Nothing brings your household to a screeching halt quite like a plumbing emergency.
Whether it’s a clogged toilet, a burst pipe, or a broken kitchen sink, piping problem can seriously interfere with your day-to-day life and cost tons of money down the line through expensive fixes or structural repairs.
But you don’t need to wait until there’s water slowly rising around your ankles to take action. Prevention is better than a cure, so we’ll show you how to be prepared if the worst should happen.
Here are the top plumbing emergencies to keep your eye out for as well as how to fix them or — better yet — prevent them from happening altogether.
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Emergencies?
The most common problems will often come down to your usage. If you’ve got a busy household with plenty of people using the shower each day, you’re more likely to run into showerhead or hot water problems than a household of one or two occupants.
So while “common” ends up being a subjective term, here are the call-outs we most commonly receive from our Victorian clients.
Overflowing, Clogged or Blocked Toilet
A clogged or overflowing toilet is an emergency situation you don’t want to find yourself facing. Unfortunately, the toilet is one of the most frequently and regularly used fixtures in your home — so you’re bound to get an issue a time or two.
The good news? If you don’t just ignore the problem (or repeatedly flush it in the hope of getting a different result) it’s a fairly easy fix.
You just want to make sure that you fix it yourself, assuming the problem is obvious and not likely to get worse with a little DIY approach, or call a professional as soon as you can. This will help you avoid wastewater damage or other costly concerns.
That said, if this problem happens regularly, we recommend contacting a member of our team for fast and friendly support.
Damaged, Burst or Ruptured Pipes
Next on our list? The nightmare of a burst pipe.
This usually happens when you have too much water pressure, which can weaken the joint of a pipe and cause it to burst or fail. That said, it can also happen just because your piping is old or rusted. The consequences of a burst pipe can be major, leading to intense water damage, electrical problems, or even foundational issues in extreme cases.
How do you avoid facing this plumbing emergency? Well, you can start by having your pipes inspected to see if there are any underlying issues. You’ll also hear a pop when the pipe actually bursts — so you can keep your ears out for that — or detect immediate signs of an issue, like water damage, low water pressure, or sagging in your walls or ceiling.
When you’re nervous there’s damage to your pipes, it’s best to call in the pros. Using a range of innovative tools and technology, we can check for damage behind the walls of your home and save you from facing tens of thousands of dollars in repair bills if water is left unchecked.
Blocked, Clogged or Overflowing Drain
Though not usually the worst thing that can happen, a clogged sink or tub drain — caused by too much hair, product, or foreign objects — can be a real nuisance. This plumbing emergency may also take time for you to notice, as the problem can start with a subtle drainage issue before progressing into a full clog.
The good news? There are many products on the market that you can use to try to address the concern yourself, including a drain stake, a plunger, or chemical drain cleaner.
If none of this works, you might have a bigger problem that requires professional blocked drain services to resolve.
Backed Up Sewer Pipes
Have you suddenly smelled sewage or other bad odors coming from your sink or other drains? Then you may have a sewage back-up.
This happens when the sewers themselves get backed up, and the wastewater that was supposed to go away from your home suddenly starts coming toward it. And this can be a huge emergency, since backed up sewage can pose serious health risks.
If you notice bad odours or see any other signs of backup – like brown water or worse – call your plumber immediately (and make sure to use some bleach to clean the area after).
No Hot Water or Ice Cold Showers
Find yourself taking an unexpected and unwelcome cold shower? Notice that your water has a strange smell?
Then you may have a broken water heater.
Unfortunately, a broken hot water heater doesn’t just lead to a frigid shower — it can also cause leaks if water is spilling from the water tank. Avoid this issue with regular water heater maintenance, and make sure that you call a plumber right away if you start to notice temperature or pressure issues.
DIY HACK: How To Diagnose Your Own Piping Problems
We told you that prevention is better than a cure and we mean it!
Using a few simple DIY hacks can help you spot your own plumbing emergencies, and save money on call-outs and maintenance.
A lot of small signs of a piping issue — like lower water pressure, slightly discolored water, small signs of water damage (like a bulging or warped flow), or poor drainage — can often go ignored and unnoticed for a while. Down the line, this can lead to a small issue becoming a huge plumbing emergency.
We recommend making a weekly checklist to look for the signs of damage in your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry.
When you pay close attention to what’s going on, you’ll get better at spotting the signs of trouble before they get out of control.
How Professional Plumbers Can Help You Save Money
If you’re not sure what kind of problem you’re dealing with — or you’re not sure how to fix the problem — you may be better off leaving your problem to the professionals.
Our skilled plumbers are happy to talk to you over the phone and help you understand what you’re dealing with and how to fix it.
What’s more, professional plumbers can provide thorough assessment and repairs so you don’t have an underlying issue that’s left diagnosed.
For example, say that you have a leak that’s been going on for a long time. You may be able to tighten the leak itself — but you might miss the building water damage happening behind your cabinet. This kind of oversight can require major repairs down the line (not to mention lead to problems like mold!).
In the long run, a call-out to your local Melbourne plumber means you spend less on constant repairs and keep MORE money in your pocket. That’s why you’re better off talking to the professionals if you’re not sure what to do.
Wondering how to choose Melbourne’s best plumber? Click here for tips and tricks to spot the industry’s best plumbers.
How Can You Prevent Plumbing Emergencies From Happening?
The first thing you can do to prevent a plumbing emergency?
If you have plumbers come check out your pipes, water heater, and fixtures at least once a year, then problems won’t go undetected for long periods of time. You can also make sure to:
- Avoid putting sanitary products, toilet paper, or other foreign objects in your toilet or down your drains.
- Pay attention to small signs of a bigger problem.
- Get in the habit of checking your water bill or metre for unexpected spikes.
And remember – if you do have a question or concern, you can contact us 24/7 and book an appointment online!