It’s better to be safe than sorry. That saying is true in many aspects of life, including plumbing. As a homeowner, it’s essential to know the difference between minor plumbing issues and urgent problems that need professional attention right away.
A few common reasons for emergency plumbing service include disruptions to the water supply, flooding risks, leaking pipes, overflowing toilets, blocked sewer lines, and water heater malfunctions.
Call an Emergency Plumber if You Experience…
- Lack of water or pressure: The most obvious emergency plumbing scenario is when you don’t have any water coming out of your taps – or the pressure is significantly thrown off. If there are no obvious and safe explanations for this drastic change (such as someone closing the main shut-off valve), then something is definitely wrong and needs to be inspected by a plumber ASAP.
- Potential for flooding: A slow-dripping faucet is annoying but not a huge cause for alarm. When water is uncontrolled and accumulating fast, that’s another story. Flooding can be devastating to your home – damaging the structure, furniture, flooring, walls, insulation, and other personal items. Water reaching the electrical system can cause a short (or worse, electrical shock). Plus, even once the water recedes, there’s the risk of harmful mold growth. The moral of the story: if flooding is possible, shut off the water supply and call a problem immediately.
- Leaking or burst pipe: When a pressurized water supply pipe breaks, it can send gallons upon gallons of water into your home until it is resolved. Since most pipes are concealed behind walls, floors, and ceilings, you may not notice a small leak until it’s too late. At the first sign of a burst pipe, dial a plumber’s number and shut off the water.
- Overflowing toilet: Clogged toilets are one of the most common plumbing problems – and can typically be resolved with a simple plunger. However, if the blockage is so severe that the toilet starts overflowing after a flush, you’re beyond a quick DIY fix. Find the water shutoff behind the toilet and cut off the fresh water supply. Be more careful around water overflowing from the toilet bowl since it could be tainted with sewage and bacteria.
- Water heater malfunction: Many homeowners don’t pay much mind to their tank water heaters – until there’s a problem. There are several ways a water heater can malfunction, but the worst-case scenario is pressure building up and causing the tank to burst. If you notice any bulges in the tank or the pressure relief valve repeatedly releases water on the floor, those are clues that something potentially dangerous is happening inside the water heater.
- Sewer or drain backup: A clogged sewer line (the underground pipe that carries wastewater from the home to the sewage system) can happen seemingly out of the blue, but, in reality, it’s been brewing for a long time. The first signs may be soggy patches on your front lawn or foul odors coming into your home, but eventually, sewage will get backed up or prevent drains from flowing. Before you have a giant mess on your hands, contact a plumber to repair or replace the sewer line.
How to Avoid Emergency Plumbing Service
Though we’re talking about emergencies, you can still do your part to prevent them from happening in the first place. Homeowners should be proactive with plumbing maintenance by regularly inspecting pipes and joints for wear and tear. Don’t hesitate to call a plumber if you spot any leaks or discolored areas on the walls. Additionally, don’t wait to contact a professional if you suspect something is wrong with your plumbing system. If the issue is caught early enough, it can usually be resolved before it turns into an emergency plumbing situation.
Schedule Regular Plumbing System Maintenance
Undoubtedly the best way to avoid plumbing emergencies is to schedule regular plumbing system maintenance. A professional plumber can check for signs of corrosion, blockage, or leaks and make sure the system is running properly. If any issue does arise, they’ll be able to make repairs before it becomes an emergency.
Don’t Flush Unsuitable Items
Believe it or not, a lot of plumbing emergencies can be avoided by taking a few simple steps. For one, avoid flushing items that don’t belong in your plumbing system, like diapers and wipes. Though they advertise as “flushable,” these products often don’t break down like toilet paper, leading to a clogged plumbing system. Furthermore, never pour oil or grease down the kitchen sink as it can build up in the pipes and block wastewater from flowing out.
Don’t Hesitate to Call a Plumber
If you think there may be an issue with your plumbing system, don’t hesitate to call a plumber. The sooner the problem is diagnosed, the easier (and less expensive) it will be to fix. Many people wait until they have an emergency before contacting a plumber, but that often leads to more damage, higher repair costs, and ultimately an even bigger hassle.
Know When You Have a Plumbing Emergency
Knowing when you have an emergency on your hands can save you a lot of time and energy. If your toilet is overflowing, the water heater has burst, or sewage is backing up into the house, shut off the water supply and call for help right away. Don’t try to unclog a drain or tackle repairs yourself, as that could make the problem worse. Instead, let a professional plumber handle the task in a safe and efficient manner.
In a plumbing emergency, time is of the essence. Don’t wait to call a plumber – they’re just a phone call away and can help minimize damage before it becomes too serious. If you’re ever in doubt or suspect something may be wrong with your plumbing system
By understanding when you should call for emergency plumbing services, playing your part in preventive maintenance, and being mindful of what goes down your drains, you can help avoid costly plumbing emergencies and keep your home’s plumbing system in good condition.
Emergency Plumbing Service in The Durham, NC Area
There’s no good time to experience a plumbing problem – they seem to pop up at the worst possible moment. That’s why at Acme Plumbing Co., we offer 24/7 emergency plumbing services to fix issues right away and avert further damage and mess. You can always reach us at (919) 688-1348.