Water damage can cause annoying, even dangerous, problems for homeowners, ranging from mold brewing in walls to rotting floorboards. Some people might think that this just the price we have to pay to live in a wet climate. But that’s a mistake. In fact, 93% of water damage claims in the U.S. are preventable.
One of the easiest ways to minimize excessive water damage, and related emergencies, is to become familiar with basics of your home's plumbing. Because dozens of pipes run through your home: you may have separate lines for dishwashers, washing machines and hot water heaters. And if water suddenly starts pouring from your ceiling, or the dishwasher starts flooding, every second counts.
Study and memorize the following:
- The location of your main sewer line;
- The location of your main shut off valve (usually found in your basement or an exterior wall in your utility room) and individual lines’ valves; and
- The proper way to plunge.
Locate your main sewer line: Every homeowner should know the location of the home’s main sewer line. This can be tricky as the lines are usually located outside the home, between your home’s foundation and the road. But it’s worth this effort, because sewage backup is by far the worst plumbing (and clean up) issue that a homeowner can face.
Learn how to shut off your valves: Take time to identify all supply line valves in your home. Also check each appliance in the kitchen, utility rooms and bathrooms to locate shut off valves for individual water lines. Shutting off the water at its source will cut off the problematic flow, but it will also allow you to continue using water in the rest of the house. This, in turn, buys you time (but not much!) to call a plumber.
Learn proper plunging techniques. Clogged drains and toilets are the largest plumbing complaint of homeowners. To unclog a toilet, make sure that your plunger has a good seal at the base of the drain. Keep the plunger covered with water, and then use fast repetitive plunging motions.
When dealing with a sink or tub drain, seal the overflow to get the suction you need for a successful plunge.
In plumbing, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. In fact, even if you aren’t facing a plumbing emergency, you may already be losing much water than you realize. According to the EPA, 13.7% of all water used in the home can be attributed to plumbing leaks. So for more help with preventative maintenance, or in the event of an emergency, call in the experts at Budget Rooter for assistance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Palady, RMP is the President and co-owner of Budget Rooter Plumbing & Drain Cleaning. This family owned plumbing company has been serving their customers for more than 25 years, and makes customer service and quality of work their priority.
Jeff started working in the field at the age of fifteen under the tutelage of his father, who owned a Philadelphia-based plumbing and drain cleaning company. At the age of eighteen, Jeff and his mother decided to open their own shop in their home state of Delaware. For the first few years, Jeff was Budget Rooter’s only field technician, and was often out on calls until late at night while going to school to earn his Master’s License. As Budget Rooter grew, Jeff trained new technicians, researched and purchased the best equipment, and today he manages the operations of the company.
Known for being dedicated to Budget Rooter, Jeff is one of the first to arrive in the morning and is usually the last to leave. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys fishing, modifying his truck, and spending time with his wife and two sons.