Elderly woman looking up at a leak in her roof.

Major Water Leak? Here's What to Do

Not all water leaks are created equal. There’s the slight drip that you should take care of when you get a chance, and then there’s the massive deluge that needs to be repaired right away.

Any leak can cause mold given enough time, but major leaks can ruin your floors and your walls.

Follow these steps when your plumbing springs a large leak.

Shut Off The Water

If you come home and find a major water leak, the first thing you'll want to do is turn off the water. Hopefully, you have a valve close to the leak -- such as the toilet or sink shut-off valve. This will allow you to turn off the supply line that's closest to the leak and allow the rest of your plumbing to work like normal. If you can't shut off the smaller supply line, you'll need to shut off your main water line.

You know where that is, right?

Depending on the plumbing configuration in your home, the valve to your main water line could be in the basement, crawl space or just outside of the home. Look for it now so you know where to find it during an emergency.

The valve will either be a lever or a wheel handle.

Lever: Give it ¼ of a turn so that it’s perpendicular to the water pipe.

Wheel handle: Turn it clockwise. It may take two or more full rotations.

You might also find a shut-off valve outside near the water meter either on the side of the house or in the water meter box by the curb.

Familiarize yourself with your plumbing system’s main water line before disaster strikes.

Call A Plumber

After turning off the water so that you stop the leak from pouring more water into your home, you'll want to call a plumber. A professional plumber will have the knowledge and skill to take care of your leak in short order. They have the equipment that's necessary to find and fix the problem quickly. A major water leak that's damaging your house is not a good time to try out your DIY skills so make sure you utilize the services of a professional.

Take Pictures and Call Your Insurance Company

If the leak caused damage to your home, you'll want to file an insurance claim. You'll need to take pictures of the damage before trying to clean up. You should then check with your insurance company. They'll likely send an adjuster to figure up the amount you'll be able to put toward repairs after paying your deductible.


If you're looking for a plumber to fix your leak, be sure to call EJ Plumbing at (650) 513-8852. We offer services in the San Jose area. We're highly rated by the BBB, and we'd be more than happy to fix your leak.
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