Plumbing problems happen more often than you think. You don’t see the pipes coming in and out of your apartment but they are there and cause true mayhem if something unwanted happens to them.
More often than not pipes that break and water start leaking from them can be seen with the naked eye. It usually happens to water heaters, faucets, and washing machines. However, sometimes, a pipe may break inside the wall and you can’t see the real problem. You can’t act by simply putting duct tape on the hole where the water comes out. You have plumbing needs, but before the pros arrive, you must find another quick solution before your apartment completely gets ruined.
If you’re not at home, this can be a true disaster. You might completely lose all your belongings and even create problems for your neighbors too. However, if you’re at home at the moment of the leakage, here’s what you must do in order to prevent the catastrophe.
Know where the main pipe is
In order to prevent more damage, you must cut the water. All water supply installations have more than one valve in the apartment. However, there’s one main valve that will cut the water supply in the whole place. That’s the valve controlling the main pipe. Turn the valve and cut the water.
Sometimes this solution won’t be enough. It will cut the water in all pipes getting in your apartment, but the problem might be somewhere else, like inside the walls that are going over the ceiling and into the upper flat.
This means you’ll have to cut the water pipes for the whole building. If you live in a house, then you probably won’t need this information, but if you have neighbors then you’ll probably need their help. Don’t worry, they’ll most probably be cooperative as it concerns them too. Work together until the plumbing service arrives.
Cut the electric power
As important as cutting the main water pipe is cutting the electric power. Unless you live in an old construction built decades ago and never been renovated, you probably have a circuit breaker that can be turned on and off. All you have to do is turn the main breaker to off and this will turn all the power in your home off.
This is important because water and electricity are a very dangerous combination. If water gets contact with the wires that are powered, it will be deadly for everyone touching the water. When leakage is serious and floods a big part of your place, you don’t see where water is getting true. It may touch the electrical power while you’re trying to handle the water problem and kill you right on the spot. See more bout dangers of combining these two: https://sciencing.com/happens-ionic-compound-dissolves-water-8425533.html
Don’t try to be a hero
Aside from the first reaction and cutting the water and power supply off, everything else is a job for the professionals. Don’t try and be a hero, leave the apartment and call the plumbing service. These days, a lot of plumbing companies offer their services 24/7 and have online contact. So, if you can’t reach the phone at home, don’t worry, you can do it on the internet.
Trying to fix things by yourself can lead to more serious problems. No one has adequate equipment for fixing these kinds of problems. You might think that the problem is not too big, but the experience has shown that a lot of people make more damage than fixing it. There are many dangers of DIY plumbing, so please call the pros.
Save what you can
After you did the first two things, and the water is still a problem inside your place, you should get in and save what you can. If the flooding has already ruined some of the furniture, don’t bother taking it out at the moment. Try to save things that are not completely ruined and can be used after.
Also make sure you take everything from the ground, like computers, laptops, phones, and of course, don’t forget about your pet.
This is even more important if the water is still getting inside your home. The pipe might be broken in the walls and you can’t stop the flooding. Learn more about the dangers of floods here: https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dmhas/home/disaster/resources/Flood_waters_extremely_dangerous.pdf. In this case, you need to get inside, get wet and take out what can be taken out.