What Do You Do While Waiting for a Plumber to Fix a Leak?

You discovered a water leak. You called R & R Heating & Air for emergency service. Now what? What you do while you wait for a licensed plumber to arrive can help you prevent or lessen the severity of water damage.

Stop the Water Flow

If possible, you want to stop the flow of water. To do that, you need to shut the valve to the pipe or, if that’s not possible, to your home. Emergency shut-off valves to your home are usually on exterior walls in a utility-area of your home. If you haven’t used the valve much, you may need hardware—e.g., wrench or mallet—to help you turn it.

Minimize Water Exposure

Whether or not you can stop the water flow, you want to minimize the area where water soaks and seeps. For water coming from a vertical leak, catch excess water in a bucket or other container.

Leaks from a horizontal pipe can be trickier. You want to create a temporary seal to keep water as close to the source of the leak as possible. One DIY method uses common household items, including:

  • Bath towels. Wrap old towels around the spraying pipe.
  • Plastic sheeting. Wrap the towels with waterproof plastic wrap (like a cut-up tarp, not cling wrap used in the kitchen kind).
  • Duct tape. Use the tape to secure the plastic wrap around the towels and to create a seal above and below the leak site.

This make-shift stopper will not look pretty, but it can help you avoid a huge mess and expensive water damage repairs.