Plumbing problems are part and parcel of every homeowner’s life.  Sometimes you wake up to a blocked toilet, and at other times, you can’t catch a wink of sleep due to gurgling pipes. And because it’s difficult to pinpoint one culprit in such plumbing issues, we recommend contacting a professional plumber to fix the problem once and for all. Not to forget, some plumbing problems require immediate attention, and that’s when you’ll need an emergency plumber.

However, emergency plumbing usually comes at a premium cost, especially on weekends and holidays. Hence, you must know when a plumbing problem is serious enough to call an emergency plumber.

What Is A Plumbing Emergency?

To determine whether a particular plumbing issue is an emergency or not, ask yourself the following questions… 

1. Will Ignoring The Problem At The Moment Cause More Damage?

For instance, in the case of leaks, you could strategically place some buckets to collect waste water, temporarily fix the leakage with a sealant, and so on. However, for how long can you DIY your way through these plumbing issues? 

Sometimes, ignoring a leakage could spell more drainage issues and pile up repair expenses. It could also cause significant structural damage to your house. So, ask yourself if the plumbing issue you’re facing has the ability to escalate before contacting an emergency plumber.

2. Can You Turn The Fixture Off?

If you can locate the shut-off valve of the malfunctioning fixture, the plumbing issue can definitely wait. Or you could turn off the main water line if you’re unable to contact any plumbers at the moment. 

However, if the leak is flooding the floor or the drainage pipes are reeking of an unbearable smell, it’s high time you call an emergency plumber. 

3. Is The Malfunctioning Plumbing Fixture A Necessity?

If you have one bathroom with a clogged toilet, you obviously need an emergency plumber to fix the issue so that everyone can use it again. But if you have multiple bathrooms and one of them has a clogged toilet, blocked bath, or a faulty water heater, you can wait and contact a regular plumber instead. 

We further recommend taping a note on the bathroom or kitchen door to prevent anyone from using it unintentionally and creating a mess!

4. How’s The Weather?

For instance, it’s a hot summer day, and for some odd reason, you turn on the water heater, only to have it malfunctioning. Then, you can obviously wait or even check the heater yourself before contacting a plumber.

But if it’s chilly outside and you need to take a shower, lack of hot water is definitely an emergency plumbing issue.

5. Is It Your Responsibility To Fix The Plumbing Issue?

Sometimes fixing a plumbing issue may be the responsibility of the city or municipality’s water supply. Hence, you wouldn’t be able to get it fixed even if you wanted to. As such, the authorities will fix the plumbing at no cost to you.

5 Plumbing Problems That Need An Emergency Plumber

1. Overflowing Toilet

This one is no secret- an overflowing toilet disrupts the daily routine of the household while being a sore sight. Also, if not fixed immediately, it can invite harmful bacteria and germs, posing a threat to you and your loved ones’ health. 

The first thing you do here is let the toilet tank get empty, and not flush it again. This will prevent the overflow for some time while the emergency plumber is on his way. You could even try using a plunger, but in most cases, an overflowing toilet requires a professional fix with a drain snake or a hydro-jet.

2. Sewer Backing Up

Much like a clogged toilet, sewer backing up is also a health hazard. And you can’t run water for your daily activities, which is a major inconvenience. Hence, it’s best to call an emergency plumber as soon as you notice the sewer backing up.

3. Multiple Clogged Drains

Usually, a single clogged drain can be handled with a plunger or a DIY mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Or, if you notice the blockage at night, you are safe to wait until regular business hours to contact a plumber.

But, in the case of multiple clogged drains, you might have a damaged sewer system. This means that multiple plumbing fixtures may malfunction, thereby disturbing your daily routine. 

Moreover, if you ignore the issue at hand, it could end up being a more expensive fix. 

4. Lack Of Water Pressure And No Hot Water

Slow flowing water indicates a leaking or damaged pipe. Again, your basic work in the kitchen and bathroom is interrupted, and a lot of water gets wasted. 

Similarly, even a leak in the water heater or a malfunctioning heat exchanger in a tankless system requires immediate attention. So, make sure you call an emergency plumber as soon as you notice such issues. 

5. Burst Pipes

Burst pipes are often caused due to extremely low temperatures. The pipes or spigots may get frozen, causing them to expand and crack. Once the temperature is back to normal, the cracked pipes can end up flooding, which is a dangerous situation. 

Hence, when you notice a burst pipe, the first thing to do is shut off the valves as a preventative measure. Then, you can call up a reputed emergency plumbing company, and they’ll take it from there. 

Final Words

Besides knowing when to call an emergency plumber, we encourage you to learn about preventative measures for different plumbing issues. Getting regular inspections, for instance, is an effective way to avoid problems from recurring.

Further, you must know where the shut-off valve is located for various fixtures. You could also practice minor repairs like fixing leaky faucets and blocked drains. But for all other issues, calling an emergency plumber, despite the costs, is the best way to go!

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