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Steps to Take When a Pipe Leaks


It’s important to prepare your family in case of any type of emergency. Of course, there are those emergencies that directly affect their own safety, which should take priority (such as your fire escape plan). But there are smaller home emergencies that could affect your health and finances if left unchecked. One of these is a pipe leak.

Some pipe leaks can flood a home. Others take a slower toll but can still be quite dangerous. A leaky pipe could damage your home, costing thousands to repair beams and other structural elements. It can also allow for mold to grow, which is a major health hazard. Make sure your family has a plan in place. Learn about the steps to take if a pipe leaks in your home in today’s guide.

Know the Locations of Shut-Off Valves

First, you should know where the main water shut-off valve is, the one that controls the flow of water moving throughout your entire home. This depends on where you live in the country as well as the layout of your particular plumbing system. The commonality is that you will find it near where the water line enters the house.

In warm climates like ours, the shutoff valve is often located outside, often in a box in the ground or the bottom of the wall. In a colder climate, where freezing is a possibility, it’s usually located just inside, at an exterior wall or in a basement or crawlspace.

There are also shut-off valves located at individual fixtures, sinks, and appliances—near toilets, and under sinks for example. Whenever possible, you’ll want to turn off the local supply rather than the supply to the whole house. Some plumbing systems do not have supply stop valves. These can be added to a home’s plumbing after you move in, and it’s important that you do this!

Know How to Turn Off the Water

This should be relatively simple. If your water supply shuts off with a knob, simply turn it clockwise until it stops. Some valves are controlled by handles that only need a quarter-turn clockwise. What you should know is that some older shut off valves can stick and may need a wrench for some extra help. In this case, be sure to keep a dedicated wrench nearby in case of an emergency.

After you shut off the water, we recommend opening up the faucets to drain any water remaining in the pipes and keep the leak under control.

Call an Emergency Plumber

It can be tempting to try to do-it-yourself, but we often recommend against it. Put down buckets or towels as needed, and contact professional plumbers in your area instead. It’s important to have plumbers seal up the leak for good rather than using temporary measures. Besides, it may be useful to check the area for additional leaks just in case.

Luckily, many plumbers offer 24-hour service in case a leak inconveniences you, takes away your drinking water, or puts the structure of your home at risk.

Contact an emergency plumber in Lutz, FL. Get in touch with Continental Plumbing Services, LLC today!