Plumbing emergencies are an unwelcome intrusion on any mom’s to-do list. It’s never any fun to face a leaky faucet or discover a pool of water collecting under the sink. As a busy mom, it becomes crucial to know exactly who to call and when, if a plumbing issue crops up. Contrary to popular wisdom, however, not every plumbing problem calls for a professional. Here are a few tips that can help you determine whether you can tackle the plumbing problem on your own, or if you need to turn it over to an expert for help.
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Gather a Basic Plumbing Kit
Some small issues can be handled at home without calling in a professional plumber. However, if you don’t have the necessary tools, you won’t be ready to tackle anything. With a few essential items, you can handle minimal repair jobs all on your own. You may already have some of the necessary tools at home in a basic tool kit. If not, they are all relatively inexpensive to purchase and keep together in a plumbing emergency kit that you can have on hand if a minor issue surfaces.
Popular Mechanics suggests that every home tool kit for plumbing have a few indispensable items. For example, when it comes to home plumbing, wrenches are tools that no homeowner should be without. Know the difference between a basin wrench and a pipe wrench. You’ll be glad you have them around if you have to loosen or tighten a pipe by yourself. Of course, a simple and inexpensive plunger can also handle many simple jobs. A sink plunger is smaller than a toilet plunger. It’s a good idea to have one of each.
Know the Difference Between DIY and Emergency
While there are several problems you can tackle safely and efficiently on your own, there are also more critical issues that call for emergency plumbing solutions. If you don’t know the difference and you attempt to resolve a plumbing emergency on your own that actually requires a professional, you will likely end up doing more damage and harm than good.
It’s a good idea to have the number of a 24-hour plumber on hand for emergencies. You never know when it might come in handy, and you certainly don’t want to be searching around in the middle of the night if you have water gushing out of a pipe or a flooded bathroom. Some of the most common issues that require expert intervention include water heaters and drain cleaning that doesn’t respond to a simple plunger. Don’t risk further damage if you can’t handle it by yourself.
Prevention Is Key
Many problems can be avoided through simple routine maintenance and proper prevention. One of the most important things to understand about your home’s plumbing is where the main shut-off valve is located. Locating this before a problem or emergency occurs will help you to stem the flow of water, if and when it becomes an issue. Being cautious about the things you dispose of in your home plumbing pipes is another preventative maintenance issue. If you live in a particularly cold climate, understand how to protect your pipes from freezing in the winter months.
Be Confident About Home Plumbing
Although residential plumbing issues are a source of anxiety for many homeowners, that doesn’t need to be the case. By being prepared for small issues, you can handle them in an informed way when they do turn up. If a particular problem goes beyond the scope of do-it-yourself skills, have the number of a trusted professional on hand to call in emergencies. Home plumbing is simply a matter of preparation and proper response. With the right tools, you can rest assured that you can handle any emergency.