It’s late on a Friday when you notice a plumbing problem. Does it warrant calling an emergency plumber, or can the issue wait until regular business hours? To help you decide, assess the situation by asking yourself these questions.
Is There a Risk of Flooding?
Flooding can cause water stains, sagging ceilings, mold growth, and safety concerns. If your situation involves a leak beyond the confines of a plumbing fixture or appliance, it’s considered a plumbing emergency. Examples include:
- Leaky pipe
- Overflowing toilet
- Broken plumbing hose connection
- Rusty water heater tank
- Sump pump failure
Is the Sewer Backing Up?
Sewer backups are automatically considered plumbing emergencies because they introduce raw sewage into your home. This presents a health hazard and may render your bathroom unusable. A backed-up sewer occurs when smelly, black water flows up from a drain, which may include:
- Toilets, sinks, and shower drains, especially those on the ground floor
- Floor drains on the lowest level of your home
Is a Fixture or Appliance Unusable?
Some plumbing issues are severe enough to halt your daily activities. The inability to use a particular fixture or appliance usually constitutes a plumbing emergency. Examples include:
Do You Have Limited Access to Water?
If you turn on a faucet to full blast but only a small trickle comes out, you have a problem. Before you panic, consider that the aerator may simply be clogged. Remove it from the faucet and soak it in vinegar overnight. If this doesn’t help, you might need a pressure regulating valve.
Similarly, you may feel your water go ice-cold in the middle of a shower, a sign that your water heater has stopped working. You need hot water to bathe, cook, and clean, so a broken water heater is definitely a plumbing emergency.
Worse still, your water flow may stop entirely. Contact your utility provider to see if the problem is due to non-payment or a complication on their end. If you still can’t find answers, call an emergency plumber.
In short, limited water access is considered a plumbing emergency, including:
- Low water pressure
- No hot water
- No water at all
Do You Suspect a Gas Line Leak?
Gas leaks can harm your health or cause an explosion, which is undoubtedly an emergency. If you suspect a gas leak, open the windows and doors, evacuate your home, and call your utility provider, followed by an emergency plumber.
Signs of a gas leak include:
- The smell of rotten eggs
- Hissing or whistling sounds near a gas line
- Orange burner flame
- Physical symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and difficulty breathing
If you have a plumbing emergency, turn to Mike Counsil Plumbing for help. We offer 24/7 emergency plumbing and rooter services in San Jose, CA, and the surrounding South Bay area. Check out our emergency plumbing FAQs for more information, or contact us at 408-916-1226 to request immediate assistance