Picture this: You’re in bed late at night. You’re just about to drift off to sleep when, all of a sudden, you hear it: faint noises of water dripping through your home. This is a standard prelude to a really unpleasant time. Plumbing emergencies never strike you at a convenient time because there’s never a convenient time to be without plumbing. Sadly, it does happen and the intrepid homeowner needs to know what to do when the unexpected strikes. Here are some of the most common plumbing emergencies and what you need to do to mitigate them.

Clogged Toilet

By far the most common plumbing emergency, and it’s not even close. A toilet clog occurs when too much material is flushed down the toilet at once. Usually this is caused by an excess use of toilet paper, but can also be cause by flushing of improper materials like paper towels, wet wipes, dental floss, personal hygiene products, dearly departed pet fish, and just about any other thing you can think of other than natural wastes and toilet paper. When clogged, a toilet will not properly void itself of water when flushed, leading to overflows, leaking, and eventually burst pipes if the issue goes on long enough. 

When your toilet clogs, you should try a standard plunger to remove the blockage. Failing that, the best course of action is to avoid flushing the toilet while you wait for the plumber. And maybe try to find a different restroom to use in the meantime. 

Leaky Pipes 

A minor inconvenience or a full-blown nightmare depending on how early you can catch it, leaky pipes are one of the most easily explainable plumbing problems. Pipes are not forever, they do break down over time. About every 50 years is the average pipe’s lifespan, so odds are you’ll only have to face this problem once, but a leak can still bring a lot of damage if you don’t catch it in time. Water damage can lead to mold growth, unpleasant odors around the house, structural damage to the home, and decreased property value. 

When you notice a leaky pipe, the best thing to do is call up a plumber to remedy the issue with a professional repair or replacement, but while you wait for them to arrive, there are a number of plumbing tapes you can employ to effect a band-aid style fix for temporary relief. 

No Hot Water 

Have you suddenly found yourself with no hot water? You probably have a water heater issue. More than likely there’s a water heater leak of some sort, impacting your system’s ability to provide warm/hot water. Leaks are among the easiest water heater issues to fix.

When you notice a lack of hot water, call a plumber, and try to limit your water usage in  the home until they arrive. If the water heater leak is apparent, you can try a similar band-aid fix to wait out until help arrives.  

Sewage Backup

One of the most major plumbing emergencies you can experience as a homeowner is a sewage issue. Sewage systems repairs and replacements are more involved than an average leaky pipe, and as such, can cause even more damage. Sewer issues are most commonly caused by clogs, but tree roots are another major culprit. As they grow and expand outward, roots often come into contact with sewage lines, damaging and displacing them. Some of the common early warning signs of sewage problems are noticing foul smells around your property, discolored water backing up into your sink or toilet, and sewage backing up and flooding through your yard. 

When you notice a sewage problem, there’s honestly not a ton else you can do as an average homeowner other than calling a plumber. Avoid flushing and using other elements of your plumbing system where at all possible to decrease the damage being done. 

Flooding/Sump Pump Failure

When it rains it pours. And when it pours you need your sump pump to be working overtime to make sure your basement doesn’t experience flooding. If you’re noticing an abundance of water in your basement, your sump pump has probably failed you. In particularly wet storms your pump can become overworked and stop working, be clogged with debris, or short out. 

There’s not much you can do once you notice this problem, short of grabbing a bucket and manually removing the water from your home. If you’re expecting massive rain, make sure your pump is in working order beforehand. 

Contact Us

Obviously, when you’re dealing with a plumbing emergency of any type of plumbing emergency, the best course of action is to call a licensed and trained plumbing professional. That’s what we’re here for.  When you need an emergency plumber, Spencer is just a phone call away!

Founded by Peter Holland, Spencer Home Services is a reputable and experienced company you can trust. Our team of experts knows how to spot a leaky pipe with ease and expertise. Contact us to schedule service today!