House Flooding From a Water Leak? What to Do Before the Plumber Arrives

Acting fast to control a water leak can make all the difference when it comes to preventing water damage to your home. If you have a visible water leak, try to turn off or close the valve in the line that leads to the leaking appliance or pipe to stop the flood, and call your plumber immediately. Finding the valve may be a little tricky, but following a few simple guidelines should make it easier.

Leaking Appliance

To stop a leak in an appliance, like a washing machine or water heater or in a fixture, like a toilet, close the valve in the line that supplies the water. First, locate the line that runs into the appliance. This supply line is often cold to the touch because it's full of water that entered the house from underground. The valve could be a spigot, lever, knob, nut or similar device in the pipe, and might be close to the appliance, or you might have to follow the pipe until you find it. Toilet supply line valves are usually under or behind the seat, the valves to turn off water to a washing machine are usually behind the machine and the supply line to a water tank is usually near or at the top of the tank. If a gas water heater tank is leaking, close the gas valve first and then the water valve.

All water valves close by turning them clockwise. An easy way to remember is the simple verse, "righty tighty; lefty loosey."

Leaking Indoor Line

When an indoor line is leaking, the house's main supply may need to be closed. Domestic plumbing systems include a main supply valve that controls the water to the whole house. Closing this main supply valve cuts off water leaking from anywhere in the indoor plumbing, though the leak may take a few seconds to stop. To find the mains supply valve, check inside the perimeter of your home on the side nearest the street. If you have a basement, look around at eye level for a pipe entering the house from the street.

Leaking Main Water Supply Line

Sometimes, leaks occur in the line between the street and the house, causing wet and muddy patches and puddles in the yard. The valve that controls the main water line before it reaches the house is located under a small, square plastic or metal trap door near the street. Lift up the door, and turn off the valve that's nearest the house with a wrench.

When your home has a serious water leak, there's no time to figure out how the leak started. Turn off the water supply, and call Ragsdale to schedule an emergency visit from one of their expert plumbers.

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