What To Do In A Plumbing Emergency

Emergencies can strike despite the best precautions. You can prevent a plumbing emergency from becoming a plumbing catastrophe by learning what to do ahead of time and before problems occur.

During plumbing emergencies, the first step is always to stop the flow of water immediately. Do this by turning off the main water shutoff valve or the shutoff valve for the particular fixture or appliance (e.g. the shutoff valve at the  back of the toilet). You and each member of your family should know the location of these shutoff valves, so make sure you locate them before an emergency happens.

Main water shutoff valves are typically found near your water meter. Your water meter is likely outside near the street beneath a plastic box. Main water shutoff valves can also sometimes be located inside your home beneath a floor access panel. Floor access panels are commonly found in closet floors. Look for a large valve in the middle of a pipe.

If the emergency is limited to a specific appliance or fixture, look for its shutoff valve and close the valve by turning clockwise. Shutoff valves for individual  fixtures and appliances can usually be found underneath sinks and toilets and behind clothes washers, water heaters and other appliances. Turn off the main shutoff valve if the problem is a leaking pipe or if there is no shutoff valve for the particular fixture or appliance. When in doubt, turning off the main water supply is a sure bet to stopping further water damage and giving you time to assess the situation.


If a pipe leaks or breaks, turn off the main shutoff valve to prevent water damage. If you turn off the main water supply, turn off your hot water heater by switching off the circuit breakers (or the gas supply) to the hot water heater. Failure to do so can cause the hot water heater to overheat, damage the heating elements, or injure anyone who unknowingly turns on a hot water faucet.

Next, call Avis Plumbing and Air Conditioning at (239) 542-4421 and let us take care of the rest.

Faucet Malfunction

If a faucet won’t shut off, turn off the water at the shutoff valve underneath the sink immediately. If there is no valve, turn off the main water supply shutoff valve. Call Avis Plumbing as soon as possible and we will dispatch a trained professional to help you with your problem.

It’s extremely inadvisable to replace faucet cartridges by yourself. These faucets are actually quite complicated devices. If you need an emergency plumber in Cape Coral, be sure to call Avis at (239) 542-4421 — especially if you have any problems with a cartridge faucet.

If steaming water flows from a hot water faucet, use common sense and do not touch the hot water faucet. Leave the faucet running, but turn off the electricity (or gas supply) to the hot water heater. Then let the faucet run until cold water flows from the faucet (meaning the water in the hot water heater is no longer overheated), then call Avis to repair the faucet or the hot water heater’s thermostat.

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