You want to make sure you know some plumbing basics so you can deal with plumbing emergencies when they arise. This article will help educate you on plumbing tips to help you if you get caught in the midst of a plumbing emergency.
Know where your shut-offs are located
The very first thing you want to do to prepare for a possible plumbing emergency is to find out where all your shut-offs are. This includes the main water shut off, the shut-off for your water heater and the shut-offs for your kitchen and bathrooms.
Keep tools in a bucket
Keeping plumbing tools in a 5 gallon bucket will give you quick access to them and you will have the bucket handy to catch water in. Your tools should include a couple different sized crescent wrenches, a Philips screwdriver, a flashlight, a plunger, a metal coat hanger, a rag and a pair of gloves.
Stopping an overflowing toilet
If your toilet is overflowing you want to turn off the water supply to the toilet and remove the cover to the tank. Raise the float ball and put something under it to keep it raised (a coat hanger works). Use a can to scoop out some of the water and put it into your 5 gallon bucket. Use the plunger to unclog the toilet. Put the floater back in its normal position, put the lid back on the tank and put the water from the 5 gallon bucket back in the toilet and flush.
Unclogging a bathtub
If your bathtub is clogged you will need to remove the stopper and set it aside. Take the hook end of a coat hanger and use it to fish out the hair and other debris causing the clog. Most of the time this will work. If it doesn't, you want to scoop out all the water from the tub. Fill a large cup with water that's just below boiling temperature and pour it directly down the drain. Repeat this process a few times to completely unclog the bathtub. Follow up with the plunger if necessary.
Unclogging a sink
If your sink clogs you want to remove the water from the sink. Pour some very hot water (just under boiling) down the drain. Follow this up with a half a cup of baking soda, a full cup of vinegar and a cup of very hot water. Put the plug in the drain and leave it alone for a few minutes. Remove the plug and pour more very hot water down the drain. If this doesn't work, you can remove the p-trap (the p-shaped pipe under your sink) by loosening the connectors with a wrench and clear it of any debris. Put the bucket under the pipes first to catch any water. Put it back in place and check the sink again.
Dealing with a broken pipe
If you have a pipe break, you want to shut off the main water valve immediately and call an emergency plumbing professional out. They will be able to repair the pipe quickly and get you up and running again.