No matter how careful you are, plumbing trouble can still happen. Your kitchen sink can still clog. Your toilet can overflow. A pipe can burst and send water spraying into your basement. As a homeowner, the best thing that you can do is prepare for this trouble well ahead of time.
How can you do that?
Find Shut-Off Valves
Every home has a main water shut-off valve that connects the home plumbing system to the municipal water system. You need to learn exactly where yours is located so that you can turn off the supply during plumbing emergencies, like when a pipe bursts or a hose disconnects from your washing machine. Cutting off your home’s access to water should minimize the damage done.
Your plumbing fixtures will also have shut-off valves. You can find them underneath your sinks and behind your toilets. Plumbers turn these off before running any maintenance or repairs on fixtures. If your fixtures are overflowing or running non-stop, you should turn off these valves to cut off their access to the home’s water supply.
Get the Right Tools
You should add some emergency plumbing tools to your supply closet. You need different plungers to deal with different types of drain clogs — that’s right, you can’t use a sink plunger to unclog a toilet. You’ll want to keep these plungers clearly marked and separated from each other (for sanitary reasons).
Duct tape is another tool that you should have on hand. It can help you seal a small pipe leak until a plumber comes over to make a repair.
These are some other tools to stock in cases of plumbing trouble:
- A toilet augur
- A sink augur
- Non-acidic liquid drain opener
- A pair of rubber gloves
- A bucket
- A mop
- Clean rags
- Bathroom cleaning and sanitizing spray
Find a Plumber
Don’t wait for a plumbing problem to start your search for a plumber. Look for a trusted plumbing company in your area now and save their contact information. That way, when disaster strikes, you’ll know who to call immediately.
It’s important that you find a plumbing company with flexible hours that does emergency repairs at night. Burst pipes, overflowing toilets and other types of plumbing trouble don’t always happen at convenient times.
Set Up an Emergency Fund
Every homeowner should have an emergency fund sitting in a savings account. An emergency fund is crucial for handling any urgent, unplanned expense that could disrupt your budget, whether it’s a roof leak that needs to be patched before a rainstorm or an A/C unit that needs fixing before a heatwave. Another urgent, unplanned expense your fund could help with? Plumber’s bills.
Without an emergency fund, you might not have enough money to cover the costs of last-minute plumbing services. In that case, you can still use credit to help you get through the stressful situation. You could charge the bill to your credit card and pay down the balance later. Or you could look into any loans near you and see whether you meet the qualifications for one. With all the qualifications, you can apply. If you’re approved for an easy online loan, you can use the borrowed funds to pay the plumber. Then, you can focus on a steady repayment process.
Learn the Warning Signs
Sometimes, your plumbing will let you know that something is wrong before disaster strikes. If you know what those warning signs are, you can catch the problem early and call a plumber to fix it. You just might stop the damage from happening — whether that damage is to your bathroom floor or your wallet.
These are some warning signs to watch out for:
- Slow running drains
- Loud, gurgling noises
- Strong sewage odor
- Puddles around fixtures or under pipes
- High water bills
- Frequent clogs
These are simple steps that can help you prepare for plumbing trouble. Now, you’ll be ready for it!
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