Your plumbing system comprises three parts, the water delivery system, the drainage system, and the fixtures, such as the sink, tub, toilet, washing machine, and dishwasher. When any part of the plumbing system stops functioning correctly, it’s not uncommon to panic. Not only can the problem affect how you perform daily tasks, but you may not know what is wrong or how much a repair will cost.
Plumbing problems can affect your daily life, so it’s easy to think every plumbing issue is an emergency, but this isn’t the case. If the issue doesn’t prevent you from using water or causing water damage and mold growth, you can wait until you have time to hire a plumber. However, some problems cannot wait and should be addressed immediately.
You may be tempted to fix the problem yourself if you’re worried you can’t get an emergency plumber to your house in time, but DIY repairs aren’t recommended. If you don’t have professional plumbing training, you could cause more damage that will be more expensive to fix.
The following issues must be fixed as quickly as possible and require a call to an emergency plumber.
Lack of Water
Running water is essential to your daily life, and without it, you can’t perform most everyday tasks, such as bathing, cooking, and cleaning. In addition, you won’t be able to flush the toilet or use your water-based appliances.
If you turn on a tap in your house and nothing comes out, you may need to hire an emergency plumber. Before you make the call, check the other taps to ensure it isn’t just the one with issues. Next, check with the water company to ensure your service hasn’t been terminated and there isn’t an outage. If there isn’t an issue with your service, it’s time to hire an emergency plumber.
A few issues can prevent water from entering your house, including:
- A problem with the water main
- The emergency shutoff valve is faulty and triggers on its own.
- The water meter valve is defective and won’t open all the way.
- A significant clog in the waterline.
- A substantial leak in the waterline, allowing the water to leak before reaching the taps.
- Corroded pipes
The plumber will inspect the plumbing system to determine which of the above-mentioned issues prevent water from entering the house and make the necessary repair. This problem must be addressed immediately to restore the water, so hiring a professional is best.
As careful as you are with what you put down the drain, food, grease, hair, and soap scum will find a way down the drain, causing a clog. If the clog is small and the water drains slowly, you can wait until you have time for a service call. However, you shouldn’t wait too long because it won’t be long before the clog escalates and clogs the drain entirely.
A complete clog prevents the water from draining, resulting in standing water in the sink or tub, and requires a call to an emergency plumber. You can’t use the fixture when it’s full of water, and harmful bacteria can form in the standing water, making your family sick. In addition, allowing a clog to remain in the drain for too long can damage the pipe, causing it to leak.
An emergency plumber has the experience and tools necessary to eliminate the clog safely, and you’ll be able to use the fixture.
If you plan to use a liquid drain cleaner to eliminate the clog quickly, you should think twice. These products contain harsh chemicals that can cause permanent damage to the pipes. Also, if the water won’t drain, the drain cleaner won’t either and will not affect the clog, and it’s best to hire a plumber.
Multiple Drain Clogs
Have more than one drain in your home clogged simultaneously? If so, it isn’t a strange coincidence and you have a plumbing issue requiring a call to an emergency plumber.
Multiple drain clogs indicate a clog in the sewer line, and if it isn’t addressed quickly, your worst nightmare can occur. When the clog becomes too large for the water and waste to pass, it will have nowhere to go and will back up into the house. A backup will result in water and waste all over the floor that will smell awful and could be hazardous to your family’s health. Also, it can cause significant water damage and will be very unpleasant to clean up.
An emergency plumber will eliminate the clog to eliminate the risk of a backup, and the water will flow quickly down every drain in your house.
A leaking pipe can cause water damage, mold growth, and wastes a significant amount of water; therefore, a leaking pipe requires a call to an emergency plumber.
A few issues can cause a pipe to leak, including:
- The pipes are old and corroded.
- A joint has become loose or disconnected.
- The sealant failed.
- A clog remained in the drain for too long and damaged the pipe.
Leaks in some areas are easy to detect, such as under the sink and behind the wall. A leak under the sink will leave a visible puddle under the kitchen or bathroom sink, and a leaking pipe behind a wall will leave water spots. Leaks under the house can be more challenging to detect, and you should know what to look for.
The leak can cause issues in the basement, including a warm area on the floor, cracks on the wall or floor, dampness, and a musty smell. The leak can also affect your yard, causing water to pool by the house, and part of the lawn will look greener and lusher than the rest. If the pipe has been leaking for a while, it can cause damage to your home’s foundation.
