Aside from electrical issues, plumbing emergencies are the problems most likely to result in serious damage to your home or even injury. Understanding how to address a plumbing emergency can help protect you and prevent costly water damage. However, knowing the best thing to do in these potentially stressful situations isn't always easy.

If you want to handle your next plumbing emergency like a pro, make sure you can master these three essential skills.

1. Find Your Water Shutoffs

You probably don't think much about turning the water off when things are working fine, but locating your water shutoffs can be much more challenging when dealing with the stress of a major leak. All homes will have one main water shutoff that cuts water to the whole home and many additional valves that can shut off the supply to toilets, fixtures, and appliances.

Take some time to learn the location of each shutoff in your home, and pay special attention to fixtures that may not have easily accessible valves, such as tubs. If your home uses PEX piping, you may have a manifold in your basement or utility room that acts like a circuit breaker for your plumbing. In an emergency, you should be able to identify the nearest valve to stop the water flow quickly.

2. Learn to Recognize Hazards

Water damage isn't the only threat posed by leaks and drain clogs. Any standing water in your home can also create a risk of biological contamination or electrocution. In the former case, you should learn to identify the source of any leak. Sewage backups or flood waters from outside your home can contain harmful pathogens, and you should not enter or clean them without wearing protective gear.

On the other hand, standing water can also occasionally reach electrical outlets or exposed wiring. In most cases, water near an outlet should trip the breaker, but you should never trust your life to this safety measure. Instead, avoid entering water unless you're sure there's no contact with your home's electricity. If you suspect an electrical hazard, stay away and inform your plumber of the risk.

3. Know Who to Call

Plumbing emergencies are often ticking time bombs that can worsen when left unaddressed. You should always know who to call before these emergencies strike. Keep a list of one or two 24-hour emergency plumbers on hand so you'll have a reliable option during disasters. Preparing this list in advance can save you from frantic searching and research when there's water quickly pooling on your home's floor.  

For more info about emergency plumbing, contact a local company.