Let’s face it, with the changing weather we’ve been having this year, there are sure to be emergencies when it comes to plumbing in Pittsburgh this December and January. Yup, Mom said it and might regret it, but she’s ready to handle it thanks to these emergency plumbing tips that will help avoid costly plumbing damages.
The Reality of Owning Homes and Plumbing in Pittsburgh
Plumbing emergencies are faced at one time or another by every homeowner, but with historic homes, deep rooted trees, old brick roads under asphalt and cement, plumbing in Pittsburgh just makes our area a unique place to have these issues. In our home, we have a main pipe that is terra cotta and runs from the front yard straight through the middle of the pad our home sits on. Roots from the two trees that used to be in our yard have attacked it. Any damage means our heated floors would be torn up. Yikes.
Knowing this, I’ve prepared for emergencies with these tips that I hope not to have to use (especially not over the holidays, but yet did have to in 2017). Figured it would be a great gift to share with you!
Emergency Plumbing Tips
Prepare ahead…and after.
As best as you can, prepare. Review these tips, look for the things you’ll need and keep tools and supplies ready and organized. If you’re going on a trip, we’ve already shared some ideas on our blog to get ready for that, just scroll back a few posts.
After you’ve found a leak, you’ll want to use towels and a mop to get any excess water up. Fans, open windows (if it isn’t too cold) will help get the moisture out as well. If you can get the pipe dry enough to seal with tape, use duct tape (though not waterproof) or a rescue tape to wrap up the leak until you can get help from a professional (if needed).
Know where your main shutoff valve is.
Many Pittsburgh homeowners have a basement (maybe even a Pittsburgh Potty!), others may be like us and live on a pad and have a utility area. Your main shutoff valve is there. When you notice drips (or pours), go to that valve and turn it clockwise as far as you can get it to go. Water will no longer flow anywhere in the house, keeping all areas as safe as can be from further damage.
Shut off Sink (or toilet) Valves.
If the leak seems to be isolated to a particular bathroom or kitchen fixture, you can simply shut the valve right at the fixture. One time the twins stuffed the kids’ sink with tattoo papers and the sink needed drained, so Dad shut off the valve to that sink only while working on the fix. The rest of us still had water, which was a perk.
Know What an Emergency Is – and Get Help!
It is always okay to admit you need help when it comes to your home and health. Plumbing is no exception. If you’ve discovered a plumbing emergency such as a clog, a leaking pipe or water heater, overflowing toilet, flooding tub, or no water at all – call in a professional. Use the tips above while you wait for them to get on-site. You’ll be glad you did.