What is Considered a Plumbing Emergency?

What is Considered a Plumbing Emergency?

What is Considered a Plumbing Emergency?

What is Considered a Plumbing Emergency?


Plumbing problems, unfortunately, can strike at any hour.  If it’s the middle of the night and you find yourself mopping toilet water off your bathroom floor, you might be asking yourself: “Is this a plumbing emergency?”  We can help.


When to Call an Emergency Plumber

There are various scenarios with your plumbing that are more severe than normal, but when does a plumbing issue become an emergency problem? The first question you should ask yourself in this situation is “Can this wait?” and “What are the potential consequences if I do wait for repairs?”  Calling an after hours emergency plumber can be expensive, so it’s important to understand whether or not it’s necessary first.  Consider if there are ways to delay the immediate issue, such as capturing small water leaks in a bucket overnight or turning off water supply to overflowing appliances.  However, if waiting would constitute damages to your health or to your property, it’s an emergency.  Here are a few of the most common plumbing emergencies, and what to do about them:


Water Leak

Not all water leaks are an emergency.  Minor leaks that won’t constitute damages to your property can sometimes be managed with a bucket or by shutting off the affected water line until a plumber can be called.  However, if the water leak is substantial, the potential cost of damages to your home will far outweigh the costs of an emergency plumber visit.  Major water leaks can ruin walls, flooring, ceilings, and appliances, as well as create environments for mold growth. In this scenario, it is best to call an emergency service as soon as possible.


Burst Water Pipe

One of the most common (and costly) plumbing emergencies, a burst pipe can lead to major damages to your home as well as huge water bills.  A single burst pipe can release several gallons of water per minute, so this is not something that could be solved with a simple well-placed bucket.  Burst pipes often happen as a result of freezing, so make sure to be extra attentive during cold weather conditions.  If you have a burst pipe, turn off your water main and call an emergency plumber promptly.


Gas Leak

Many homes use natural gas for heating or cooktops, and leaks in these gas lines can pose huge risks.  While natural gas is inherently odorless, many companies add a distinct “rotten egg” or “sulfur” scent to help you detect potential leaks.  If you encounter this smell, it’s best to call 911 first, then contact an emergency plumber.  These gasses can be harmful to your health and even fatal in worst cases, so be sure to pay attention to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.  If the leak is inside the home, disperse any built up gas by opening windows, and then leave the building.  Natural gas leaks also pose a potential fire hazard, so don’t touch electrical outlets or use lighters.  


Toilet Overflow

If water (and possibly waste) are flowing out of your toilet, you’ll need to take immediate action.  Firstly, look for a valve switch on the wall behind the toilet and turn it clockwise; this should turn off the water supply to the toilet.  If that is enough to stop the overflow and you have another toilet you can use in the meantime, you can consider waiting until regular hours to contact your plumber.  However, if you cannot get the overflow to stop, or you only have one toilet available, you’ll need to contact an emergency plumber.


Call Us for your Plumbing Emergency

If you’re having a plumbing emergency, don’t delay in getting a repair.  Here at Mainline Plumbing and Drain, we are experts in emergency plumbing repairs serving Federal Way, Seattle, Tacoma, and the Puget Sound area; if you’re having an after-hours emergency, give us a call at (206) 741-0279 or (253) 303-5595.

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