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Is It a Plumbing Emergency?

Knowing how to identify plumbing emergencies can save you thousands.

If you have something going on with your home’s plumbing system that requires immediate attention, it’s crucial to take action right away. First, you need to know what constitutes an emergency.

While all plumbing situations can vary by severity, there are some common plumbing problems that we see all the time. Some are emergencies that should be taken care of immediately. Some issues are less urgent and can at least wait until the next business day to call in a professional.

Considering that water damage can cause thousands of dollars in damage, when in doubt – call a plumber.

Here are some of the most typical plumbing issues and how they rate:

Clogged Sink or Toilet

A clogged toilet or sink isn’t necessarily a plumbing emergency. However, it can quickly become an emergency in cases where it leads to the entire plumbing system getting clogged. Any clogs should be fixed quickly to avoid further plumbing complications and expense. Depending on the severity of your clog, you may have an emergency on your hands, or you might be able to schedule an appointment with your plumber during normal business hours to get it fixed.

Clogged toilets are one of the most common plumbing issues – probably because they are one of the most used plumbing fixtures. Clogs can be caused by a variety of issues from a worn out commode to flushing items not meant to be flushed. If your toilet will not flush, is overflowing, or has a high water level that won’t go down, you have a problem. Small clogs can be taken care of with a plunger. Major clogs, ones that are very deep or consistently an issue, should be handled by a licensed plumber. If your toilet isn’t working at all, most of us would consider that an emergency!

If you have a slow draining sink it’s inconvenient. However, a serious clog will prevent the sink from draining any water at all. If your clogged sink is seriously affecting your daily ability to wash, clean or cook, then it has graduated to emergency status.

Running Toilet

A running toilet isn’t really an emergency, but it does waste a tremendous amount of water so get it fixed soon. In fact, a running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water every day.

Leaking Faucet

Beyond being super annoying to listen to, a leaky faucet can lead to a big problem. Leaking faucets can cause water damage, mold and rust, and high water bills.

If you have a leaking or dripping sink or tub faucet, it’s not considered an emergency. Unless something unusual is also happening with your plumbing, these issues can wait. But don’t wait too long. Make an appointment with your plumber at a time that fits both your schedules.

No Hot Water

Experiencing no hot water is caused by a problem with your hot water heater, a burst pipe, or it could be an electrical issue. Your hot water heater could be done and need replacement. No hot water is definitely a plumbing emergency that should be looked at and fixed immediately.

Clogged Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are great assistance with meal cleanup. However, they are also commonly abused appliances and can become clogged. Never put non-organic waste, oil, bones or other tough and fibrous materials down a garbage disposal. If your disposal will no longer grind food, makes frightening sounds when you turn it on, or won’t turn on at all, you should call a plumber to inspect it right away. Particularly if it is making terrible noises or won’t turn on, it’s considered a plumbing emergency.

Leaking Hot Water Heater

Once a hot water heater is older, they become prone to leaks and drips. If you notice drips or a puddle of water under the heater, it should be considered a plumbing emergency. Get a professional in right away to inspect it and solve the problem. While it could be a leaky valve that can be repairs, it could be something more serious that requires complete replacement.

Leaking hot water heaters are nothing to mess with. If your hot water heater bursts, it can pump hundreds of gallons of water into your home in minutes!

Poor Performing or Worn Out Fixtures

Plumbing fixtures don’t last forever. When they wear out, they don’t work like they used to. Fixtures such as faucets, shower heads, handles and valves should be replaced when they stop working well. Ignoring these signs will lead to larger problems such as water leaks, breaks, and wasted water. While not an emergency, put these repairs on the short list.

Burst Pipes

An obvious emergency – burst pipes are typically caused by water freezing inside them, expanding the pipe and cracking it open. There are other possibilities as well such as poor installation, old or worn out pipes, or damage to plumbing. The water spilling from a burst pipe is enough indication of the emergency, and can cause serious damage to your home. Call your plumber immediately.

Backed Up Sewer Line

We saved the worst for last. There’s probably not much worse than a backed up sewer system. When raw sewage is coming back into your home through your plumbing, it’s an emergency! Not only are these problems disgusting, but they are also dangerous to the health and safety of inhabitants.

If you notice foul sewer odors from your drains, several clogged drains or excessive gurgles in your toilet, call a plumber right away to head off a more serious issues.

Concerns? Contact Gelinas HVAC for Professional Plumbing Services

If you have any plumbing fixture or parts not working properly, or that concern you at all, it warrants a call to a professional plumbing service like Gelinas HVAC. We’re happy to come inspect your plumbing and let you know what the best approach is to correct any problem.