How long has it been since you had to deal with a plumbing issue? Have you ever had to deal with an urgent plumbing situation? When you've only recently moved out on your own, there's a good chance that you haven't had to deal with any plumbing issues by yourself. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but a lack of preparedness definitely is an issue. Before you have any plumbing issues, it's important to take the following steps to ensure that everything has an outcome that is as good as it can be:
Learn about cut-off valves: Different homes have cut-off valves in different locations. Many houses have the main cut-off valve outside somewhere or in the basement. Although you might know someone with a similar home, there's no guarantee that the shut-off valve is in the same place; a previous plumber may have had to relocate a valve for some reason in the past. When you have water rushing out of a burst pipe or a damaged toilet, you don't want to be taking the time to find this shut-off valve. Find where it is and learn how to use it. If you live in an apartment that doesn't have a shut-off valve that residence can access, you should at least make sure that the cut-off valves for the toilet and sinks can be reached and turned by you.
Research plumbers: When you have a landlord, you'll most likely be going through them to get a plumber to come to your home. This means that you probably won't need to do any research beforehand. If you own your own home, you'll need to know what kind of plumbers are in your area and which one you should call at what time. A commercial-only plumber isn't going to come to your home and an HVAC plumber isn't going to deal with your broken garbage disposal. Depending on the fixtures and appliances in your home, you may need to have the numbers for multiple plumbers ready just in case.
Have cleaning equipment ready: Some people keep the bare minimum of cleaning supplies in the home. They may only buy a new bottle of floor cleaner when the new bottle has been emptied, for instance. But if you own your own home, it's essential to try to keep extra cleaning supplies on hand in the event of a plumbing situation getting out of hand. An overflowing toilet, for instance, will coat your bathroom floor in bacteria-ridden raw sewage. Even before the plumber arrives, you should either be cleaning up the mess or you should at least be able to contain the water so that it doesn't wind up all over your home.