What Classifies As a Plumbing Emergency?

A plumbing emergency is a problem that can cause significant damages to your plumbing unit or is a safety concern. While your plumbing system is prone to several issues, understanding what issues constitute emergencies is essential with the help of emergency plumbing contractors Miami Fl.

Common Plumbing Problems Considered Emergencies

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Burst pipes, sewer backup, water shut-off valve failure, and failed sump pumps are some of the plumbing problems classified as emergencies that demand you to make sure to call an emergency plumber. However, the most common plumbing problems considered emergencies include:

Overflowing Toilets

Possibly, your overflowing toilet is a result of issues such as clogs or blocked drains. Clogs and blocked drains prevent water from efficiently flowing, causing improper flushing and adjustments float that allows your toilet tanks to overfill or stop their vent pipes. When this happens, your plumbing vent pipes fail to balance equal pressure, releasing air in and out, which obstructs toilet flushes.

Regardless of the cause, overflowing toilets and blocked vent pipes are plumbing emergencies that need immediate attention; else, they’ll lead to increased water and electric bills. They can also lead to flooding, mainly when water flows by pressure from bursting full obstructed pipes. However, before reaching for emergency help, turn off your toilets’ water supply and any water line within your property to prevent sediments from sucking up on pipes leading to worse problems. To shut water supplies, locate your tap valves and turn them counterclockwise.

Burst Pipes

Seasonally, winter and other cold temperature weather times are typical for plumbing burst pipe issues. Generally, emergencies happen when pipes burst and take long before rectification. A busted tube can still serve, but when it’s directly connected to outdoor sewer lines, sediments and other contaminates fills it up, sucking up air creating reversed pressure levels that interfere with the flow of water.  Likewise, a busted pipe releases gallons of water in minutes which can cause flooding, especially without supervision. However, when calling for emergency plumbing services for damaged pipes, be sure to shut off the main water supply immediately. This prevents extra pressure from sewer lines which can also block pipes by accumulating large particles. Also, remove belongings like furniture from the affected pipe places, especially if it’s an indoor case.  Removal of upholstery and other belongings prevents the growth of molds considering they thrive under warm and wet areas.

Sump Pump Problems

Sump pump failure can be due to different factors, including power outage, wrong sizing, improper installation, and switch problems.  The performance of your sump pump depends on your property’s power issues like blackouts and more. Usually, a sump pump is essential for protecting your home from flooding, especially during heavy rain seasons.  Sump pipes usually operate by removing water flowing to the basements or around other spaces in your home. If your sump pumps are not properly working, your home risks flooding and the growth of mildew and molds.

Molds and mildew usually contaminate air and foodstuffs, thus the need to consider sump pump problems as plumbing emergencies. Traditionally, the most apparent sign of sump pump problems is flooding in your basement. Moreover, other signs indicating sump pump malfunctions include irregular cycling and strange noises or vibrations.

Broken Water Heaters

Your water heaters can break or burst due to excessive internal pressure, too many sediments build-ups, and rust or corrosion. Still, too hot or too cold water can cause heater breakages and bursts. When too much pressure builds up inside your heaters, they risk bursting, considering they usually feature pressure and temperature relief valve levels. Once pressure and temperature levels go up, your heaters start to wear out hence break or burst if not immediately sorted out.

Again, when the valves open and leak regularly, your heaters fail to hold the pressure levels leading to imbalances that cause bursting.  Noticing broken or busted heaters will come from noises or vibrations coming from your water tanks. Typically, you’ll see or hear bubbling and dripping, indicating leaks in the main water tank.

What To Do in a Plumbing Emergency

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When faced with a plumbing emergency, it is common to feel panicked, but if you keep your cool, you can take all the steps to ensure minimum damage to your home. In some instances, you can even fix the issue yourself. However, it is best to leave the job to the professionals. If you are faced with a plumbing emergency such as burst pipes or clogged toilets, here are some things you should do till help comes. 

Shut Off the Water

The first thing you should do when a plumbing emergency strikes is to turn off the closest water source. Do this as quickly as possible to avoid wasting water. The water valve is located at the base or behind your commode for toilets. For larger emergencies, such as burst pipes which may cause flooding, you must turn off the main valve in your home. Most water valves can be turned off by rotating them clockwise. 

Assess the Damage

In a plumbing emergency, you should assess the damage so that you know which service you require and can explain the exact issue to the plumber. For example, if one of your pipes bursts, your plumber may ask you what caused it, how big the hole is, and more. It is essential that you can describe the issue so that the appropriate technician and sufficient equipment can be dispatched to your home. 

Tackle Small Leak

If you find a small leak causing water overflow, it is best to fix it yourself. All you need to do is get some plumbing tape and tape up the leak. If you don’t have it, you can also stuff towels and rags around the leak to prevent further damage. Buckets and pipes can help contain the water to prevent it from flooding your bathroom. Ensure you note down the leaks to provide your plumber with an accurate picture of the issue. 

Open Drains and Spigots

Once you have closed your water valves, there will still be water in your valves, and to prevent it from coming into your damaged pipes, you need to move it away from your home. This can be done by turning on the spigots outside your home. To ensure all the water is cleared out, turn on the garden hose until no more water comes out. 


While there are many issues your plumbing system can face, some of the problems considered emergencies lead to increased utility bills or bothersome issues expensive to handle in the future. Those issues include slow drainage, leaky pipes, and damaged heaters.