Plumbing Emergency? What To Do Before Calling a Professional

If you’ve ever had a plumbing emergency, you’ll understand that it is something that has to be dealt with immediately. It’s one of those things where you just have to stop whatever you’re doing and sort out the problem. There are things that need to be done before calling a professional; otherwise you could be in big trouble later on.


The majority of plumbing emergencies are to do with either leakages or blockages. If you’ve got a leaking pipe, significant damage can be done if you don’t take action quickly. As soon as you discover the leak, it’s wise to shut off the water valve to your home or to the specific area immediately. Failing to do this can result in water damage to your walls and floor and this can cost you big bucks.

There is a main water valve that can shut off the flow of water to your entire house. Be sure of where it is and make sure you know how to turn it off prior to a plumbing mishap. You should also turn off the secondary valve, which is closer to the actual leak. If your sink pipe is leaking, you can find the valve under your sink, although you need to remember to shut off both the hot and cold water valves. If it is your toilet that’s playing up by overflowing, you need to turn of the valve under the toilet. This will turn off the supply to the toilet and fix the problem for the time being.

For blockages, there are various plumbing tools and products you can use to sort out the problem. The good ol’ plunger is your best friend if your toilet is blocked. Always remember to have a good seal between the plunger and the drain opening and you should be successful if the blockage isn’t too serious. Otherwise, there are various drain cleaning products you can find at the supermarket that can be effective if your blockage isn’t too serious. Keep in mind though that often these aren’t environmental friendly. Sometimes even boiling water can do the trick, though keep in mind that it can actually damage and melt your pipes if they are not metal.

You could also consider getting a small drain snake or long pipe cleaner to reach down and break through whatever is causing the blockage. These methods are particularly useful in instances when hair is causing the blockage.

Try these techniques next time you have a plumbing problem, and you might find that you don’t need to call in a professional. If you’ve got a leakage just remember to shut off the water supply before calling. Other problems might come from rusted pipes or pipes outside the building. In these cases, it’s probably best to leave it to an accredited plumber. If you start digging up outdoor pipes and you don’t know what you’re doing it’s likely you’ll hit important gas and water lines, and this could present even bigger problems.

Erin Emanuel