What to do during a plumbing emergency | R. A. Styron | Plumbing Specialist

The worst part about a plumbing emergency is that you’ll never know when it’s going to rear its ugly head. Sometimes the warning signs are a lot more subtle than you’d expect, and before you know it, you’re standing in a foot of water not knowing what to do.

When it’s your turn to experience a plumbing emergency, here’s what you should do:

The First Things You Should Do

  • First thing, first, make sure you know where the main water shut-off valve is before a plumbing emergency arises. Closing this valve will stop the flow of water headed to your home, preventing further water damage from occurring. Some homes may have a main water valve located in a garage. If you cannot locate a main shut off valve, all homes have a shut off for the the city located near the property line and the street. You will need a water key for the city shut off valve, they are relatively inexpensive and extremely handy to have onhand.
  • Head into your home and turn on all of the faucets to drain any water remaining within the plumbing pipes. This helps divert any excess water in the pipes away from where a possible plumbing leak could be.
  • Plumbing emergencies usually leave a hefty amount of water in places they shouldn’t be. To minimize any water damage and mold growth, grab a mop and some towels and begin cleaning up the mess while you wait for the plumber.

Common Plumbing Emergencies

  • Overflowing Toilet – The first step should be to turn off the water valve connected to the toilet — rather than running outside to the main shut-off valve. This valve is usually located on the wall behind the toilet.
  • Clogged Drain – Shower drains, sink drains, and toilets can each become clogged in an instant. Keep a drain plunger (without the flange) and toilet plunger (with the flange) handy so you can break up loose blockages. Most people do not know that there are two different types of plunger. To picture to the right illustrates the two different styles.
  • Water Heater Problems – Whether your water heater is leaking, making noises, or refusing to work, manually shut it off. All water heaters should be installed with a shut off valve connected to one of the water lines connected to the top of the water heater itself. There are two styles used, a gate valve or ball valve, as seen in the picture to the right. If this valve is old and corroded do not force the valve to close, this could lead to even more damage.


Plumbing emergencies can happen in an instant, so rather than scrambling when one happens — prepare yourself now! When a plumbing emergency arises in your home and you’re in need of emergency service, be sure to contact R. A. Styron. If you’re looking for a reliable plumber, check to see if you live in one of our many service areas!

Leave a Comment