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Plumbing Emergencies & Water Problems

Okay, Water is pouring out of the Dishwasher or a Tap has Burst -- what to do, what to do??

Go to the Furnace Room (Utility Room). Shut Off the Main Water Valves. Turn the Valve Clockwise (to the Right) to Shut them off.

The Main Water Shut-Off Valves look like Large Levers (often Red and Yellow) or in an older home, the Round Knob Handles. They're usually on an Angled Pipe.

The Lever is Open when it is Flush with the Pipe in a Vertical Position.

The Lever is Closed when it is in a Horizontal Position to the Pipe.

Call your Plumber.


See the Yellow Lever? That's the Main Water Shutoff Valve.

And now for the Toilet... did you see the Bernie Mac (one of my favorite shows!) Episode where Wanda discovers the Toilet Overflowing? It's every woman's worst nightmare (or one of the worst!)...

Well, I can never watch anything without linking it back to my Site in some way, so I immediatley asked Dwight to please show me how to deal with that... so here are some lovely pictures of the Toilet.

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Okay, there's the Toilet. And there's the pipe at the Base of it. See the little Lever? (Photo 2) All you have to do is Turn the Lever Clockwise (To the Right) until it's Horizontal (closed). (Photo 3)

Now you will probably still have a bunch of yucky water to clean up, but at least you'll have stopped any more water from coming out. Now you can call your Plumber!


We had that crazy Rain & Hail Storm in Calgary a while ago, and a lot of homes were Flooded, many of them because of those annoyink Window Wells. Those things drive me up the wall, but they are often necessary if you have a Window that comes below the Ground Level of your Basement. Some nut put one in out here at our house on one of the few days when I wasn't on the jobsite, and when I came out and saw it, I had Dwight fill it in completely and tamp down the ground. It was completely unnecessary, since the Window was above the Ground Level, and the area around that window gently slopes away from the house specifically to allow the rain to flow away from the house, then Dwight has put in a fairly fancy Drainage System outside of the Walk-Out Level, so everything is very safe for water around here.

Quick Tip: If you have a Window Well (those metal things around a basement window), make sure when the weather is nice that you have proper drainage from it. Most New Home Builders are very careful with putting in Drainage Pipes and lots of Gravel in them, but if you have an older home, be sure that you don't suffer Water Damage by the Window Well clogging and filling up with water, which can be too much weight for the Window to manage, then the water will come into the house, and you don't want that.

You know how I would manage that? I don't know if this is the technical way (I talked to Dwight about it, but he was really droning on and on, so I decided just to tell you my idea! ha,ha!), but I would have three pipes with holes in them (Weeping Tile) put into a trench in front of the Window Well. I would cut three holes in the Well Metal, and put a mesh covering over each hole -- fine enough mesh that water can get through it, but not dirt. The reason I would put three pipes in instead of one is because if one pipe happens to fail (because debris gets stuck in it and causes the water to fill up in the Window Well), that still would leave you with two other possible exits for the water. Those seem like better Odds to me! And at the very least, put a good solid layer of gravel in the Base of the Window Well to help the Water drain away.

You can Build a Dry Well -- a large trough, if you will, filled with a layer of gravel, weeping tiles (big pipes with holes in them), then a whole lot more gravel. The hole is then covered with soil and incorporated into your normal Landscaping. We have a Dry Well at the back of our Walk-Out Area, just in case.

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Home Safety - Gas Safety - Plumbing Emergencies - Water Problems - Flooding - Electrical Safety - Power Utility Bills

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