What to Do Until We Get There
HELPFUL HINTS FROM THE ST. LOUIS HANDYMAN
Winter in St. Louis can often cause water line brakes. The copper line freezes and the ice causes the pipe to expand and break. Then when it thaws, water starts gushing! Go for the main shut-off valve. It will be the valve that is first out of the foundation, normally a ¾” to 1” copper pipe, typically in the mechanics closet. Clock-wise is off. If the handle is stuck, loosen the packing 1 turn, and try again. If the water does not shut off completely, open the lowest basement sink, or hose bib, and let it run down the drain. In a slab home, tape the toilet handle down and let the water run into the bowl. This will take the excessive water away to a safe area.
When electrical wires short, ground, or burn, it is easy to get fearful. Rule #1 grab a pair of heavy leather gloves, or rubber cleaning gloves and go to the main panel. With your gloves on and your feet flat-footed, not leaning on or touching anything, with one hand, find the large breaker at the top of the panel (normally marked MAIN) and switch it to off. On a fused panel, grab the fuse holder carrier and pull. At this point, if you smell smoke or see fire or sparks, call the St. Louis Fire Department. You may have a fire in the wall. Lets hope not.
Now lets talk about natural gas. We all know the smell. First of all, appliances, water heaters, furnaces, etc. are required by St. Louis codes, to have a shut-off within reaching distance of the unit. Most all shut-off valves are ¼” turn, ball type. Now if this valve breaks, or the leak is before it, go for the gas meter main. Take a good sized adjustable wrench and line-up the rings to the off position. They may be hard to move so be ready to use force, but you can do it. Air out the interior fast, and don’t light-up a cigarette no matter how nervous you are!
Now after the emergency is over, time to call the best handyman in St. Louis!
Andy’s Home and Business Repair. We make YOUR space a better place!