What to do when you have a Plumbing Emergency: Things to consider

There are 4 main plumbing emergencies that you might encounter:

  • Water leak
  • Overflowing toilet, shower or sink
  • Water heater making weird noises
  • No water
  • Dirty water

Let’s take a look at what you have to do when you encounter one of them.


1/ Water leak

Water is under a lot of pressure and leaks can cause a lot of damage. We want to stop the problem as soon as possible. This can be done by closing the valve on the pipe or manifold that is nearby. If there is none available, you can close the water supply. This is often done where the pipes enter the house. In some instances, you have to open a hatch under the ground. A plumber can help you with this. You can also call your neighbor or water company to ask where the water supply valve is located. You can use a hose or buckets to remove the water. Also, use a dehumidifier to remove as much water as possible. Water leaks can cause a lot of damage and some might only appear after a few weeks. For this reason, it is essential that you stop it as soon as possible and remove all the water. Try to get help from other people and get towels and mops to remove the water.

If the water is hot, you have to be careful as a water heater can increase the temperature of the water a lot. Consult with your plumber to find a solution. Insurances often cover water damage so you have to contact them to get an idea of the procedure.

2/ Overflowing toilet, shower, or sink.

There is probably a clog that stops the water from flowing. We have discussed how you can unclog a toilet, sink, and shower before. It can be a great idea to take a bucket to remove the overflowing water. In most instances, you can use a plunger to remove the clog. If this doesn’t work, you can use a drain camera to check what is going on. Clogs can be further down the drain and require water pressure or an auger to get them removed. These clogs generally won’t get solved by themselves. Don’t use chemical products as these can affect your drains. 

You can try to remove the clog yourself. If it doesn’t work, you will have to call a plumber. They have powerful equipment that can help to remove the clog.

You can keep using the toilet in most instances. Plumbers understand that you need to go to the toilet and if they can’t come immediately there can be some poop in it. This is part of the job. They might charge more though. 

If you live in a rural area and have a septic system, it is possible that it needs to get pumped empty. Septic tanks can get full after a while and need to get emptied before they can work again. Call your local septic system pumping company to get it emptied.

3/ Water heater or heater making weird noises

Water heaters can start to make weird noises after a while. While they can explode, it is not something that happens a lot as there are several safety measures. The first thing to do is check if there is an error code on the display of the device. You might have to open up a lid to do this. Stop using hot water as well to reduce the demands on the device. Water heaters have improved a lot over the years and advanced sensors can often detect what is going on. You can then use Google to find out what is going on with your device. 

The manual of your device can also give clues about what needs to happen. In some instances, you can unplug the weather heater or restart it to get things fixed. If the pressure release valve is leaking water, you will have to get a plumber to check what is going on. 

You can let your plumber listen when you give them a call. In most instances, they can know what is going on based on the sound and the age of your water heater. It is possible that your device needs maintenance or that a piece is broken. 

There are several things that can go wrong with a water heater so check with your plumber to see what is going on.

4/ No water

It is really annoying when you want to take a shower and there is no water. There are multiple reasons for this from having a broken pump to issues with your water supplier. Check other faucets in your home and see if water is coming out there. Check if all the valves in your home are open. People sometimes close a valve and forget to open it up again.

During wintertime, it is possible that a pipe has frozen. It is important that you look after this as soon as possible as this can cause leaks and a lot of damage. Cold weather can make the water in your drains freeze up and this expands. This can crack your pipes and let water pour out of them. To avoid this you can insulate your pipes or drain them. We have discussed how to defrost pipe here.

 It is possible that there is a clog in the pipe of a specific faucet and that this is causing issues. If you don’t have water in your home, you can call your neighbors to see if they have issues as well.

A water leak is also possible. Look around your house to make sure that you don’t see wet spots. You can go with your hand over areas and listen if you don’t hear water flowing. 

If you don’t have hot water, there is probably a problem with your water heater. Check if there is an error code on the device. It is possible that the device has no electricity and needs to get restarted. 

5/ Dirty water

If your water is dirty, it can indicate that there is a problem with the filters, pipes, water heater, or pump. In some rare instances, your water company is having a problem. Stop using water and call a plumber to get it fixed. It is possible that they have to clean your pipes before you can use your plumbing again. 

Copper pipes can corrode over time and this can discolor your water. Dirty water can affect your washing machine and dishwasher. For this reason, it is important that you get this fixed as soon as possible. A plumber will check what is going on and in most instances, it is quite easy to fix once they have found the source of the problem.

If your water is discolored, it can indicate that there is a problem and you should get it looked after. This problem can get worse over time so check it once you notice that there is something wrong. In some instances, the water can also smell bad. 

To conclude, there are some common problems that homeowners have to deal with. Plumbing issues are quite common and in this post, we have outlined some steps that you can take. Always consult with your plumber if there is a big issue. Sometimes you have to take quick action to avoid further damage.