If you believe there’s a leaking pipe in your home, you should hire an emergency plumber immediately. They will replace the pipe if necessary, or they’ll replace the sealant or tighten the joints if either is the reason the pipe leaks. If the plumber cannot find the leaking pipe, they can use leak detection equipment to find it, so the problem can be resolved before further water damage occurs.
A clogged toilet may not seem like an emergency because most clogs aren’t a cause for concern because they can be eliminated with a plunger. However, if you try plunging the toilet and it doesn’t affect the clog, it’s time to call an emergency plumber. You can’t use the toilet until the clog is eliminated, which is frustrating and can put you in an impossible position if you only have one bathroom.
Clogs occur when too much water and waste are flushed or when something is flushed that shouldn’t have been, like feminine products, baby wipes, and paper towels. If the clog is too large, solid, or too far down the drainpipe, the plunger won’t work, but the methods used by an emergency plumber will.
The plumber will come to your house with the tools necessary to remove a toilet clog. If the clog is too far down the drainpipe for the plumber’s tools to reach, they can remove the toilet to reach the clog easily. The sooner you hire an emergency plumber, the sooner you can use the toilet again.
Water Heater Issues
Hot water is essential to your daily life, and without it, you can’t shower, clean, and perform other daily tasks. Also, your hot water-based appliances won’t perform at peak without hot water.
The water entering your house is cold and fills the water heater where it’s heated and stored, so you always have hot water when needed.
Water heater issues can affect the water temperature, quality and cause other problems, and it is an emergency. You can’t wait until you have time for a service call because you need hot water often during the day. If your water heater experiences any of the following problems, you’ll need help from an emergency plumber.
- No hot water: This could be due to a faulty heating element, or the unit has reached the end of its lifespan and can no longer heat the water.
- The water isn’t hot enough: If you have two heating elements, one may have failed. There could also be an issue with the unit’s thermostat, or it’s nearing the end of its lifespan and can no longer heat the water supply to the desired temperature.
- Running out of hot water often: This occurs when sediment builds up in the tank, taking up space for water storage. It can also happen if the water tank isn’t large enough to meet your family’s hot water demand.
- Poor hot water pressure: This occurs when sediment clogs the waterline.
- Brown or rust-colored water: This indicates contamination due to sediment or a breakdown inside the tank, causing minerals and metal shards to contaminate the water.
- Moisture or water pooling: Moisture around the unit indicates a loose, disconnected, or cracked hose, and water pooling indicates a crack in the tank, allowing the water to spill out.
An emergency plumber has the training and experience to diagnose and repair the water heater. They’ll also be able to tell if replacing the unit is best.
If you’re considering a DIY repair to avoid paying a plumber, you should think twice. Water heaters run on electricity, propane, oil, or natural gas, and you should never work with any of these without professional training. Also, water heaters are complex, and one mistake can cause further damage, and a DIY repair will void the warranty, and it’s best to leave the job to an emergency plumber.
If the hot and cold water from your taps is brown or rust-colored, it indicates contamination, and you should call an emergency plumber.
Rusty, corroded pipes can contaminate the water, and a plumbing leak under the house can also cause contamination if dirt gets into the line. Using contaminated water is unsafe, so you should hire a plumber immediately. They will find the cause of the contamination and resolve the problem quickly so you can safely use the water again.
Winters in Texas can be relatively mild, so most homeowners haven’t prepared their plumbing systems for cold weather. When the forecast calls for a cold snap or a cold front is moving through the area, the temperature can drop below freezing, and your pipes can freeze. This is the last thing you want to happen because the water in the pipes will freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst.
If you turn on the water on a freezing night and nothing comes out, the pipes have likely frozen, and you must call an emergency plumber.
They will thaw the pipes quickly to prevent them from bursting, eliminating the flood risk. They can also wrap the pipes in heated tape to prevent this from happening again the next time the temperature drops below freezing.
Call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio
If you have a plumbing problem that must be addressed immediately and need to hire an emergency plumber, look no further than bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio. We’re a full-service plumbing and HVAC company, and we’re a one-stop shop for all your home repair needs.
Our plumbers are professionally trained, and their skills and experience have allowed them to successfully complete some of the most complex jobs in the industry.
We’re members of the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association and have a 5-star rating on Google.
If you need to schedule an appointment for plumbing service, call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio or book online.
See our most recent blog post on this topic here.