It’s all too easy to take your household plumbing for granted. You use it every day for years until suddenly it malfunctions—usually at the worst time. A plumbing problem can be extremely inconvenient, not to mention costly. In the case of a minor inconvenience, you may be able to wait for professional help, but if you’re faced with a plumbing emergency, you should call for an appointment now!
Here’s how to find out whether your plumbing problem is an emergency:
Do I Call an Emergency Plumber?
Before you pick up the phone to call your plumber at 3 AM, there are a few things that may influence whether you call now or wait:
Calling an emergency plumber is more expensive than scheduling a visit during normal working hours, but sometimes the cost is called for, especially if further damage may occur if you ignore the issue. Indicators that you need help now include:
- Drains that are stopped up and not letting water through
- Water showing up on the floor with no known source
- The smell of rotten eggs that could indicate a gas leak
- Leaking water heater
Ask yourself: Does the benefit of immediately getting the problem resolved outweigh the potential cost if it goes left unchecked?
There’s no doubt that a plumbing problem can cause inconveniences, but how bad are they? Does the issue just put a wrench in your everyday routine, or does it make any part of the system or your appliances completely unusable? If it’s the former, it’s time to call a plumber.
Does this issue pose a risk to your or your family’s health? Could it cause damage to items of value on your property? Some plumbing problems can cause waste to enter your home; gas to leak and increase the danger of fires; poisonous carbon monoxide to be released into your living space; or standing water to damage property like floors, cabinets, walls, and belongings. What is the problem looking like right now?
While a plumbing problem may not pose a risk to your home or health right away, could it become a risk if left unchecked? How quickly might this happen? If you feel that your plumbing issue is likely to become damaging to you, your family, or your property in a short period of time, it’s wise to seek the help of a plumber immediately.
Similarly, if your faulty system is simply unusable, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible. You shouldn’t need to go without your plumbing functioning for days while waiting for an appointment.
Common Plumbing Emergencies
There are several plumbing problems that commonly affect homeowners and may turn into emergencies:
1. A Backed-Up Toilet
A backed-up toilet is usually easily remedied if caught right away, but if plunging isn’t working or the problem lies deeper in the pipes, it can quickly get out of hand and has the potential to fill your bathroom—and possibly your home—with waste. If you can’t get control of the issue yourself, call a professional before the raw sewage has a chance to damage your bathroom, home, and health.
Get help with your toilet clog HERE.
2. A Leaking Water Heater
Many water heater problems are noticeable before they become serious. You may hear banging or clanging, or you might not have enough hot water coming out of your taps. A leaking hot water heater is something you should get remedied right away. It will most likely lead to property damage if left unchecked. Don’t be fooled thinking that a leaking water heater in your garage won’t damage your home. Water can spew like it’s being fired from a water gun and damage your property.
Get help with your leaky water heater HERE.
3. Burst or Leaking Pipes
Just like your water heater, leaking pipes can wreak havoc on your home. A small drip from a faucet can wait until a plumber can make an appointment during the day, but burst pipes are no joke. This seriously damaging plumbing emergency can do extensive damage rapidly. If you suspect you have a burst pipe, get help now!
If you experience a burst water pipe, it’s important to call a plumber immediately. Get burst pipe repair HERE.
4. Sewer Backup
Another extremely damaging plumbing emergency, a sewer backup always calls for a professional. Signs that can point to a clogged sewer line are:
- Multiple drains backing up
- Odd smells
- Toilets gurgling when flushing
- Pools of water
If you see these, reach out to a plumber before your problem becomes an emergency.
Get help with a sewer backup HERE.
Pro Tip: Don’t use chemicals to clear stopped-up drains. Most of the products sold for drains are meant for maintenance and can be caustic and damage piping if left to sit in stopped-up lines.
What to Do If You Have a Plumbing Emergency
Step 1: Turn Off the Water or Gas
If you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency like a burst pipe or clogged toilet, the number one thing you should do is turn off the water or gas. Find out where shutoff valves are now, so you don’t have to run around during an emergency, trying to figure it out. Everyone in the family should know where to find it and how to use it in the event of a plumbing problem. If you need help in shutting down the system before the plumber can arrive, your utility company or city utility department may be able to help get you shut off.
Step 2: Clear the Area
Next, move all your furniture and belongings out of the way of a water or sewer emergency to prevent damage. If you suspect a gas leak, open up the home to get air inside and keep it well ventilated. Do not stay in the home if you suspect a dangerous situation.
Step 3: Call a Plumber
Even if you’re not sure whether you have a plumbing emergency on your hands, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. They are trained to assess the situation and help in any way possible. They can answer any questions you have as they advise you on whether or not you are experiencing an emergency. Their advice will put you in a much better position to decide how soon you need to remedy the problem and options you may have to fix the issue.
A plumbing emergency can be a frustrating experience, but it’s important to know that expert technicians are on your side. If you’re not sure whether you need a professional out to your house immediately, call a reliable company for advice. Explain your situation fully, any worries of it potentially worsening, and they can help you with your next steps.
If you are experiencing a plumbing emergency or aren’t sure if you need a professional, give C&W Plumbing a call! We’ve been handling the emergency plumbing repairs of the homeowners of North Texas for 20 years, and we offer 24/7 emergency service for even those late-night disasters. Give us a call whenever you need us at 972-395-2597.
Latest posts by Chris Edmonds (see all)
- C&W Plumbing Earns 2019 Angie’s List Super Service Award - February 7, 2020
- Easy DIY: How to Replace a Toilet Handle - December 23, 2019
- 4 Remodeling Trends to Bring New Life to Your Bathroom - December 11, 2019