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When a plumbing emergency happens, it can cause panic and disrupt your entire routine. From getting the kids ready for school to going to work without a shower, no running water can be a major inconvenience. When a pipe leaks or burst, it can cause interior damage to your home as well as any item in its path. Depending on how long the leak goes unnoticed, the cleanup and cost of repairs can be substantial.

The best course of action is to know ahead of time, the steps you can take to minimize the damage, get the situation under control as fast as possible, and survive the emergency. This guide is designed to help the average homeowner with tips on how to prepare your home and take action in these types of situations.

Below are seven ways to deal with a plumbing emergency:

1: Backup Water Supply

It’s a good idea to have plenty of bottled drinking water on reserve as well as a few one-gallon containers. Additionally, one or two five-gallon jugs of fresh water will come in handy for cooking or sponge bathing. This is an area that a lot of people neglect, and when a plumbing emergency strikes, it’s one of the first things they think about. Going to the store to round up your backup water supply is still possible; however, it’s better to already have it when you need it the most.

2: Leaking Pipes/Faucets

When it comes to leaking pipes and faucets, the best thing you can do is to look for the closest shut-off valve. Most bathroom and kitchen sinks will have a cold and hot water shut-off located under the sink. If you can’t locate a shut-off valve under the sink, go to the basement, and look for the supply line leading to the sink. You should be able to trace the line until you see a shut-off valve, most of them are not too far away and can be found easily.

3: Leaking Water Mains

If you have a water main that is leaking profusely, go to the basement or location where the water pump is located. Shut the main water supply off by closing the valve. If you’re unable to turn the main or shut the water off, find the breaker that powers the water pump and shut it off. If the breakers are not labeled, shut the main breaker off, and kill the power to the house. Immediately call a licensed plumber.

4: Clogged Toilets

Clogged toilets can cause significant damage to your bathroom floor as well as any lower level rooms beneath. The first option is always to try a quality plunger to remove the clog. To avoid further water damage, reach behind the toilet, and shut the cold water supply off until the clog is free. In some cases, the clog will be a few feet into the drain line, and you will need a snake to break the clog free. Additionally, a liquid drain cleaner can be used to break apart a stubborn clog.

5: Frozen Pipes

One of the best ways to prevent pipes from freezing in extremely frigid temperatures is to let one faucet drip slowly. It’s also a good idea to wrap your water lines in pipe insulation and use electric heat tape. For frozen water lines, use a hairdryer on the frozen water line or place a small heater in the area of the frozen pipes until the lines are free.

6: Hot Water Heaters

When you discover a leak or don’t have any hot water coming from your hot water heater, shut the power off to the water heater by going to the breaker box, and shut the water supply off by turning the shut-off valve. Repairs and replacing interior components is not a DIY project, and a licensed plumber should be called before more damage is done to the system.

7: Backed-Up Septic Tanks

There is nothing fun about a backed-up septic tank, it can disrupt your entire life and leave a stench that’s unbearable. In most cases, your septic tank is at its capacity and needs to be sucked out. This can be an expensive procedure, but a necessary one if you want to get your life back. One way to avoid or minimize this situation is to use additives like Rid-X or Live Micro 535 to increase the biological activity inside of your septic tank.

Additional Tips:

For those who live in very cold weather climates, an area that often times gets neglected is the improper installation of the septic line from the house to the septic tank. A frozen septic line in the middle of the run can be a nightmare and a very expensive repair. A small backhoe or bucket loader will be required to dig up frozen earth and fix the line. One way you can avoid this situation is to use four-inch insulation foam board under the PVC drain pipe to prevent frost and cover it with hay before you backfill the trench.

Eventually, all homeowners will have to deal with some type of plumbing emergency. While minor repairs and small clogs can be easily handled by the DIY crowd, major repairs like boilers, water mains, septic systems, and gas should have an experienced plumbing service like AR Lake Plumbing & Gas Service come to your residence.

You can visit their website at http://www.arlakeplumbing.com.au/ to talk to a representative about your plumbing emergency. They are conveniently located in Brisbane and provide quality service from Albany Creek to Zillmere. They are also fully licensed, insured, and offer a 12-month guarantee on their workmanship. If you have an emergency gas or water problem, that’s not a problem, they provide 24/7 emergency assistance.

If you want a dependable and respectful plumbing service that puts their customers first, call AR Lake Plumbing & Gas Service today, and get your home and life back.