We recently covered skills every prepper should know, but some skills are a little more complicated than others. There’s a lot more to plumbing skills than owning a plunger. Here is a basic explanation of the essential plumbing skills every prepper should be able to use.
The most basic skill every person in your home should know (not just Mom and Dad) is how to shut the water off at its source. If your pipes break and water is flooding into your home, you’ve got seconds to shut it off before you have an even bigger disaster on your hands.
Every home’s shutoff valve is located in a different place. You need to know two things:
Where the shutoff valve is
How to operate it (and where the tools to operate it are, if needed)
It’s so simple even a child could (and should) know how to do it.
Here’s a useful tip: write out (or print out) the instructions for how to turn off the water in your home and place it somewhere anyone could find it (like inside the panel for your fuse box).
Fixing Leaky Faucets
Even if you’re not in a post-collapse situation, a leaky faucet can be a huge pain!
Fortunately, they’re really easy to fix. This Old House has a great article on how to stop faucet drips in your home (and it takes less time than you’d think).
Clearing A Toilet
Look, we’re not going to go into detail about why you would need to clear waste back down a toilet in a prepper scenario (we’ll leave that up to your imagination). But basic plunger skills are a must.
This video can show you a technique that can clear just about any clog:
If you want another way to clear a toilet, you can always use warm water and dishwasher soap.
Replacing Broken Pipes
Do you know how to replace sections of broken piping? It’s not as hard as you might think, but it’s always better to know how to do it beforehand.
Here’s a video showing how to replace a broken section of pipe:
Make sure you have the right tools for your home with your emergency storage! (You might also want to include lengths of pipes and a threader if you’ve got the extra cash and room.)
Finding Alternative Water Sources
Knowing how to locate and tap a well can mean providing fresh water for your family.
Where to Learn Plumbing Basics
If you don’t have plumbing experience yourself – or if you don’t know anyone who could show you – don’t worry. There are plenty of resources online that can show you how to learn.
One resource that has some great instructions, videos, and images about plumbing is HowStuffWorks. While you won’t learn EVERYTHING you’ll need to know in case of an emergency, you’ll at least have a basic idea you can work with in case things go wrong.
Here’s a great idea: once you find some good information on plumbing basics, print out a copy and keep it in a survival binder. Then you’ll be able to use it if your power has gone out.
Like any survival skill, you should practice replacing broken pipes, clearing toilets, and turning off your home’s water supply well before any emergency scenario hits. If professional plumbers need lots of experience, so do you and I.
What plumbing tips do you have to share? Are there any tricks we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments!