7 Plumbing Emergencies That Require Hiring a Professional

Couple collecting water in buckets dripping from the ceiling; the man is calling an emergency plumber 01

Emergencies are unwanted and unwelcome, but they do happen.

A plumbing emergency can leave you stressed out and clueless just like any other emergency you might encounter. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t skilled or knowledgeable enough to prevent a plumbing emergency from getting worse, but luckily, that’s what seasoned, professional plumbers in Sydney are trained for.

So, if you encounter a major plumbing issue that is rapidly turning into an emergency, you need to call a plumber immediately.

But what qualifies as a plumbing emergency? Here are seven situations that can be deemed as plumbing emergencies and require the intervention of a licensed professional.

7 Plumbing Emergencies That Demand a Licensed Emergency Plumber

While there is not much you can personally do in the case of a plumbing emergency, there is one step you can take. Calling a licensed emergency plumber should be at the top of your to-do list. For this reason, you should be able to draw a line between standard plumbing work and a plumbing emergency.

Here are a few situations in which you should — without a doubt — call an emergency plumber to take care of the situation:

#1 Leaky or Burst Pipes

An unattended leaky or burst pipe can quickly flood your bathroom or house with water, which can escalate to becoming a full-blown emergency before you realise it. That said, if you discover a leaky or burst pipe spraying water, you can avoid extensive property damage by taking care of it quickly. Water damage can amount to thousands of dollars within minutes, so acting fast is critical.

Water pipes can easily crack even if they are made of steel, plastic or copper. As soon as you discover a burst pipe, you should shut off the water main and call an emergency plumber to your Sydney home.

You also need to take precautionary measures while dealing with a burst or leaky pipe. Shutting off the water main is one thing, but you also need to ensure that you evacuate your precious belongings, as well as yourself and any other people, if a room is quickly flooding. Lastly, if your electrical connections might be at risk, cut off the electric supply to your house immediately to prevent electrocution. 

#2 Damaged or Leaking Gas Line

Gas leaks can happen for various reasons and can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation. When exposed to leaking gas in confined spaces for a long duration, you could suffocate, suffer brain damage, and experience other major health issues.

So, if you happen to smell gas in your house, you need to ascertain that it is a leak by checking all the gas appliances. Once this is confirmed, you should start taking some immediate precautionary measures. For starters, turn off all the gas and open the windows so that the accumulated gas can dissipate.

Gas plumber checking gas heater

Remember that gas is extremely flammable, so you should avoid lighting candles, incense or any kind of fire when you have detected a gas leak in the house. Additionally, if you find that the pungent gas smell is not going away, leave the premises immediately and wait for your plumber to arrive. Ensure the plumber you call offers 24-hour emergency plumbing services and is also a licensed gas fitter! At All Needs Plumbing, we are gas fitters and plumbers in St. George. Our experts are available to assist with all your urgent and non-urgent gas issues.

#3 Blocked Drains

Blocked drains start showing symptoms quite early. If you notice that your drain gets clunky/noisy or your sinks are slow to drain, you can be sure that the drain will get badly clogged very soon.

It helps to visualise your main drain as a pipe that has multiple drain pipes connected to different parts of your house. For instance, your bathroom drain might get clogged by residual scum from shampoo and soap, as well as hair. Similarly, things like food scraps, fat/oils, and cooking materials can clog up your kitchen drain.

More importantly, debris from all of these drain pipes can collect in the main drain pipe and contribute to potential blockages. When this happens, anything you flush down the drain or wash down the sink will not pass through. Instead, it will simply collect within the pipes, or worse, come back up.

Blocked drains are not always emergencies and can often be checked by an experienced plumber during standard business hours. However, if a blockage is causing unsanitary backflow into your property or it has resulted in an overflowing toilet or another urgent plumbing issue, it’s best to call a 24-hour plumbing professional!

