Plumbing problems can occur at any time, unfortunately. While certain plumbing issues can wait a day or two before being addressed, other problems require immediate attention.
These plumbing emergencies can be serious and could cause significant damage to your home and even harm your health. However, there are many issues that can happen within a plumbing system, and it could be tough to determine what’s a plumbing emergency and what’s not. Thus, it begs the question, “When should you consider it a plumbing emergency?”
However, the more important question to answer is what to do in a plumbing emergency. Here is what every property owner should know when it comes to plumbing emergencies.
When is Your Plumbing Issue Considered an Emergency?
1. Leaky Faucets
The sound of a leaky faucet alone, especially at night, is enough to drive you up the wall. Leaks are a frequent plumbing emergency, particularly in houses with original or older fixtures. It’s because various faucet parts can deteriorate or become loose over time.
Although a leaky faucet might not initially seem like a plumbing problem, even a small amount of water can result in significant issues in the future; leaky faucets are known to create problems such as mold, rust, and increased water bills.
2. Clogged Sinks
Nobody wants to turn on the faucet in their bathroom or kitchen only to witness the water level rising beyond normal. It’s a common indication that you have a clogged sink.
A small clog will make the sink drain slowly, but a severe clog prevents water from properly draining. Clogged sinks are serious plumbing issues since they greatly disrupt your daily activities, including cooking, cleaning, and basic hygiene.
3. Clogged Toilets
Toilets are the most frequently used plumbing fixtures in an average household, which means they are subject to daily wear and tear. Once the toilet encounters problems, it is most likely due to a clog.
Clogs can be caused by various factors, such as flushing non-flushable objects or attempting to flush something bigger than the toilet can handle. Clogged toilet signs include refusal to flush, overflowing, and a persistently high water level. While minor or shallow clogs can usually be resolved at home using a plunger, a licensed plumber should handle major or deep clogs.
4. No Hot Water
Experiencing the unpleasant surprise of icy-cold water gushing out when you turn on the shower is likely an occurrence you’d prefer not to endure again. Water heater problems, a burst pipe, or an electrical problem typically cause insufficient hot water.
Because we often use hot water in our regular activities, a malfunctioning water heater is definitely a cause for concern. In case of this plumbing emergency, it’s best to contact your local plumber instead of attempting to fix it yourself.
5. Water Heater Leakage
As your water heater ages, it becomes increasingly susceptible to leaks and dripping. If you observe a pool of water beneath the water heater, notice water trickling from the adjacent pipes, or hear dripping sounds from the heater, you probably have a leaky water heater. Once the water heater creates a leak, the wasted water can gradually elevate your water bills, making it crucial to seek emergency repairs immediately.
6. Pipe Rupture
Pipe ruptures are most commonly encountered during winter once water freezing inside your pipes expands and leads to cracks. Nevertheless, various other factors can also contribute to a pipe bursting, such as aging pipes or those composed of specific materials.
A burst pipe qualifies as a plumbing emergency due to the potential for substantial damage caused by the water gushing out. If you detect damp areas on your walls or experience an abrupt, significant rise in your utility bill, be sure to contact us immediately!
7. Running Toilet
Is the sound of continuous water flow coming from your toilet? If it is, chances are you have a running toilet. While a running toilet won’t cause damage to your house, it can significantly increase your utility bills. A running toilet can consume up to 200 gallons of water per day.
Typically, running toilets are induced by a worn-out flapper valve, which lets water flow freely from your tank into your toilet. Sometimes, sediment buildup can also be responsible for running toilets, especially if you live in a place with hard water. To prevent water wastage, it’s advisable to have a plumber inspect the toilet, identify the problem, and provide necessary repairs.
8. Blockage in Garbage Disposal
A garbage disposal device enables you to dispose of food waste through the drain in the kitchen sink. Not all residential areas have garbage disposals, and those without are more susceptible to clogged kitchen sinks. Nevertheless, even garbage disposals can occasionally get clogged.
