A silver faucet with water dripping from it.

Clever Ways to Prepare for Plumbing Emergencies

Are you prepared to handle a plumbing emergency? It’s useful to know how to manage simple plumbing issues. If you can take care of minor plumbing issues, you can prevent a small problem from becoming a giant headache. It’s also a good idea to know where issues are likely to occur so you can avoid them in the first place. For this reason, we have decided to talk about the clever ways to prepare for plumbing emergencies.

However, no matter how well you prepare for plumbing emergencies, it’s always a good idea to remember that you don’t have to do it alone. This is especially true if you are afraid of further damaging something by attempting to repair it.

Be aware of potential problems

It’s difficult to put into words how much headache you can avoid by knowing what problems can arise. Being aware of potential plumbing issues will come in handy if you want to prepare for plumbing emergencies in your home, or if you are looking to move to a new place in NYC and want to make sure that the plumbing is in good working order before moving all your belongings. Just like you would hire a moving company and have a reliable team by your side to help you move in, you should also hire an inspector to check the plumbing. 

Still, it always pays to know what you should keep an eye out for. It may surprise you how many plumbing emergencies can be avoided if you just know what to look for. Here are just a few of the most common ones.

Possible Problems With Faucets

When we say faucets, we mean everything from a sink in your kitchen to the showerhead in your bathroom. If you see a leaking or dripping faucet at any point, you need to do something about it. Although the drip may seem gradual, the expenses connected with it pile up quickly. If you find water damage on the walls or ceiling, it might suggest significant concealed damage, and you should contact a plumber. If the water pressure seems low or there is an erratic spray pattern, it might be due to calcium accumulation on the aerator. You can remove the build-up by soaking the aerator in vinegar.

Toilet Issues

Because a toilet has so many functioning and moving components, any one of them might wear down and create issues. If your toilet shakes when you sit on it, the wax ring is most likely worn out and has to be replaced. If you see water leaking around the toilet base, it is another sign of a worn-out wax ring. Finally, take the tank cover off and see what happens when you flush the toilet. If it continues to run instead of shutting off after the cycle, it wastes a lot of water.

Water Heater Issues

You should check for leaks in the cold water intake pipe and the hot water exit pipe above the water heater. A malfunctioning temperature and pressure relief valve or a faulty drain valve may also cause water heaters to leak around the base. You should clean your water heater tank every few years to eliminate sediment that has accumulated on its bottom. If you have a gas water heater, regularly examine the burner unit and get it cleaned by a professional. 

A man fixing a water heater with a pair of pliers
To avoid problems, ensure that all of the pipes on your water heater are in good working order.

Make An Emergency Plumbing Toolbox

One of the most important things you should have on hand is tools that can assist you in an emergency. You never want to be caught in an emergency without the tools you need to deal with it. 

Plumbing supplies neatly arranged on a table.
A toolbox containing equipment for dealing with plumbing emergencies is a good idea.

Many people are completely unaware of how many home plumbing issues they can resolve alone. This is why it is a good idea to have a toolbox with plumbing tools in a designated place at all times. As a minimum, professional plumbers recommend that you keep an emergency toolkit on hand that includes a forced cup and ordinary plunger and several types of blind caps, and heavy-duty paper towels. Other items to have on hand include a set of medium-sized joint pliers and an adjustable wrench. However, we must advise you to be careful with any DIY plumbing attempt.

Know What To Do In An Emergency

Now that you know what tools you should keep on hand, let’s talk about what to do in an emergency.

  1. Shut off the water: Know where your main shut-off valve is and how to switch off your water heater. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the isolation valves for each fixture. You should also test them on and off regularly to ensure they’re in excellent working condition. If you have a flood inside your home and have turned off the main water supply, turn on the exterior spigots to guide any more water out of the house.
  2. Remove clogs: If water seems to be backing up from a drain or toilet, investigate if you can clear the obstruction. If you have a blockage in your kitchen sink, use two plungers, covering one drain while plunging the other. If your bathtub drain is plugged, remove the chrome cover to expose the drain and use a plunger. You can use the same method on your toilet.
  3. Plug the leaks: You can use duct tape or leak tape to keep a damaged pipe together for a temporary remedy to a leak. The five-gallon bucket can collect water and keep it from causing damage to your house.
  4. Know when to quit: Do not postpone asking for help in an emergency. Contact the professionals if the issue seems to be with the main water line or a clogged sewer because the problems may run deeper than what you can fix yourself.


Hopefully, you will never need to employ any of the things we have discussed here. Unfortunately, when it comes to plumbing issues, it is just a matter of time before they happen, especially on Long Island. For that reason, we hope that our list of the clever ways to prepare for plumbing emergencies will help you if the worst comes to pass.