At Stahl Plumbing, we get calls regularly from people who have a plumbing emergency. When there’s water going everywhere, it can be hard to figure out what to do. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to limit the damage while you’re waiting for help. The first step you should take in any of these steps is turning off the water, either at a fixture shut-off valve or your home or business main water valve. In this series, we will break down issues room by room. For the first part, we will look at bathroom plumbing fixes during emergencies.

Bathroom Issuesemergency plumbing fixes

Even though bathrooms are small, they carry the bulk of your home’s plumbing system.

A toilet that is clogged or overflowing.

As with all water issues, shut off the water supply valve. It’s typically located on the bottom left as you’re facing the toilet, where the supply hose attaches to the tank. If you don’t have a bad blockage, you can wait for the water to drain and then turn the water on again and try another flush to clear the blockage. Be ready to shut off the water again if it doesn’t clear. If that doesn’t work, try using a toilet plunger or closet snake to clear the clog. As a last resort before calling a plumber, you can try using drain cleaner to break up the clog. Don’t use a snake or plunger after using drain cleaner, as the caustic chemicals can cause serious damage and injuries.

A slow shower or tub drain.

Before you call the plumber, try removing the stopper and a drain screen if present. Then clean the drain screen and use a wire hook or even a long screw to catch hair that’s built up in the drain. For most minor slow shower drains, this will do the trick. If it’s still slow, the blockage may be further down. Try using a plunger to force the clog to break up, and if that doesn’t work, try using a drain snake. Be careful of any drain cleaner you use, as it can cause damage to your drain pipes. Try a plunger, followed by a snake or rooter if necessary. These tools will clear most clogs, but if they don’t, it’s time to call the plumber.

By knowing what to do in a plumbing emergency, you can mitigate the damage while you wait for a Pittsburgh plumbing service to arrive. At Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer 24/7 emergency services to help you get your plumbing operational again.