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Hypothetical disaster of the week: Arm yourself with knowledge

Red Plumbing Valve

Often times, a major plumbing disaster only gets worse when a homeowner attempts to remedy the problem despite being ill-equipped for the job. Instead of contacting a professional Fairfax plumbing service like John C. Flood, these homeowners will attempt to save a buck or two by tackling the project themselves only to end up paying markedly more in the long run to complete a significant repair.

If you have a plumbing problem that runs the risk of quickly escalating into a costly mess, do all you can to have an experienced plumber visit your residence immediately. While you are waiting for the plumber to arrive, however, there are a few things you can do to at least prevent the problem from getting any worse. The most important tool that a homeowner can possess is knowledge, and being aware of the location of all your home's shutoff valves is the most vital information you need to know when it comes to your home's plumbing.

Most of these valves are located in the basement of the house in highly visible areas. Sometimes, though, individual knobs will be hidden behind the panel of a wall near an appliance. Locate and label all of your shutoff valves and make sure everyone in the family is aware of their placement. The most important valve to be knowledgeable of is the main shutoff, which is usually located right near the main line letting water in and out of your house. It may take a little bit of work to twist this valve closed, but it will be extremely helpful in the event of a plumbing disaster.