What to Do If You Need Emergency Plumbing Services
Most people who are not professional plumbers would rather not deal with plumbing issues, but there’s a range of homeowner reaction to certain situations. A fit, sturdy individual with good DIY skills may feel confident handling such tasks as replacing a leaky faucet or even installing a bathroom sink. On the other extreme of the plumbing comfort zone continuum are those who are reluctant to use a plunger. What the first type may consider no big deal would have the second type on the phone to their plumber’s 24-hour emergency line.
Of course, we at Adams and Son Plumbing are ready to provide the services of our team of master plumbers in all situations. Yet, we know that calling an emergency plumber can be costly. Our April 2018 blog post – “Got a Plumergency?” provides national average costs for specific types of emergency repairs. Being able to tell the difference between an issue that can wait until the next business day and an emergency can save money. However, emergency situations can cause extensive property damage and dangerous, unhygienic conditions, in addition to leaving important fixtures – like toilets – inoperable.
Here’s a point we need to emphasize. No matter how experienced you are in DIY plumbing projects, a plumbing emergency requires repair by a professional as soon as possible! Do not attempt an emergency repair yourself. Further damage could result. Be sure you know where the main water shut-off valve is located on your property, as well as how to turn off the water heater.
Five things that are considered plumbing emergencies
Now that we’ve covered the dangers of false economy in not making an emergency call, here are the leading types of plumbing emergencies, provided by our colleagues at MAC Plumbing and Heating in American Fork, Utah, and the good folks at Experts In Your Home.
1. Water Leak – Obviously, if you wake up to a foot of water in your home, it’s an emergency situation. A burst pipe is one big reason for major water damage. Shut the water off to your house immediately and call a plumber. Once water saturates drywall or the floor, it can cause irreversible damage.
Nevertheless, other issues can be harder to determine. Water may be leaking into areas where you can’t see it easily. Even a small leak can cause plenty of damage and waste many gallons of water. Trace the source of the water as best you can. Feel walls to see if they are wet. Check your flooring – especially if you have carpeting – to see how wet it is. Look all around the outside of your home for large amounts of water. Listen to see if you can hear water flowing. If you see or feel large amounts of water, you have an emergency.
2. Blocked Drain – If you can unclog the sink or tub/shower drain yourself, great! But if not, that blockage could cause water to back up in other parts of the house and cause a flood. Call for a professional plumber to remedy the situation. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and hassle by avoiding a worse situation than one clogged pipe.
3. Clogged Toilet – If you only have one toilet in the house, not being able to use it for the weekend or several hours is not really an option. If you cannot unclog it yourself, be sure the water to it is turned off, the lid is down and that everyone in the house knows not to try and flush it again which could cause it to overflow. Call a plumber immediately to get rid of the clog and avert a messy disaster if the toilet overflows.
Even if you have more than one toilet, leaving the clogged fixture unrepaired will quickly cause unsanitary, unhealthy conditions in your home. It’s still an emergency.
4. Broken or Leaking Hot Water Heater – If the hot water heater is leaking, it’s a major problem. There is no way to contain that much water and keep it cleaned up. Shut the water off to the house and immediately call a plumber. If the unit is not leaking but not heating water, then it’s your call. Is everyone fine with cold showers in the morning or for the weekend? If not, call for emergency repair.
Our September 2019 blog post – “Why Does My Hot Water Never Last Long Enough?” – provides a troubleshooting guide to common hot water heater problems and how to recognize when “trouble” constitutes an emergency.
5. Backed-up Sewer Line – If the backyard is suddenly a swamp and there is a bad odor, your sewer is probably backing up. It’s only a matter of time before the excess water finds its way into your house – and possibly even the neighbors’ homes! You cannot use the toilet, sinks or showers until the sewer line is fixed, so call for a plumber immediately.
Our May 2019 blog post – “The Importance of Maintaining a Clean Sewer” – provides valuable tips on proactive steps you can take to prevent damage to sewer pipes that eventually lead to burst pipes and expensive replacement. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
While you can’t predict when a plumbing emergency will strike, you can count on prompt, professional emergency service from Adams and Son Plumbing. We are a family-owned business with over 50 years in plumbing service. A state-certified plumbing contractor, we have over three generations of master plumbing experience.
Contact us to learn more, and to schedule maintenance, as well as repairs of minor problems to prevent emergencies.