Plumbing disasters are messy, inconvenient and expensive to fix. This is why it's best to avoid them in the first place! While plumbing problems are not uncommon for any home, you might note a few tips on how to avoid outright disasters with your home's plumbing so the pipes and drains are always in good repair and are maintained as needed.
Know where the main shutoff valves are
Turning off the valve that is connected to a toilet or sink might be sufficient for a small repair, but it's best to turn off the main valve to the home's plumbing before performing any major fixes to pipes or drains. This will ensure you don't get surprised by a gush of water, either from a pipe other than the one you're working on or because you make a mistake with your DIY repair job and outright break a pipe.
Take pipes and connectors with you to the store
If you're replacing a pipe in the home, it's good to bring the old one with you to the store and buy one that is exactly the same size and material, with the same bends and curves. Mixing pipe materials or trying to force two pipes to fit together can cause corrosion and resultant leaks, and metal pipes may be harder to cut to size than you realize. You may also use the wrong flanges and other connectors for the pipes, resulting in leaks. If you take the pipe or other pieces with you, however, you can find an exact match and avoid these plumbing disasters.
Know when to call an emergency plumber
You may assume that an emergency plumber should only be called when your home has a broken pipe or if there is no water coming through the taps, but not all plumbing emergencies are this obvious. A toilet that you can't unclog with a plunger may start backing up, depositing sewage onto the bathroom floor. A clogged bathtub can do the same, bringing dirt, sediment and mud up from the drain and into the bathtub. If an overhead pipe is leaking and water is now dripping through the ceiling, the ceiling material may have absorbed quite a bit of water and might be ready to collapse. Whatever the problem, don't put off calling an emergency plumber, but have them address these issues as quickly as possible to avoid the potential for a plumbing disaster in the home.