Despite water leaks being easy to fix, leaks in households account for around 10,000 gallons of wasted water per year.
But it’s not just the wasted water that’s a huge problem – faulty plumbing can cause damage to your home and your wallet. But, if a plumbing problem arises after hours, should you call a 24 hour plumber? How can you tell if you’re dealing with a severe problem or if the issue can wait until the morning? These are very common questions.
Let’s just say that if you spot any of the following signs, you should call an emergency plumber right away – these are not problems you can repair yourself.
1. Water Leaks
Although water leaks aren’t always an emergency, you should call an emergency plumber immediately when you notice signs of accumulating water and unusual leakage.
When water leaks go unnoticed, they can wreak havoc on the structural integrity of your home. Often, water leaks are only noticed once they have already caused extensive structural damage.
The excess moisture from water leaks also encourages the growth of mold and mildew, which can negatively impact your health. Exposure to mold growing in damp areas can cause respiratory issues, asthma, and even severe allergic reactions.
Not only do water leaks cause structural damage and health issues, but they can also be a serious fire hazard if moisture comes into contact with electrical wiring and shorts the circuit.
Aside from all the other hazards water leaks can cause, they also do severe damage to your wallet. Fixing structural or fire damage and paying for medical bills can be extremely costly – catching leaks early on will save you a lot of money in the long run!
2. A Water-Stained or Sagging Ceiling
If you notice watermarks on your ceiling, chances are that they are caused by a leak that’s gone unnoticed for a while – which means that dripping water has been accumulating over time. If you see watermarks on your ceiling, call an emergency plumber right away to assess the damage and find the cause.
A discolored ceiling that’s sagging is a serious problem because it’s a sign that the ceiling will eventually collapse. Don’t delay when you notice your ceiling sagging or buckling; turn your water off at the mains and call a professional.
3. Low Water Pressure
If you are experiencing low water pressure, chances are it’s a damaged pipe. Another reason for low water pressure is a faulty regulating valve. This valve regulates the water pressure. When it fails, it can cause the water pressure to drop or rise. The best course of action is to call a plumber to replace it.
A clogged aerator can also cause low water pressure, but this usually only affects one faucet. Try cleaning the aerator to see if it resolves the problem. If, however, there is low water pressure in more than one of your faucets, you should get the pipes assessed by a professional.
4. No Water
If you suddenly have no access to running water, you should call an emergency plumber. Although it’s not as dangerous as a leak, having no running water is inconvenient because you won’t be able to shower, cook food, wash the dishes, or flush the toilet – which will become a sanitation issue.
5. Burst or Damaged Pipes
When left unattended, damaged or burst pipes can flood your home. Flooding causes structural damage to your ceiling, walls, and foundation – which can compromise the safety of everyone in the house. Flooding will also ruin your personal items and furniture, which can be costly or impossible to replace due to sentimental value.
If you have damaged or burst pipes, call a 24-hour plumber – the sooner, the better. A burst pipe is not something you can fix yourself, and if you leave it, it will only worsen.
Turn off the water supply when you know you have a burst pipe, call a plumber, and try to move your belongings out of harm’s way. Although burst pipes can be caused by many reasons, it often happens in winter when they freeze.
6. Clogged Drains
Clogged drains are inevitable, but you should try to prevent them. Paper towels, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, and hair should not be flushed down the toilet because they can clog up the pipes. When it comes to the drains in your bath, shower, and sink, try to remove as much hair and debris as you can.
Other causes of clogged drains are unavoidable – for instance, roots from trees can grow into your plumbing and cause blockages. In the case of roots blocking the plumbing, you’ll need to call a professional because it can be challenging to identify the problem.
Signs of clogged drains include bubbling water, puddles, strange odors, and slow drainage. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call a plumber.
7. Water Heater Failure
While hot water is considered a luxury by some, not having it can be an emergency for others.
For the average person, having to take a cold shower in winter is nothing more than an inconvenience – but for vulnerable populations such as the elderly and infants, hot water is a necessity.
Although the risk of hypothermia is low inside a home with a heating system, having a cold house and only cold water can be a dangerous situation.
If your water heater fails and you smell gas, it is an emergency. Call an emergency plumber to repair your water heater as soon as you notice there’s an issue.
8. An Overflowing Toilet
A toilet can begin to overflow for several reasons – things like damaged float mechanisms and clogged pipes can cause a nightmarish and potentially embarrassing situation.
If your toilet is overflowing, immediately shut off the water supply by reaching behind the cistern and turning the valve clockwise. Then, try to use a plunger to unblock it. If the plunger doesn’t work, call a 24-hour plumber.
9. A Backed-Up Sewage Line
If you notice that your house smells like sewage, chances are the sewer line is backed-up. Other signs of a backed-up sewage system are pools of water in your home or yard and water coming back up the sink and other drains.
Not only is a blocked sewage system unpleasant, but it’s also a serious health hazard. Sewage that’s not carried away by the sewage system can release bacteria and other airborne contaminants – leading to fever, gastroenteritis, and vomiting. That’s why it is considered an emergency.