There are some plumbing problems you can take care of yourself and there are others that need an emergency plumber on speed dial.
Knowing the difference between a DIY fix and emergency professional help can help you save money and more than a few headaches. Even a small issue with your faucets, pipes or drains can quickly worsen and leave you with water damage and thousands of dollars in repair costs.
At Reed Plumbing and Drainage Solutions, we’d prefer to keep money in your pocket. You don’t always need to call in the pros, but if you spot any of the following 8 plumbing emergencies, it’s best to pick up the phone and call in some precious peace of mind.
#1 – You’ve got no hot water
Melbourne’s chilly winter days can make a long, hot shower feel like heaven. So if you turn the taps and feel nothing but a blast of icy water, you’ve got an emergency on your hands.
If you’ve got an electrical hot water system, start by checking your hot water system’s circuit breaker. Your fuse box may have tripped, so switch the hot water back on if the breaker has tripped and wait for your water to warm up.
Unfortunately, hot water problems can come in a variety of forms that require emergency plumbing help, including:
- A water leak: look for water pooling at the base of the hot water system
- Low pressure: This may be a problem with your valve or hot water regulator
- Heating element damage: Without a working heating element your water can become ice cold or scalding hot without the ability to regulate
#2 – You’ve got a burst pipe
A burst pipe isn’t a warning sign – it’s evidence the damage has already been done.
If you notice your bathroom or kitchen is slowly filling with water, it’s easy to pick up the phone and call your local emergency plumber. The challenge comes in identifying a burst pipe behind the walls of your home. Without identifying burst pipes quickly, you run the risk of structural damage that is extremely costly to fix.
Use the following signs to spot burst pipes behind the scenes:
- Unusual sounds: Broken pipes can let in air that makes a gurgling sound
- Bad odours: If you smell sewerage it may be a sign a pipe has burst and is leaking
- Water stains: Water running behind walls can pool up, stain wallpaper and crack ceilings
If you’re concerned there’s water running where it shouldn’t be, it’s best to speak to the pros and make sure there’s not a worse problem building up behind the walls.
#3 – Your drains are clogged
It’s easy to think a clogged drain is an easy DIY fix (and in some cases it is). But taking the family plunger and trying to unclog a drain that’s seeping water can cause the problem to worsen.
Common causes of clogged drains in the bathroom include hair, toilet paper and hygiene products. Unfortunately, if the trusty plunger doesn’t dislodge the blockage, you can end up with corrosion inside your pipes, slow water drainage, flooding and even sewage back-up.
#4 – Your home smells like sewage
Sewage does NOT belong in your home.
Unfortunately, sewage can be forced back into your home as a result of blockages, broken pipes or tree roots growing where they shouldn’t. When this happens, you may notice an unpleasant odour in your home as a result of the pathogens and nasty things you flushed down the drain.
It’s never fun to deal with sewage that’s flowing the wrong way, so save yourself the mess and reach out to your Melbourne emergency plumber instead.
#5 – You smell gas
If you use gas in your home, the first sign of a gas leak should be a red flag to reach out and contact your local emergency plumber. Keep in mind, not all plumbers specialise in leak detection, so make sure you’re calling a trained and licensed expert to avoid potential CO2 poisoning.
If you do smell gas, start by turning off gas appliances and opening all doors and windows. Concealed leaks pose a huge risk to you and your family, so if the smell persists then you’ve got all the info you need to call up a gas detecting plumber.
#6 – You hear running water (when the taps are off)
A busy Melbourne household will have water running from morning to night. Whether it’s the kids jostling for the shower, or the dishwasher after an evening meal, running water isn’t a problem – unless you hear the sound of water when all taps and appliances are off.
Running water sounds can be a sign of a leak behind your walls that may not be causing outward damage, but can weaken the structure of your Melbourne home and rack up a repair bill costing tens of thousands of dollars.
When it comes to leaks, it’s better to be safe than sorry. An emergency plumber in Melbourne can help you identify any problems before things get out of hand.
#7 – You’ve got leaks that won’t stop
There are plenty of features and appliances in your home that can spring a leak. From your toilet’s cistern to the trusty bathroom taps and your home’s hot water system – leaks are more than an annoyance.
A dripping faucet can waste up to 9,000 litres a year so a small amount of water is actually a big problem in waiting. If you notice consistent leaks try turning off your home’s water main to avoid excess water damage.
Professional plumbers will be able to diagnose the problem and get your home leak-free in no time.
#8 – You have NO water
This could mean your water is completely gone, or it could be a low water pressure that’s giving you a few drips out of the showerhead instead of the flow you’re used to.
In either case, there’s nothing you can do to fix the problem. Start off by checking taps in each room to see if the problem is localised. If NONE of the taps in your Melbourne home is working it may be a sign of a catastrophic burst pipe out of view that’s sending water where it shouldn’t be.
Of all the reasons to call an emergency plumber, this is the least likely – but the most important.
Have you noticed any of these red flags in your home?
It’s handy to have the contact details of your local emergency plumber on file, but you don’t need to be calling in the experts for minor plumbing problems.
If you’re facing a leaking faucet it’s perfectly fine to jump on YouTube, figure out how to replace the busted o-ring, and keep your hard-earned money in your pocket. But if you’ve noticed any of the major plumbing emergencies listed above, you can save yourself thousands of dollars by picking up the phone and calling in the pros.
Looking for emergency plumbing help in Melbourne? Book online or request a 100% FREE quote now
Hire a Good Plumber in Melbourne
Other factors that make an excellent plumber include a considerable portfolio of services, five stars Google ratings, as well as being easy to communicate with.
At Reed Plumbing and Drainage Solutions, we are fully licensed and certified, have more than 15 years of experience.