Cornel's Tips and Tricks

Five Plumbing Emergency Tips & Tricks

When plumbing issues strike, no one expects you to be a Journeyman plumber, but being prepared for making the best of a bad situation is sometimes the most you can do! Knowing a few plumbing tips and tricks can can go a long way. So here they are!

Five Plumbing Emergency Tips & Tricks

  1. You may or may not know where your water shut off valve is for your home and this is definitely the most important when it comes to leaks. Most homes have one in their garage or crawl space for “easy access”. In the event that you need the water off and are not sure where the valve in your garage or crawlspace is, the main water shut off is located in a box at the edge of your property, closest to the sidewalk. Know where it is, and have a meter key ready for when a leak springs. You need a basic meter key. Like the one linked here! It is also a good idea to make sure that the box is clear of dirt so that when you go to turn the water off there are no obstructions!
  2. Every fixture in your home has something called an angle stop, or isolation valve. Angle stops are primarily under your sinks and next to your toilets and bidets. They can be turned on and off to isolate issues in your plumbing system. Water leaking from your faucet or toilet? Turn the angle stops counter clockwise (Righty Tighty Lefty Lossey) to stop the flow of water.
  3. A popular tool to have in your plumbing kit alongside your meter key is a slip-joint plier. They are great for a wide range of plumbing tasks, and when you have one handy you’ll be thankful you did. Don’t have one handy? Pick one up here before you need it!
  4. A lot of leaks that come from your fixtures, whether that be your kitchen sink, bathroom sink or toilet come from a common area. The supply tube. This tube is connected to your angle stop and leads to your actual faucet. When your supply tube leaks its a good idea to have a couple of compression caps in a drawer. You can pick up a few here. Use them with your slip joint pliers to tighten them on after shutting the water off on your angle stop. After they are tighten slowly open the valve and check for leaks. Keep in mind this is only a temporary fix.
  5. Another great thing to have in case of an emergency is Teflon Tape. Teflon Tape does wonders. You can use it to fix tons of leaks in your plumbing system. Wrap it on top of the threads of your angle stops 3-5 times before re installing your supply tubes to fix leaking supply tubes. You can also wrap it on the treads that your shower head connects to for fixing that leaking shower head. Don’t have any Teflon tape? Pick some up here.

We hope that these tips and tricks will help you in the future! Most of the time plumbing issues can be fixed by the average do it yourself home owner, but if you don’t think you can do it on your own, give Cornel’s Plumbing a call at


We are your local Portland Metro Area plumbers. Here to help!