#4 Hot Water System Breakdown

Lathered man looking at shower head - no water coming out mid-shower

Hot water systems can end up malfunctioning just like any other appliance or plumbing fixture in your household. One of the most common issues that homeowners face is that the water is too hot or cold.

Apart from this, you can also face other issues such as dripping tanks, a noisy water heater, and smelly or odd-coloured water. If you notice any of these problems, or you have a broken or leaking water heater, you need to call a plumber for help.

Exceedingly hot temperatures can even cause your water heater to explode, although this is a very rare occurrence. So, if you face even a minor issue with your water heater, it is a good idea to get it checked out so that any major problems can be averted.

If your water heater is causing major problems and needs to be looked at urgently, call an emergency plumber.

#5 Overflowing Toilet Bowl

A blocked or overflowing toilet isn’t just unpleasant - it’s also a tricky and hazardous situation. Both blocked and overflowing toilets can have a range of effects on your plumbing system, but the damage can escalate if it goes unaddressed. A blocked toilet is still an issue that can be resolved at your convenience, but an overflowing toilet is an actual plumbing emergency!

An overflowing toilet can quickly lead to a flooded bathroom and even water damage at home. When this kind of situation occurs, it is important to shut off the water supply to the toilet.

When a toilet overflows, the root cause might be something basic and simple or it might be something significantly more complex. In either case, if the issue goes unaddressed, it can quickly become costly.

#6 Clogged Sewer Line

Worker cleaning  a clogged sewer drain with plumbing equipment in an opening

Clogged sewers are like blocked drains, but they will often affect more than one property and can have more severe consequences.

A sewer blockage might seem like an issue you can deal with a bit later, but it can become a serious problem before you know it. The early signs of a sewer blockage are pretty apparent — you will notice a foul smell emanating from your sink or drains. 

When your sewers get clogged, the wastewater that they are supposed to drain away from your home is blocked. This causes a significant blockage that can force wastewater to lie stagnant in your sewer pipes. This water contains all kinds of waste and inhaling its foul smell or being exposed to it can lead to serious health concerns.

If you ignore the problem, it can escalate and change the colour of the water you consume. You will see that the water from your taps is suddenly red or brown in colour and has a foul odour. Just like a blocked drain, a sewer blockage could appear minor at first but is something you’ll want to deal with quickly.

#7 Sump Pump Failure

A sump pump is an essential component in many plumbing systems. Sump pumps are installed in your basement or crawl space to prevent flood water or water build-up from entering your home. They are designed to suck in all the excess water, and they can prove vital if you live in a flood-prone area or experience severe rainstorms.

In case of a malfunction, the first thing you should do is check the float switch or the sump pump screen. Both the screen and the switch can get blocked due to a build-up of debris over time. If this is the problem, you can easily fix it by cleaning the float switch or removing the sump pump screen, cleaning it, and re-installing it on the pump. If dirty components are not the problem, you could be dealing with a faulty float switch or thermal overload.

If you find yourself in a situation where your sump pump is not functioning and your home is flooding with water because of a rainstorm or otherwise, it is time to call an emergency plumber. A failure to do so promptly can result in serious water damage to your beautiful home.

You can learn more about sump pumps and sump pits here.

What to Do In Case of a Plumbing Emergency?

Tools and a toolbox sitting on a wet floor in front of a broken wall with exposed pipes

Here are a few quick tips that you can use when you are dealing with a plumbing emergency:

  • If the problem is in the main water supply pipes, turn off the main water supply valve
  • Call a licensed emergency plumber and explain the issue so that they can be equipped accordingly
  • If you’re dealing with a gas issue, increase ventilation by opening windows and turning off your gas appliances or switching off the gas to the house

How All Needs Plumbing Can Help

Plumbing emergencies can be quite stressful, and you need to act quickly and take the right steps to prevent any further damage to your property. If the situation seems to be getting out of control and you’re not sure what to do next, it is always better to call a licensed emergency plumber who can fix the issue. If you find yourself in such a plumbing emergency, do not hesitate to contact us.

Available 24/7 For Emergency