Almost a third of Americans have to get some work done on their home’s plumbing systems every year. Most of the time, these systems live in the background of our lives, something we don’t think much about day-to-day. But sometimes, things go wrong, and a plumbing emergency can turn into a major catastrophe.
The good news is that there are some warning signs that could let you know a plumbing emergency is coming. Read on to learn how to identify these signs and when you need to call in the professionals ASAP.
1. You Have a Leak
One of the first signs of a plumbing emergency is any sort of leak. It doesn’t take long at all for water to wreak a lot of havoc in your home, and you don’t want to give it that opportunity. As soon as you notice a leak in your home, you need to call a plumber, a roofing expert, or both, depending on where the leak is coming from.
Common sources of leaks can include faucets, toilet bases, and pipes underneath sinks. You also want to watch out if your water heater is in a closet inside your home or, worse yet, in your attic. Any time you notice water somewhere it isn’t supposed to be, it’s better to be safe than sorry and to go ahead and call a plumber.
2. You Have Water Stains
Even if you don’t notice water dripping out of your ceiling, there are some other telltale signs that you may be dealing with a slow leak. Slow leaks can be as dangerous as full-blown burst pipes. Your insulation, drywall, and framing may all rot over time, and you could face major structural damage.
Keep an eye on your ceilings and walls for water stains and other unexplained discoloration. Most water stains will look like a yellow or brownish ring on your ceiling, possibly around one central point. Any time you notice a new water stain or you see one growing, call a plumber as soon as possible.
3. Your Ceiling Is Sagging
If a water stain or leak has gone unaddressed for a long time, you may start to reach the tipping point of an emergency. A sagging ceiling can be a sign that your slow leak is about to become a major problem. As moisture gathers in insulation and drywall gets weaker, your ceiling may start to bow and will eventually collapse.
If you notice an area of your ceiling sagging, start by calling an emergency plumber right away. It’s also a good idea to move all your furniture and valuables out from under the area in case the ceiling does collapse. You may also consider laying down a drop cloth to catch the inevitable mess that will result from a collapsed ceiling.
4. Your Water Pressure Has Dropped
Every house has different water pressure, and your house may not have as much water pressure as some others. But extremely low water pressure or a sudden drop in water pressure can be a warning sign that there’s a problem. Essentially, this lets you know that the water is going somewhere else, often through a burst pipe or a severe leak.
If you’ve just bought the house and it has low water pressure, it may be a good idea to have a plumber give the entire house a once-over. But if your water pressure has been steadily dropping (or, worse yet, dropped all of a sudden), you also need to call in professional help. If your water pressure dropped off all at once, you may also consider turning the water off to your house until the 24/7 plumbing service gets there.
5. Your Drains Aren’t Draining
It’s not unusual for drains to back up from time to time, especially depending on what goes down them. If you tend to shove kitchen scraps down the sink, it won’t come as a surprise that your sink gets clogged every so often. But if multiple drains in your house start backing up at the same time, it could spell trouble.
One drain slowing down doesn’t say much, but multiple drains not running well could mean there’s a clog somewhere down the line. Maybe you have tree roots growing into your pipes or you have a major clog brewing. If you don’t address this over time, it could lead to everything that goes down your drains coming back up at the lowest point.
6. Your Toilet Is Overflowing
On the subject of things coming back up, most of us would classify an overflowing toilet as a plumbing emergency. Like sinks, all toilets get clogged up from time to time, and a quick plunging should be enough to clear them most of the time. But in some cases, you may be dealing with a more severe problem that needs immediate attention.
You don’t need us to tell you that an overflowing toilet can be a serious health issue for your family, as well as being plain gross. And if you can’t clear it by plunging, it may be another sign that you have a major clog downstream. Clean up what you can, close off that toilet, and call an emergency plumber as soon as possible.
Head Off a Plumbing Emergency
Plumbing emergencies are never fun, but knowing the warning signs could help you to head them off before they ever begin. Leaks and water stains are never a good sign, and sagging ceilings or drops in water pressure could signal an emergency. If multiple drains start backing up at the same time or toilets won’t stop overflowing, stop everything and call a plumber right away.
If you’d like to learn more about how to head off a plumbing emergency, check out the rest of our site at Waterwork Plumbing. We are a team of friendly plumbing experts providing quick service to restore your pipes to perfection in the shortest time possible. Make an appointment with us today and stop plumbing problems from clogging up your time.