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What to Do When You Have a Leak

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Leaking pipes, faucets, and fixtures waste water, resulting in higher bills, and water leaks can damage your home. It makes sense to call a plumber to fix a leak as soon as you notice it, but do you know what to do while you’re waiting for the plumber to arrive? Knowing how to turn off your water supply could save you hundreds of dollars.

Fast Leaks

A burst water pipe, dripping water heater, or other fast leak in your home requires immediate attention before the water damage becomes serious. If you have a leak that’s quickly creating a pool of water, turn off the water supply, call a plumber, and clean up the leaked water while waiting for him to arrive.

How to Turn Off Your Water Supply

To control a leak, close the valve closest to the leak to turn off the water supply, or turn off the main supply to the house. The system of water pipes in your home includes valves that you can close to prevent water from flowing through that part of the system. A water pipe valve could be a lever, spigot, knob, or nut. To close a valve, turn it clockwise.

When you notice the leak, follow the leaking pipe to the nearest valve and close it. Valves are usually located under sinks and behind fixtures. If your water heater, washing machine, or another powered fixture is leaking, turn off the electricity or gas before closing the valve.

If you can’t find the valve in the nearest water pipe, close the main valve that controls your home’s water supply. Your main valve is located indoors at ground level near the point where the main pipe enters the house from the street. If you’re looking in the basement, look at eye level.

Can’t find the main indoor valve? The outdoor supply valve is your last resort, and you might need special tools to close this. Somewhere on or between the sidewalk and your house is a round, square or rectangular iron lid set into the ground. Remove the lid, and close the valve on the side nearest your house.

Slow Leaks

Slow leaks like dripping faucets and leaking toilets might not be emergencies, but they’re just as important to fix. A dripping faucet can waste as much as 1,000 gallons of water per year, and leaks under a slab or toilet damage your property over time, which requires expensive repairs. Signs of a slow leak include damp floors and walls, warm spots from leaking hot water pipes, and unusually high utility bills.

When you have a leak it can feel like a crisis, but if you can turn off your water supply, all you need to do then is to relax and wait for your plumber to arrive.

For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.