Emergency Plumbing Problems (How to Fix!)

10 Emergency Plumbing Problems and How Professional Can Help

Plumbing is one of those things you rarely think about until it’s too late…

Everything is going fine one moment, and in the next you’re desperately searching for a plunger as you turn the water off and try to fix the problem yourself. The good news is there are some emergency plumbing problems that you can fix yourself pretty easily…

It’s not always like electrical issues where it would be unwise to even attempt a solution, even a minor one. Other times, though, the emergency plumbing problem will be above your pay grade. It’s during times like that, when you should call a plumber.

Here’s our guide to some of the most common emergency plumbing problems and how professionals can help.

1) Dripping Faucet

Dripping Faucet

Water dripping by the metallic tap

Dripping faucets are the flat tires of the plumbing world (that’s a nice metaphor).

Most people have experienced them at least once in their lives, and some are worse than others. In spite of their frequency, dripping faucets can actually be quite costly. A single dripping faucet can waste literally hundreds of gallons of water by the end of the year.

This is a tremendous problem anyone with more than one house. Let’s say you leave your Brantford home during the Winter and don’t come back until Spring, well if the faucet was dripping that whole time, it could be very costly.

In most cases, dripping faucets are caused by worn out washers or O-rings. You can usually repair and replace these yourself.

2) Slow Sink or Shower Drain

Dirty Clogged Sink and Shower

Close up dirty sink with food waste, very bad for the drain!

A slow shower drain or sink is an annoying problem that you can usually fix on your own. In most cases a slow drain in a sink, shower, or bathtub is caused by a blockage that can range from hair to plastic wrappers or other every-day items such as gross food from your dishes that the kids didn’t finish.

You can fix a minor drainage problem by going to your local hardware store and purchasing an unclogging kit.

This will include some harsh chemicals that you empty into the drain and then let sit for up to thirty minutes. After chemicals have sat, you then stick a flexible plastic snake (should come in the kit) into the drain and move it back and forth. This will work to loosen the obstruction which should come loose and be removable by hand. You should, by the way, be wearing gloves.

Most modern plumbers will advise against using chemicals in your drain.

The reason being, that if you do end up requiring professional help for your plumbing emergency, the chemicals may pose a risk to the plumber. More often then not you need a physical incursion to remove debris that chemicals will not help with.

3) Clogged Toilet

Clogged Toilet

I know THIS problem all too well. Clogged toilets have been the bane of my existence since 2006. I’ve had to call a plumber on numerous occasions. If your one and only toilet is clogged… You are experiencing a true plumbing emergency.

A clogged toilet is something that happens often in houses with young children. Sometimes it’s due to weak water pressure, others because you are trying to flush too much waist at once.

Either way, in most cases you can solve this issue with a plunger. You simply place the rubber end of the plunger directly over the hole at the bottom of the toilet and “plunge” the obstruction out from there. If this doesn’t work after a couple a minutes, call a plumber…

More severe clogs may point to issues with your waste escape pipe. Sometimes 90 degree elbows in your pipes may cause waste to build up, consider switching to a gradual system of two 45 degree elbows.

That, or tell the kids to flush more… During…

4) Running Toilet

Running water in toilet

Like a dripping faucet, a running toilet is a major potential expense that can cost you big money in water bills.

In some ways, a running toilet is even worse than a dripping faucet because running toilets often go undiscovered for days or even weeks. People hear a running toiled and think, “I guess it’s just a slow flusher,” and then they walk away, leaving the problem for someone else.

Also, another issue with running toilets is that they often require a deeper understanding of plumbing to fix then does a dripping faucet. At the very least, though, the first thing you should do is always turn the running toilet water off.

Just reach behind the head of the toilet or the back of the base, find the handle and twist it to the right. This will stop the water from running but will also stop it from properly flushing so you should not try and use it.

Turning off the water to a constantly running toilet is wise to do especially if you’re leaving your Brantford Ontario home.

5) Weak Water Pressure

Low Water Pressure Issues

These guys definitely require good water pressure

Weak water pressure is one of those things that it’s easy to get complacent about.

It is also, in most cases, pretty easy for a professional plumber to fix.

If then you are not satisfied with your weak water pressure you should not hesitate to call a local plumber and get a price quote.

Though low water pressure doesn’t quite qualify as an emergency plumbing issue in Brantford or Norfolk County – It can be a precursor to some of the other issues we are discussing.

6) Backed-Up Sewer System

A backed-up sewer system is one of the worst, most inconvenient emergency plumbing problems you can have, and yes, you are defiantly going to need a professional plumber for this emergency.

Contact BC Plumbing if you’re looking for an emergency plumber in Brantford and area to help with a backed up sewer system or any other problem.

The first issue with backed up sewer systems is that it’s sometimes hard to identify where exactly the problem is coming from. If it’s coming from the main sewer it may be something that you do not need to pay for. But, if it’s coming from a pipe that is on or in your property, odds are, you will.

There are a few main reasons sewer systems back up. The first is old pipes, which sometimes simply rust and crack.

The second is from having too much non-degradable material (watch what you flush), and the third is tree roots which can sometimes squeeze and get into pipes to the point where they break. Even though a backed-up sewer system is no small task it’s nothing to get stressed out about.

The first step in dealing with a backed up sewer system is calling a plumber.

7) Broken Water Heater

Water Heater Repairs Brantford

Broken water heaters, especially during the winter are not fun. This is another one that usually requires a professional plumber as water heating systems can sometimes be complex.

A lot of us have rental water heaters in our home from companies like BC Plumbing, Reliance, or Enercare. Often times you are paying a rental fee that includes the service call to fix the unit.

8) Sump Pump Problems

New SUMP pump Ontario

Brand new sump pump for suctioning collected ground water from a sump pit such as in a basement of a house

Sump pumps sometimes fail because of stuck switches or clogged discharge pipes. If your sump pumps are around ten years or older, you will probably want to have they replaced or, at least, inspected as they usually don’t last much longer than that.

This is typically something you can do yourself. However, if you’d rather have the opinion of a professional, you know who to call.

9) Jammed Garbage Disposal

Fixing a garbage disposal

A plumber working on an under the sink garbage disposal

A jammed garbage disposal is a minor plumbing issue that you can usually fix yourself. If the clog is somewhere deep in the piping, though, you may need to call a plumber.

Avoiding the Obvious

This article avoids the obvious plumbing emergencies such as frozen or burst pipes. That is a situation where you know beyond a doubt that you need the help of a local emergency plumber.

This post was centred around plumbing issues in Brantford and Norfolk County. If you’re in the Tillsonburg or Oxford County area, see this post: