the bowl and should be turned gently clockwise to stop the flow of water.
  • Sink– Underneath the sink in the cabinet, you will find a small shut-off valve (similar to the toilet). During a pipe or faucet leak, turn the handle clockwise to suspend any more water from leaking.
  • Washing Machine– Behind every washing machine you’ll find two valves (and sometimes a lever). Both of these valves should be turned clockwise (or the lever should be switched the other way) in order to cease water from flowing. If you don’t see these valves (or lever), you may have to pull out the washer from the wall a bit more to have room to inspect.

Next is a tip many may not be aware of, head through your home and turn on all of the faucets to drain any water remaining within the plumbing pipes. This will help divert any excess water in the pipes away from where a possible plumbing leak could be.
Then, grab your phone and dial the Brown’s emergency plumbers. When you choose a reputable plumber like Brown’s, you’ll get the emergency service you need, when you need it. Whether it’s 2:00 in the afternoon or 2:00 in the morning, you’ll receive emergency plumbing service within a few hours.
Plumbing emergencies usually leave a hefty amount of water in places they shouldn’t be. To minimize any water damage and mold growth, grab a mop and some towels and begin cleaning up the mess while you wait for the plumbers to arrive. At Brown’s, we can also recommend a reputable local water remediation company that we work closely with regularly.

Other Common Plumbing Emergencies

  • Overflowing Toilet – The first step should be to turn off the water valve connected to the toilet — rather than running outside to the main shut-off valve. This is located behind the toilet, against the wall. Often below the tank.
  • Clogged Drain – Shower drains, sink drains, and toilets can each become clogged in an instant. Keep a drain plunger (without the flange) and toilet plunger (with the flange) handy so you can break up loose blockages. For more dense clogs, keep a drain snake or hand auger on deck — if you know what you’re doing.
  • Water Heater Problems – Whether your water heater is leaking, making noises, or refusing to work — manually shut it off. This plumbing fixture should only be touched by the hands of a professional plumber. One small mistake could lead to the need for a premature replacement.

Brown’s Emergency Plumbing Service

Plumbing emergencies can happen in an instant, so rather than scrambling when it does happen — prepare yourself now! And when a plumbing emergency arises in your home or business and you’re in need of emergency service, be sure to call Brown’s 24/7.
If you’re looking for a reliable plumber in NJ, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

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