Clogged garbage disposals are often the result of putting non-organic waste into the disposal, operating it without water, or grinding fibrous and tough materials such as potato skins or corn husks. If the disposal no longer grinds food, fails to turn on, or emits unusual sounds, it’s crucial to have an emergency plumber check it for damage.
9. Deteriorated Plumbing Fixtures
Plumbing fixtures have a limited lifespan and eventually wear out, reducing functionality. Showerheads, faucets, handles, valves, and fixtures should be periodically replaced to maintain the smooth operation of your home’s plumbing system. The older these fixtures become, the more susceptible they are to breaks, water leaks, and water wastage.
10. Sewer System Blockage
For most homeowners, a backed-up sewer is a complete nightmare. Sewer problems can result in raw sewage backing into your house via various drains, such as the bathtub, toilet, and kitchen sink. It’s an unpleasant and unsanitary situation! Backed-up sewers are considered plumbing emergencies due to the serious health and safety risks they pose, not to mention the mess they create.
11. Foul Odors from Sewage
If you detect an unpleasant odor in the water once you turn on a faucet, it’s a reason for concern. A sewage smell typically indicates an issue with the septic system, sump pump, or other plumbing parts. When the sewer is backed up, it’s just a matter of time before the excess water enters your home. You can use your toilets, showers, or sinks once the sewer line is repaired. It’s important to contact an emergency plumber to address these issues and avoid attempting to fix them yourself, as it can be extremely hazardous to your health.
12. Sump Pump Failure
A sump pump safeguards your home from floods if you reside in a region with heavy rainfall. Sump pumps eliminate rainwater that enters your basement and crawlspace. Thus, the most apparent indication of a sump pump malfunction is water in your crawlspace or basement.
Additional common signs of sump pump failures include unusual sounds, inconsistent operation, and damp areas on dry walls. Given that sump pumps work harder during rainy conditions, it is crucial not to postpone addressing sump pump issues. Otherwise, your home will sustain water damage.
Fortunately, if you know the warning signs, you can contact our plumbers before the situation worsens. Inform us if you detect a sewage odor from the drains, multiple clogged drains, or toilets making gurgling sounds.
What To Do In A Plumbing Emergency
During an emergency, it is normal to panic. That is why being prepared in advance will enable you to take action and lessen the damage to your house. We suggest having the contact information of an emergency plumber readily available so that you don’t have to look for one while managing a flooding toilet.
It’s best to prepare before a disaster by looking for a reliable emergency plumber, like us at Shelton Plumbing, whom you can contact in case of plumbing emergencies. Nevertheless, here is what to do in a plumbing emergency.
Step 1: Turn off the water – The most effective course of action in a plumbing emergency is to halt the water supply. Remember that most water valves require clockwise rotation to turn them off.
Step 2: Call a professional – When the water is turned off, contact your plumber and inform them about the emergency. They’ll guide you on the subsequent steps, including any measures you can take to mitigate the issue before their arrival. If they advise you to evacuate your house due to safety concerns, complying and seeking shelter at a neighbor’s residence is important until they arrive.
Step 3: Switch off the water heater – This step applies only if you have a water heater and are facing a major emergency. Shut off the water heater to prevent damage to the unit, such as bursting and overheating. If you have a gas water heater, turn off the gas supply first.
Step 4: Address minor leaks – If you can determine small leaks that aren’t overly hazardous, place buckets and old towels near them to mitigate more water damage. Please take note of the locations with leaks and inform your plumber about them upon their arrival.
Contact Us At Shelton Plumbing
When you find yourself in a situation involving a plumbing emergency, it is crucial to depend on the services of a professional plumbing company for emergency plumbing repair.
A qualified professional like us at Shelton Plumbing will thoroughly inspect the relevant areas for concealed damages and promptly address repairs within 24 hours of your call!