Plumbing emergencies during the holidays
The whole family is gathered at your home for Christmas. Everyone is having a great time, the aroma of a baked ham lingers in the air, and the eggnog is flowing freely. Then it happens: A water pipe under the kitchen sink springs a leak. A bit of panic comes over you as you try to figure out what to do first — grab a bucket, get a mop, and call a plumber? Call a Boston plumber on Christmas?
Turn the water off. Locate the main valve. It may be in a floor access panel in the basement or in a closet or perhaps near the water heater in the garage.
Turn off the water heater. When the water heater is partially empty, there is greater risk that it will burst. If you have a gas unit, turn the switch to “pilot.” If it’s electric, cut the breaker providing power.
Open outdoor faucets. Turning on the fixtures outside your home will allow water still in the pipes to be expelled outside your home.
Start with temporary fixes. If possible, use duct tape or pipe sealing tape to temporarily cover the leak or place a bucket under it until a plumber can be located. Clean up any water that may be leaked onto the floor or other surfaces. Water can damage quickly and permanently.
Flush the toilets. Once the toilets are flushed, the remaining water in the house pipes should be emptied.
Call for a plumber. Understand that not all plumbers accept emergency, weekend or holiday calls. It may be wise to know which do before an emergency. However, continue to call until you locate one. If you have determined that there is no more water leaking into your home, you may elect to wait until the next morning.