For most homeowners who have lived in cold weather areas, understanding the care of plumbing fixtures and pipes during cold weather is part of the tasks which are important to prevent damage. However, winter and the risk of frozen or burst pipes are not the only plumbing related tasks which the prudent homeowner will master. Rather than to call a plumber in Eureka CA for every little incident involving leaking pipes, it helps to learn some steps to take during emergency pipe leaks.
As with many do-it-yourself jobs around the house, prevention is recommended over repair. When the weather forecast indicates freezing temperatures, pipes should be wrapped and water allowed to run in a trickle. This will limit the risk of frozen pipes and burst pipes due to freezing. This is especially important for exposed pipes and those in an unheated space.
For less severe leaks, it is important to catch them early, before they become major problems, A leaking hot water faucet can increase the cost of water significantly. A leak in the connections for the hot water heater means that utility costs are increasing and water usage is increasing as well.
One of the first actions to take when you become aware of a leak is to shut off the water flow to the area. For most structures, there is a main shut-off valve. Every household member should know where the valve is located and under what circumstances it should be turned off. Turning off the flow of water will limit the amount of clean-up and potential damage to the structure and its contents.
You should be sure that you know where the leak is located. Some alternatives might be in a basement, from the main water connection outdoors, or from an appliance such as a dishwasher or toilet. Before any measures are taken to “repair”, you should be sure you have identified the exact problem and its location.
Once the water is turned off and the location of the leak is determined, you can make a judgment call about the level of expertise which will be required to fix the issue. Some minor repairs are well within the skills of an average homeowner. Other problems will require the expertise of a professional plumber. It is a good idea to know the name of a plumber you trust placed in an easy-to-access location, such as a “contacts” file on your mobile device.
Access to some easy-to-understand tutorials about fixing common plumbing problems may help you to take care of some plumbing repair issues. The internet makes it easy to access steps to follow in taking care of issues such as replacing a under-sink trap or a faucet washer.
If the scope of the repairs is too great and the plumber is called, you may want to take steps to remove as much of the water and other material from the leak while you are waiting. Eliminating standing water will make accessing the area which needs to be repaired easier. It will also prevent further damage to floor coverings, walls, and furnishings in the area. Turning off electrical power may also be a safety measure which will prevent electrocution.