While you can’t predict when an emergency situation will occur, you can prepare for one ahead of time. Ideally, you’ll have the necessary supplies to diagnose and triage the problem before you call for help. Fortunately, the majority of the supplies that you need are relatively inexpensive, easy to obtain and easy to use regardless of your age or physical condition.

You’ll Need a Light

A portable source of light is perhaps one of the most important items in your emergency toolbox because of where most pipes are located. Typically, you’ll be working behind walls, in the basement or in other areas where you won’t have a lot of natural or artificial light. Therefore, you’ll need to have a flashlight, head lamp or some other tool that will allow you to see while holding a tool.

Electrical Tape Can Be Useful

Electrical tape can be used to cover a cracked pipe or cover a gap between two pipes caused by any type of damage. Heated tape can be useful if the issue was caused by a frozen pipe or if you suspect that other pipes might be vulnerable because of cold weather conditions. Of course, covering a cracked or broken pipe with tape is only a temporary fix that might last a day or two until a professional can offer a more permanent fix.

Don’t Forget Your Bucket

A large bucket can be ideal for scooping up water that has already flooded your kitchen or basement floor. It can also give you time to collect moisture that is gushing out of a pipe or appliance while you go shut the water valve off. When not in use, the bucket can be a storage area for your tools or other supplies that you’ll need when an emergency does strike.

Standard Tools Are a Mandatory Part of Your Kit

If you are going to be making fixes to pipes, a water heater or other plumbing system components, you’ll need a good set of tools. At a minimum, you’ll need a wrench to loosen or tighten the connections between pipes to remove them. You might also want to have both types of screwdrivers, a set of pliers and any other items that you might use to make repairs to a toilet, sink or faucet.

Have a Snake Handy

It’s possible that your plumbing emergency involves a clogged sink or toilet, which means that you’ll want to have a drain snake nearby. This can be ideal for when the clog is deep in the drain and you can’t break it up with chemical or other types of liquid clog removers.

In such a scenario, your best bet is to put the snake down the drain and let it remove the sediment or other tough material instead. Drain snakes come in both electric and manual versions depending on how much money you want to spend and how much effort you want to put into solving the problem before you call a professional.

It’s worth noting that a snake isn’t going to do much for you if the clog is caused by a solid object like a child’s toy or the car keys that your kid flushed down the toilet. In that case, you’ll need to have the pipe taken apart, the object removed and the pipe put back together again. Turn to us for professional drain cleaning!

A Plunger Might Do the Job

For smaller clogs that are closer to the top of the sink or toilet pipe, a plunger will likely get rid of it by itself. Of course, you have to have good technique as well as use a plunger that is designed for the fixture that you are trying to clear.

Typically, a sink plunger will have a simpler design that is essentially a cup on a stick. A toilet plunger will have a flange in addition to the cup that will help to create additional suction. That additional suction is important because you don’t want potentially dirty water splashing back at you.

While you can use a sink plunger on a toilet, it’s generally recommended that you don’t for a couple of reasons. First, the sink plunger may not be strong enough to get rid of a toilet clog. More importantly, you don’t want something that has been in your toilet to also be in a place where you wash your food. Fortunately, a quality plunger can cost as little as $15, which means that you should be able to afford one of each with relative ease.

Add Basic Personal Protective Equipment

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) can help to protect against interacting with needles, contaminated water or fumes. You might interact with fumes if you have a natural gas leak or use a caustic chemical cleaner that is forced back into a given space because it couldn’t unclog your pipe.

At a minimum, you should have rubber gloves strong enough to protect your hands from any hazardous waste you might encounter. You should also have goggles or other gear that can protect your face or other exposed skin.

Wearing clothing that covers your arms, legs and other exposed areas can also provide additional protection. A cheap pair of coveralls or an art smock can also serve as adequate cover that you can put on quickly.

Finally, you might want to consider wearing work boots or other footwear that is capable of standing up to slippery conditions. Proper footwear can also minimize the risk of injury if you drop your wrench or a pipe falls on your toe. A helmet might also be a quality addition to your bag if you’re working in areas where you may hit your head if you stand up in the wrong spot.

Have a Mobile Device in Your Pocket

In an emergency, you don’t have much choice but to figure out what you’re doing as quickly as possible. Having a phone or similar device by your side allows you to access videos or other online content that might be able to show you how to turn off the water or unclog your toilet.

You can also use your device to call a friend or family member for help in the event that they have the experience or knowledge to provide it. Alternatively, you can use your phone to make an emergency call to the local utility or to a local plumbing company to find out what to do.

A phone may also provide you with adequate light while working on a plumbing project. This may be true whether you simply turn it on and use the glow of the screen or use the flashlight feature that most phones come with.

If you are in need of plumbing services in Indianapolis, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Hope Plumbing today! We can also help with gas line installation, tankless water heater installation or various septic tank services to ensure that your home is safe and comfortable throughout the year.

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