Did you know indoor plumbing dates all the way back to at least 2500 B.C.? If the Egyptians could do it, you can too. You don’t always have to call a plumber whenever there’s a water issue. Here are three easy ways you can handle your own plumbing.

Turning off your water

Your faucet won’t stop dripping or your toilet suddenly overflows. The water bill could be a nightmare if your local plumber isn’t around to help. But fortunately, you can help yourself by turning off the water. For toilets and sinks, there’s a shutoff valve you can turn clockwise in order to turn it off.

If you need to shut off all the water, there’s a simple way to do that too. All you do is locate the water meter, remove the cover, and turn the shutoff valve 90 degrees. This can be done with either a wrench or a cutoff key. The meter is usually buried in the ground near the street, or on the side of your home. If you still can’t find it, call your utility company, and they’ll help you out.

Turning off your water heater

Maybe you’ve noticed your water heater leaking. Perhaps it’s overheating. We can’t always get water heater repair instantly, so here’s how you can turn it off. If you have a gas heater, turn the gas supply knob to off. If it’s an electric heater, remove the fuse powering the water heater, or flip the circuit breaker. If you just want to turn off the water to it, you can turn the shutoff valve on the cold water supply pipe clockwise.

Fixing a leaky pipe

Not every leaky pipe requires professional plumbing help. There are two ways you can fix this and save yourself a call. All you need is either an epoxy putty or a pipe repair clamp. They can be found in most home improvement stores. First thing you need to do is locate the leak. Once you’ve found it, make sure your water is turned off, as discussed in the first tip. Dry off the pipe, knead the putty together, and put it around the pipe. Let it set for awhile, and then test the water to see if the leak is gone.

If you’re more comfortable using a piping clamp, this fix is just as simple. After you’ve found the leak and turned off the water, loosen the screws on the pipe repair clamp. Position your repair clamp and tighten the screws. Make sure the rubber gasket is against the leak. Once you’ve done that, test the water to see if the leak is gone. If the pipe damage looks more serious, plumbing service may be required to replace it.

Now you can handle some common water issues without calling a nearby plumber. These temporary fixes will save you a lot of time and money. You can feel good knowing that you can take care of your plumbing issues when you need to.