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Your Handy Plumbing Emergency Checklist


As much as we try to avoid them, emergencies happen. Plumbing emergencies can be some of the most alarming things to have happen in your home. It’s easy to lose your head and panic when water is gushing into places it shouldn’t! But it’s much easier to stay calm when you have a clear plan for what to do.

A plumbing emergency can take many forms. We’ll go over some of the most common things that can suddenly happen and how to handle it when they do. With this handy plumbing emergency checklist, you’ll be able to keep your cool and address the problem without panicking.

A Clogged Drain

If this is one of the main drains in your home, like the kitchen sink or your only shower, it’s urgent to get it sorted out. First, try using a plunger. With water covering the base of the plunger, thrust vertically. Be brisk and forceful, but you don’t need to push very far. If several plunges don’t work, a plastic drain snake or metal hand-cranked drain auger might be able to snag or break up your blockage.

Don’t be tempted to use chemical drain cleaners! These substances are hazardous to your skin, irritating to the eyes and respiratory passages, and will even corrode the insides of your pipes, making future clogs happen faster. If your home remedies don’t unblock your drain, you’ll need a plumber.

An Overflowing Toilet

If a clog in your toilet is causing contaminated water to overflow, the first step is to stop the water. If the toilet has a shut-off valve–an oval handle near the back of the fixture–turn it clockwise. If there isn’t one, or it doesn’t work, you’ll need to use the shut-off valve to the whole house. This is on an inner wall, probably the basement, on the side of your house facing the street.

Once you’ve got the water off and the mess soaked up, you can try using a plunger to get your toilet flowing again. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need professional help. And if you have had to turn off the water to the whole house, or if this is your only toilet, it’s a very urgent problem! You need an emergency plumber in Boston, MA.

A Frozen Pipe

In our climate, this can easily happen in the winter. If it happens to you, don’t try to thaw it yourself with a hair dryer or space heater! This can heat the pipe too rapidly and make it burst. Just get help from a plumber. And if the pipe has already burst, this is another time to use the whole-house shut-off valve.

A Major Leak

Even a minor leak can waste a lot of water surprisingly quickly, so don’t ignore those either. But when a lot of water is leaking, try to find the shut-off valve for that fixture. If you can’t, or there isn’t one, shut off the water to the house before you call for an emergency plumber.

Be Prepared

As you can see, there are a few things you could do ahead of time to make sure things will go more smoothly when emergencies do occur. Keep both a toilet plunger and a sink plunger on hand, as well as a drain snake or auger. And get familiar with where those shut-off valves are and how they work, so you won’t hesitate when you need to use them.

Reach out to Cooling Unlimited, Inc. to speak with qualified plumbing experts.

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