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We don’t often think of plumbing in terms of an emergency. Other home maintenance issues, such as electrical problems and gas leaks, may be more easily associated with an emergency, but plumbing emergencies exist too. In fact, many plumbers also handle gas appliances, so a problem with the natural gas supply in your home doesn’t preclude a call to an emergency plumber. Water-related emergencies can occur as well, and they happen more often than one might think. It can be difficult to decide what constitutes an emergency. A flooding basement full of rising water is obvious, but what other situations require an emergency plumber?
Can You Manage Without the Affected Fixture?
If a plumbing fixture is acting up, you should ask yourself if you need to use that fixture right away. It may not be an emergency if you can isolate the affected area and keep people from using it and potentially causing more damage. You should also think about your ability to turn the fixture off. A minor leak under the sink isn’t an emergency if you can turn off the water supply to that sink. Shutoff valves are often located under the sink or behind the toilet.
In some cases, the only way to stop water flowing through affected fixtures is to shut off the main water line to the house. The main shut-off valve may be located near your water meter or on the first floor of the house near the street. This becomes a problem very quickly because you don’t have access to water for daily tasks. A problem that requires a whole-house shut-off may be an emergency. It’s definitely time to call an emergency plumber if you aren’t able to shut off the water supply at all.
What’s the Weather Like?
The weather is another factor to consider. Losing access to clean water on a hot summer day in San Antonio, TX, may be inconvenient for most people. It can be more serious if vulnerable people in the household are especially susceptible to heat-related health problems. Homes with a large number of pets may need to get their water supply turned on immediately because buying bottled water for a lot of animals becomes unsustainable very quickly.
On the other hand, cold weather with temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit can cause frozen pipes and create a host of problems if you can’t run water for an extended period. You may need a plumber in hot or cold conditions depending on the needs of your household.
How Much Damage Can Occur?
Perhaps the most important question you should ask yourself is, will this problem cause more damage if I leave it unattended until business hours? You can try using buckets to catch leaking water, wrapping pipes with rags or plastic, isolating damaged fixtures, and other temporary solutions until you can schedule a regular plumbing appointment.
Temporary solutions aren’t a good idea if the house will be empty at any point. Plumbing issues during the night can be problematic as well because people usually prefer sleeping instead of supervising a fixture. An unobserved problem with stopgap measures can lead to water damage, so this isn’t a viable option unless a responsible adult can supervise the affected area at all times.
Is the Problem Caused By Public Infrastructure?
You also need to know if the problem is actually your responsibility. Homeowners can’t fix problems with public infrastructure in San Antonio, TX, such as sewer mains, blocked drains, or main water lines. These problems are only your responsibility if they occur on your property. However, you may not know where the problem is. Call an emergency plumber if water or sewage is backing up into your home or yard. Your plumber can figure out whether the problem is your responsibility. Water and sewage backups are destructive regardless of the underlying cause. Ask your plumber how to manage the situation and minimize health risks and damage to your home.
What Are Common Plumbing Emergencies?
Some plumbing issues prompt an immediate call to an emergency plumber. Ruptured pipes spraying water into your home are an obvious threat. Shut off your home’s water supply right away and call an emergency plumber. Move furniture and other objects out of the affected area and start cleaning up the water as quickly as possible.
Water heater leaks or failures may be emergencies. A large tank can potentially spill over 100 gallons of hot water. If the thermostat is faulty or set at a high temperature, the water may be hot enough to cause burns. Large amounts of water can cause property, and even structural, damage regardless of temperature.
Damaged as-powered water heaters can result in gas leaks and even explosions, although explosions are rare. Most water heater models are equipped with numerous safety features to monitor and relieve internal pressure. An explosion is only possible if safety features aren’t working. Water leaking from the temperature and pressure relief valve or from the overflow pipe may be signs of a malfunctioning valve and increased pressure in the tank. You should always call an emergency plumber if you suspect a malfunctioning safety feature.
Watch for signs of a damaged water heater such as dripping, foul odors,and strange noises. An abrupt loss of hot water from plumbing fixtures can occur if a leak extinguishes the pilot light or causes a short in electrical components. Leaks can cause a noticeable drop in water pressure throughout your home if large volumes of water are escaping. Turn the heater off as soon as you notice a problem and call an emergency plumber. You may need to turn an electric water heater off at your home’s circuit breaker box. Turn off the water supply altogether so your tank doesn’t keep drawing water.
Emergency plumbers at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, are ready to respond no matter when a problem occurs. They work nights, weekends, and holidays so customers always have professional help available when it really matters.