There are situations when access to water is crucial for survival. This is especially true when natural disasters hit large areas. However, “no water” emergencies should not be taken lightly even when everything else is fine and you just don’t have water in your office or home. “No water” emergencies can be caused by many different things. Sometimes problems which are seemingly simple and small like closed shut-off valve or blocked/clogged faucet can lead to this problem. In some cases, larger problems like plumbing issues or water leaks can leave you without access to water. Even though the number of causes to “no water” emergencies is high, the methods to troubleshoot these emergencies are high too.
To start, you must check all the locations in your office or home where you have access to water. Check the outdoor faucets, the basement, the bathroom and the kitchen and see whether there is access to water in some of these places. You must be sure that you don’t have water in any place of the home. You should run both cold and hot water in case you don’t have hot water, maybe the water heater is broken. If only one or two faucets are affected, take the end of these faucets, remove them and inspect the aerators and clean them if necessary.
The next step is to check the water shut off valves and the pressure reducing valve. You can easily locate the pressure reducing valve because it looks like a bell and it is usually placed where the pipes enter your home/office. A broken or malfunctioning PRV must be replaced. After that, check the main shut-off valve which is usually situated close to the PRV. Sometimes it can be found close to the water meter in a box. Even if it is turned for half an inch, this can shut off water in your home. So, move it and make sure that is open.
In cases of such emergencies, it is highly recommended to identify water leaks. You can start by visiting all the bathrooms. Leaking and running toilets are one of the causes of water leaks. If you want to be sure that your toilet is not leaking, you should add some food coloring in the tank and wait for about one hour. If the toilet bowl has stains, then your toilet is broken and must be repaired.
If you are using a water well pump system then you should look for other sources of problems too. For instance, you can check the power because as we all know these systems need access to electricity. If the system is relatively new and you are experiencing no water emergency then you can also inspect the wiring and installation. Finally, you must be sure that the control box is working properly and in order to do this you must take a close look at what is going inside the box.
Troubleshooting “no water” emergencies is not a difficult task, but if you can’t identify the problem or you need help fast, don’t hesitate to call a plumbing expert.