Understanding Plumbing Basics
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Understanding Plumbing Basics

As a new homeowner, I can tell you that things aren't always as simple as they appear. I started thinking about it a few years ago, and I realized that there were some serious problems with our plumbing system. We had issues with drains working correctly and toilets flushing like they should, so I started focusing more heavily on understanding the basics of our plumbing system. Within a few short months the entire system was operating more fluidly because of a few changes that I made, so I wanted to create a blog all about my journey. Check out these articles to learn more about the plumbing basics.


Understanding Plumbing Basics

Simple Tips For Plumbing Emergencies

Jorge Alexander

When plumbing emergencies occur, preparation and quick thinking are the keys to minimizing water damage or other catastrophes while maintaining a modicum of normalcy until a plumber can arrive to solve the problem.

The most important thing is to keep calm and to stop the flow of water as soon as possible.

This means knowing where the shutoff valves to your supply pipes are located and how to shut off the water at the valve locations.

Your main supply valve: the sure cure for all water leaks 

Although shutting off the main valve to the water supply line to your home leaves you completely without water for drinking or bathroom needs, it may be your only choice in some situations, and is at least a stopgap measure until you can assess the situation and perform a less drastic measure.

The main valve will be located at the point of entry of the main supply line to your home. It will be at the same side of your home as the water meter, although the meter may be outside of the home while the valve is on the inside wall.

Every family member should be made aware of the location of the main valve in the event of a water emergency, as well as how to shut the valve and turn off the water.

This is done by turning the valve in a clockwise direction until it can be turned no more. Conversely, the valve must be turned in a counterclockwise direction to open the valve.

Where are local supply valves located?

While turning off the main valve is more of a nuclear option is stopping the flow of a water leak, you can also perform smaller surgical strikes by turning off the valves that control the flow of water to specific plumbing components,

Your toilet

If you are facing your toilet, the supply valve will be located near the left side of the toilet tank. It may be at the floor level or on the wall behind the toilet, depending upon the entry point of the supply line for the toilet.

Turning this valve in a clockwise direction will stop a broken fill valve that won't stop filling the tank with water. It will also keep the tank from refilling if the toilet is clogged and someone attempts to flush the toilet anyway, resulting in a damaging and repulsive toilet overflow.

Your sinks

If you turn off the faucet but the water keeps flowing, simply look under the sink. You will see two supply valves there.

The hot water valve will be on the left side and the cold water valve on the right. Turn off the appropriate valve to stop the water until a plumber arrives.

If both hot and cold water is running, turn off both valves.

Turning off local valves will allow you to use other facilities in the home until the problem is resolved, but always remember to keep the main valve accessible to anyone who may need to reach it in an emergency.

Leaving a clear path to the main valve may save your home form substantial water damage in a plumbing emergency. For more information, talk to a professional like Patriot Plumbing Heating Air Conditioning.