No one likes plumbing problems. They always come up when you least expect them, and often homeowners aren’t prepared to handle them. Here are a few tips to help you deal with plumbing emergencies that may arise in your Boston home.
1. Don’t Panic. Few, if any, emergency situations are improved by panicking. If you can’t think clearly, your chances of making a bad or slow decision increase. It’s also more likely that the damage will be more severe. You’ll need to act decisively and carefully and you can’t do that if you’re panicked.
2. Stop the water. Stop any flowing water as soon as humanly possible. When you’re dealing with a clogged drain, a broken valve, a broken pipe, a split hose, a blocked toilet or something similar, you’ll need to get the water to stop moving first. That may mean plunging a toilet or sink, shutting off a faucet, stopping an appliance, closing the main water shutoff or a secondary valve. Do what it takes to stop the water. If you skipped Step #1 and are panicking, you can always call the Fire Department to assist in a water shutdown.
A note: water and electricity never mix. If you have a standing water problem, or water that is dripping on or near an outlet, electrical appliance, your breaker box or fuse box, cut the electricity to the affected circuits, or pull the main breaker- but only if you know it is safe to do so.
3. Examine the problem area carefully. Take a good look at what’s happened and try to figure out what’s causing the emergency. Sometimes, the problem will be obvious. Clogged drains and broken pipes aren’t hard to spot. In other cases, the problem may be evident, but you may not have the tools you need to clear the problem. You may have no idea what’s gone wrong or even where the problem is. If you cannot find the problem, or you know what the problem is but lack the tools or expertise to repair it, contact us at Boston Standard Plumbing. We can respond to emergencies quickly, diagnose your problem and get your plumbing back in working order.
4. Identify and correct the problem. Identify the problem and fix it permanently. Don’t settle for a “temporary” repair without having a plan in place for a permanent fix.
5. Remediate the damage. Plumbing emergencies almost always do damage to your home. The damage could be environmental, cosmetic or structural. Environmental damage is easiest to clean up if you act quickly and may involve nothing more than drying or cleaning the wet area. Wastewater spills deserve special treatment with disinfectants because wastewater is a health hazard.
Dry up any standing water. Dry out carpets, walls, and wood that may have gotten wet. Use fans to circulate the air. Space heaters, used according to manufacturer’s instructions, can also help evaporate moisture. Replace drywall, carpeting, tile, flooring, and insulation that have gotten soaked.