Articles - Written by on Thursday, June 7, 2012 14:22 - 0 Comments

Plumbing’s Big Turn Offs

There are a lot of things about plumbing that turn me off…running toilets, pulling hair out of clogged drains, drips, smelly odors, but that’s not what this article’s about. This is about what very well could separate an inconvenience from a full-blown emergency. If something was to go wrong with your plumbing, would you know where to go to turn off the water, gas, and power to your appliances?

Waiting until you smell gas or the basement’s flooding is not the time to find out. This is when plumbers like Justin Castleman get frantic calls from panicked customers asking him what to do. At that very moment most people are too crazed to think straight, so I had Justin walk me through the really big turn offs.

The Main Water Shut Off Valve. This turns all the water off in the house. If you have municipal water, this valve is usually found in the basement someplace very close to the water meter. If you have well water, you need to look for the pressure tank. It’s almost always located where the water enters your house. You’ll find a shut off valve very near the pressure tank. When you locate the main water valve, put a tag on it, so you and other people in your home know where to go to turn off the water. Milwaukee’s PPC will give you a really durable valve tag for free.

Gas. The Gas Company puts a chemical in gas to give it a distinct smell. If you smell a consistent gas odor, the best thing to do is to get everyone out of the house and call the gas company. They will come and shut off your gas, but it will be up to you to call a plumber for service. Since gas is a combustible source, you should always call a professional plumber and have he or she walk you through the house and show you where your emergency shut-offs are located.

Power. Every electric appliance has a power source, including the electric hot water heater. If your water heater’s leaking, it’s best to turn the power off and call a plumber for assistance. Turning the temperature of your water heater down, can prevent scalding and preserve the life expectancy of your water heater. In the long run, it also saves money on your electric bill. The temperature should be set at no higher than 120 degrees.

I’ve found taking a few minutes to locate all of these places can make you feel a lot more confident in the event something happens.

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