4 Of The Most Common Plumbing Emergencies

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Flooded house emergency flat cartoon image with family home calling plumber to fix burst pipes vector illustration

Plumbing emergencies can be unpredictable in many ways, and there’s no way to know when they’ll happen. One thing that is certain however, is that they are always inconvenient. Knowing what causes these kinds of problems is a great way to prevent future issues from coming up.

Sometimes it’s impossible to know a problem is incoming. Knowing how to react after an emergency pops up can save you and your family even more of a headache.

Frozen Pipes

We’ve talked about frozen pipes before. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep your pipes warm. This can be done by insulating the pipes and keeping the spaces they go through a warmer temperature.
Identifying The Issue
If you notice a dip in pressure coming from your pipes, it’s best to call someone right away. If you suspect your pipes are freezing, keep the water flowing as this will prevent the water from continuing to freeze in place.
After The Emergency
In order to deal with pipes that are frozen, here are a few tips for fixing it in the moment. Warming up the pipes is a good idea, but be careful not to heat it up too quick, as this can cause the pipe to burst, which is a whole other level of emergency.
If you have a way to shut off water leading to the frozen section, do that to stop pressure buildup. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to give a professional plumber a call to stop this problem from happening again.

Clogged Pipes

Always keep everything you put down your drains smaller than the pipes. This sounds like a straightforward prevention technique, but even when you do this, you can still have clogs. Over time, small pieces can stick to the sides of a pipe and slowly build up into a clog. Just like with frozen pipes, a clog can result in other problems popping up.
Identifying The Issue
Unlike frozen pipes, clogged pipes don’t prevent water from getting to your fixtures. Instead, sinks, tubs, dishwashers, and toilets will back up and can begin overflowing because the water has nowhere to go. As soon as you notice the drainage slowing down, you know you might have an issue.
After the Emergency
Once you recognize the problem, your first priority should be to stop waterflow going into whatever pipes are clogged. Shutting a valve off at the appliance or fixture can be enough in some cases. Sometimes, the clog is farther down and has multiple lines running to it. In those cases, it’s necessary to shut off the water for more of the home.

Icicles on a yellow pipe at sunset .
Clogged sink pipe. Unclog a drain from hairs and other stuff. Checking Hydraulic trap for draining water under the sink in the bathroom. Hydraulic problems, works related to the leaking tap.

Burst Pipes

Burst pipes are the result of pressure building up behind a clog or frozen/blocked pipe. Preventing a burst pipe is right in line with the other suggestions listed in this article, so we won’t get too into that here.
Identifying The Issue
You may notice a lack of pressure, or even a total lack of waterflow from your appliance or fixture. As soon as you notice this, you should immediately shut off the water shutoff valve. Then you should begin to track down where the pressure has gone to. This might be as easy as finding the rushing water in your basement or cabinet, or as frustrating and damaging as finding a wet spot in your wall or ceiling.
After The Emergency
Once you determine where the break might be, then you can start to react. First things first, someone needs to call a plumber who can quickly replace and repair the broken pipe segment.

Leaking Water Heater

Having your water heater leak means a lot of things at once. It means your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced. It means you’re spending money on wasted water. It also means you’re not getting hot water for your home. It’s difficult to prevent this kind of emergency as the damage is on the inside of the heater.
Identifying The Issue
If you notice a lack of hot water getting to your sink, dishwasher, or washing machine, there could be an issue with your water heater.
After The Emergency
When it comes to issues with your water heater, calling a plumber right away is the way to go. They have the tools and experience necessary to help you make the determination if it’s a repairable problem or requires a full replacement.

bursted copper pipe with water leaking out 3d illustration
heating plumbing technician repairs home water heater

Go With The Experience You Can Trust

For every plumbing emergency, go with the team that’s available at all times. The Plumbing Works is ready to answer your call 24/7, because we know that emergencies don’t happen on a schedule. If you run into difficulties that you need addressed fast, we’ll be there to help as soon as possible with years of experience and know-how.