Avoiding Plumbing Disasters: When to Call an Emergency Plumber

Plumbing issues can turn a peaceful home into a disaster zone in no time. While some problems can be managed with a bit of DIY spirit, others require immediate attention from a professional to avoid extensive damage and costly repairs. Knowing when to call an emergency plumber can save you a lot of trouble and keep your home safe and functional.

1. Burst Pipes

One of the most severe plumbing emergencies is a burst pipe. Whether it’s due to freezing temperatures or old, corroded pipes, a burst pipe can cause significant water damage in a short amount of time. If you notice water gushing from a pipe or see signs of a burst (like water stains on walls or ceilings), turn off your main water supply and call an emergency plumber immediately.

2. Sewer Backups

A sewer backup is not only a messy inconvenience but also a health hazard. If you notice multiple drains in your home are clogged, there is a foul smell coming from the drains, or you see sewage backing up into your sinks or toilets, it’s time to call a plumber. These signs indicate a blockage in your main sewer line that requires professional intervention.

3. Water Heater Failure

Hot water is essential for many daily activities, from showering to washing dishes. If your water heater stops working, leaks, or makes strange noises, you need an emergency plumber. Ignoring these signs can lead to a complete breakdown of the water heater, causing inconvenience and potentially more significant damage.

4. Overflowing Toilets

An overflowing toilet can quickly create an unsanitary situation. If plunging doesn’t resolve the issue, and especially if the overflow persists, it’s crucial to call a plumber. They can diagnose the problem, whether it’s a blockage in the pipes or a malfunctioning component of the toilet.

5. Significant Leaks

A small leak under the sink might seem manageable, but a significant leak or one that causes noticeable water damage needs immediate attention.


Water can quickly damage flooring, walls, and foundations, leading to mold growth and structural issues. If you see water pooling or dripping heavily from pipes, fixtures, or appliances, call an emergency plumber.

6. Gas Leaks

If your home uses natural gas, a gas leak is a severe emergency. Signs of a gas leak include a rotten egg smell, hissing sounds near gas lines, or feeling lightheaded and dizzy. If you suspect a gas leak, evacuate your home immediately, call your gas company, and contact an emergency plumber who specializes in gas line repairs.

7. Frozen Pipes

In colder climates, frozen pipes are a common issue during winter months. If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle of water comes out, or you notice frost on exposed pipes, you likely have frozen pipes. Call an emergency plumber to thaw the pipes safely and prevent them from bursting.

8. No Water Supply

If your home suddenly has no water supply, check with your water company to ensure there isn’t a widespread issue. If everything seems fine on their end, the problem could be with your plumbing system. An emergency plumber can diagnose and fix the issue, restoring your water supply promptly.

Preventative Measures

While knowing when to call an emergency plumber is essential, taking preventative measures can help you avoid many plumbing disasters. Regularly inspect your plumbing system for signs of wear and tear, invest in annual plumbing check-ups, and insulate pipes in colder climates. Additionally, knowing the location of your main water shut-off valve can help you act quickly in an emergency.


Plumbing emergencies can be stressful and damaging, but knowing when to call an emergency plumber can mitigate these issues. From burst pipes to sewer backups, water heater failures to gas leaks, professional plumbers have the expertise to handle these situations promptly and safely. By staying vigilant and prepared, you can protect your home from plumbing disasters and maintain a safe and comfortable living environment.

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