When a plumbing malfunction occurs the first thing you’ll have to do is stop the water flow. All you have to do is locate the appropriate valve for the appliance that is malfunctioning and turn it clockwise. In order for this step to be easy, you and each member of your family should know the exact location of each valve, and the location of the main valve that controls the water flow of the whole house.
The water valve for each appliance is typically located underneath its system. The valve for a sink will be beneath it, a valve for a washing machine will be at the connection of the water supply pipe, and so on.
If you can’t pin-point which appliance is malfunctioning, you should immediately shut off the main water valve. The main water valve is usually located at the point of the house where the pipes enter and provide the water supply.
All valves will shut off by turning them clockwise. If the valve requires a wrench for turning, you should keep one near the valve at all times.
In case your main valve is broken, you should call the water company and ask them for them help. They will shut off the water supply of the street, and fix your main valve.
These are some of the most common plumbing emergencies and how you should handle them:
- A leaking/ broken pipe – turn off the main water valve, stop the leak using temporary measures, and replace the pipe as soon as possible.
- A clogged-up sink – turn off any water source that is draining into the sink, use a plunger to unclog the sink (if there is a complete blockage, don’t use chemical cleaners).
- A running faucet – shut off the valve beneath the sink (or the main valve if the sink isn’t equipped with a valve) and repair the faucet or replace it.
- A steaming water faucet – run hot water on all hot water faucets to cool down the overheated water heater, turn off the heater’s power supply, let the faucets run until they run cold water, close the faucets, and get a professional to check your heater's thermostat and pressure relief valve.