Whether your problem is a burst pipe or an overflowing toilet, knowing what to do in a plumbing emergency is essential to getting the problem fixed with a minimum of fuss and damage to your home. Follow these steps to resolve the issue so that you can carry on with your life.
1. Turn Off the Water Supply
Water damage can be very difficult and costly to put right, so the first step you take in any plumbing emergency should be to disconnect the water supply. If you are not sure how to do this, try looking near the water meter for a pipe with a handle attached to it. Turning the handle clockwise should cause the water supply to shut off.
2. Figure Out Where the Problem Is Located
Sometimes, your only clue that you are facing a serious plumbing problem is that there is water all over the floor. However, it is helpful to locate the issue a little more precisely before you call for help. Look for the source of the damp patch to find out whether you have a burst pipe, an overflowing drain, a leaking water heater, or some other issue.
3. Identify the Responsible Party
If you own your home, then you usually have responsibility for keeping the plumbing in good condition. However, if you rent, then that responsibility falls to your landlord, who you should try to contact before you call an emergency plumber. If you cannot get hold of your landlord in a reasonable period of time, then go ahead and call a plumber anyway, but in general, it is a good idea to get the landlord's input as soon as possible, as they might have a contractor that they prefer to use in these situations.
If the plumbing emergency affects not just your home but your neighbour's as well, then it might be the water company's responsibility to fix it. This situation applies to blockages in the sewer line or problems with water supply affecting multiple homes. Contact the water company in this situation, and they'll send someone out to carry out an urgent repair.
3. Call an Emergency Plumber
Once you have gathered all the information you can, call an emergency plumber. They can fix your plumbing problem quickly and efficiently, whereas if you work on it yourself without the right tools or skills you risk making the problem worse.