Plumbing Emergencies:

In a plumbing emergency, you’ll need to stop the flow of water quickly. To do this, you and each member of your family needs to know the location of the shutoff valve for every fixture and appliance, as well as the main shutoff valve for the house, and how they operate.

  • If the emergency involves a specific fixture or appliance, first look for its shutoff valve and turn it clockwise to shut off the water to that fixture or appliance only.
  • The valve is usually located underneath a fixture such as a sink or a toilet, or behind an appliance, such as a clothes washer, at the point where the water supply pipe (or pipes) connects to it.
  • If the problem is not with a particular fixture or appliance, or if there is no shutoff valve for the fixture or appliance, use the main shutoff valve to turn off the water supply to the entire house.
  • You’ll find the main shutoff valve on the inside or outside of your house where the main water supply pipe enters.
  • In cold climates, look just inside the foundation wall in the basement or crawl space.
  • Turn the valve clockwise to shut it off.
  • Professional Tip:   If you need a wrench to turn the valve, keep one, specially labeled, near the valve so it’s handy.
  • If the main shutoff valve itself is defective and needs to be repaired, call your water company; they can send someone out with the special tool that’s required to shut off the water at the street before it reaches the valve.


A Leaking or Broken Pipe

  • Turn off the main shutoff valve to prevent water damage.
  • Make temporary repairs to stop the leak.
  • The pipe will have to be replaced as soon as it’s convenient to do so.

A Stopped-Up Sink

  • Shut off any faucet or appliance (such as dishwasher) that’s draining into the sink.
  • Unclog the sink using a plunger or snake.
  • DON’T use a chemical drain cleaner if the blockage is total.

A Faucet That Won’t Shut Off

  • Immediately turn off the water at the fixture shutoff valve underneath the sink.
  • If there’s no valve there, turn off the main shutoff valve.
  • Repair the faucet or, if necessary, replace it.

A Steaming Hot Water Faucet

  • Open all the hot water faucets to relieve the overheated hot water heater.
  • Turn off the gas or electric supply to the heater.
  • Let the faucets run until cold water flows from them (this indicates the water in the heater is no longer overheated).
  • Close them.
  • Call a professional to make any necessary repairs to the heater’s thermostat and pressure relief valve.

Main Water Shutoff:  Make sure everyone in the house knows where it is in case of an emergency.

Toilet Overflow:  If you believe your toilet is about to overflow, quickly remove the tank lid, reach down and push the flapper of flush valve closed.  This will keep the bowl from overflowing while you clear the stoppage.

Toilet Check:  Remove tank lid, add food coloring to the water in the tank. Check the bowl in ten or fifteen minutes. If you see the color, the flapper is leaking. This should be done every year. These leaks are silent, but you might hear the toilet filling when it is not in use. This is another indication of a failing flapper. This type of leak can also reflect heavily in your water bill!

Check your water meter periodically:  If you are not using water in the house, all the dials on the meter should not be moving or spinning. A movement in the dial may indicate a water leak, probably in the toilet. This could cost you quite a bit over time.

Stop Valves:  These are valves located under your sinks and toilets. Familiarize yourself with their locations in case of an emergency.

Open and close all valves every six months to a year:  This will ensure that they will work when you need them to. If valves are not operable for long periods of time they will seize and turning them off will be difficult or even impossible!

Steam Boilers:  Drain approximately 5 gallons of water from your steam boiler every weekend during the heating season. This will ensure that all probes and wells enter the boiler will stay clean and all safety controls will work properly. This will add years to your steam boiler.

Stopped Drains:  Use drain-cleaning liquids as a last resort because they damage your pipes and often don’t work. Maintain your drain pipes with Bio-Clean. Bio-Clean is a harmless bacteria that will come to life with water and eat away all stoppages. Once pipe is clear it just washes away. We are a Bio-Clean distributor and Bio-Clean can be purchased directly from us.

Laundry Valves:  These should be closed when you are not home for long periods of time — (Vacation).  If a hose breaks down while you are away, you’d come home to an unpleasant situation.

And the Most Important Tip:

  Check all licenses, insurances and get references
Don’t take a short cut and hire a side-job-Joe simply because he is cheaper! 

We’re here to help you with all of your plumbing and heating needs.