6 Common Plumbing Emergencies and Their Causes

6 Common Plumbing Emergencies and Their Causes

Usually, homeowners don’t realize how much they rely on their plumbing systems until something suddenly breaks down. Even if you take good care of your pipes, drains, and appliances, many potential issues can pop up. When plumbing emergencies occur, they can be devastating to your comfort, finances, and even how your household functions. However, if you can recognize the situation early on, you may be able to have it remedied before it truly disrupts your daily routine. Aside from being diligent and proactive, the best way you can catch plumbing problems early is to be informed about how they present themselves. If you know which symptoms to look for and what they mean, you can stay one step ahead of most issues that pop up.

1. Burst Pipes in Winter

If the temperature drops low enough, you may end up with burst pipes. When a section of your piping bursts, the primary symptom you’ll encounter is the presence of large puddles below the plumbing system. If your pipes aren’t somewhere where you’ll see the leak, you may be alerted by the odor of growing mold spores or the appearance of water stains on your walls. There’s also a good chance you’ll notice worsened or inconsistent water pressure and an increase in your monthly water bills.

Burst pipes don’t usually give you much warning ahead of time unless you’re proactive about looking for the signs. If your pipes are somewhere that you can see them, make sure to occasionally check their condition. Additionally, ensuring that the temperature of your home doesn’t drop below freezing will go a long way towards keeping your pipes from bursting. If you’re in the Phoenix, AZ area, and you find or suspect that you’re dealing with this emergency, you can hire our trained plumbers at Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to fix your piping.

2. Clogged Toilets

You likely don’t need any reminders regarding clogged toilets. There’s nothing worse than flushing your toilet and having the bowl fill up and overflow with water. The problem may not be what you’d typically think of as an emergency, but if all of your home’s toilets are clogged, it’s clearly a major issue. If more than one toilet is clogged, it likely means there’s something obstructing your pipes. This can occur because of excess toilet paper, feminine products, or waste being backed up within your plumbing system.

In some cases, using a plunger might work as a temporary solution. However, if the pipes themselves are clogged, the problem will most likely reappear quickly. Usually, professional plumbers will need to get in there and remove whatever is backing up the pipes.

3. Lack of Hot Water

Every household needs access to hot water. In addition to bathing and washing your hands, you need it to effectively wash clothes, dishes, and other parts of your home. So, when your home’s hot water suddenly disappears on you, it can be a stressful, frustrating experience. More often than not, this problem is the result of something going wrong with your water heater. It could be that the appliance’s heating mechanism is malfunctioning. It could also be a broken dip tube or a buildup of scale or sludge inside the water heater. Any of these occurrences could result in your hot water diminishing or even disappearing completely.

Whether you have a traditional or tankless water heater, you can contact the skilled plumbers at Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical when you need it inspected or repaired.

4. Sump Pump Malfunction

Most homes that feature a basement or crawl space will also have a sump pump installed. The sump pump is the appliance that prevents your basement from flooding should there be a water leak or heavy rainfall. Unfortunately, these pumps are susceptible to malfunctioning or becoming clogged with small debris. If your sump pump does stop working, your basement or crawl space will be at a serious risk of flooding the next time there’s a rainstorm. Whenever it rains around your home, it’s a wise idea to check the basement and make sure there isn’t an unusual amount of standing water. If there is, it could be a sign that your sump pump isn’t doing its job. In that case, your local plumbers can promptly get it back running again before the next storm.

5. Broken Household Water Line

Your home’s water line serves as the delivery method for bringing you all of your household water. Every house has one of these lines, and they deliver the water directly from the local source.

If your home’s water line is old and deteriorated, the pipe could burst or spring a leak. When this happens, you’ll likely notice a sudden drop in the water pressure of your household. In worst-case scenarios, your water may stop flowing altogether. Another telltale sign of a damaged water line is the presence of soft, wet spots in your front yard. Those damp patches are caused by the moisture seeping from the pipe and into the soil. Even though the problem isn’t inside your house, your local plumbing professionals will still be able to work on your water line for you and get your home’s water flow back on track.

6. Clogged Sinks and Drains

Your toilets aren’t the only place in your home where you can experience the consequences of plumbing obstructions. Depending on the location of the clogged pipe, you may observe that your toilets are working fine, but your sinks or bathtubs are having trouble draining. Clogged sinks can be a major hassle, as you’ll have trouble washing dishes, using the garbage disposal, and even washing your hands or brushing your teeth. Plus, the last thing you need is your sink overflowing all over the kitchen or bathroom.

With clogged sinks and tubs, you can attempt to remedy the problem on your own. Before calling in a plumber, you may have some success snaking your drain or even using your hands to search for the source of the blockage. If those attempts don’t work, though, you shouldn’t attempt to go deeper into your plumbing on your own. Instead, trust our local experts who are trained, experienced, and possess the necessary equipment. Otherwise, you’ll risk exacerbating the problem and costing yourself more money to get it fixed.

At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, we’ve been proudly serving the greater Phoenix area since 1976. Over the years, we’ve built our reputation for guaranteed up-front pricing and quality service. In addition to comprehensive HVAC services, we offer top-notch heating, electrical, and insulation services as well. We want you to have peace of mind with every job, which is why we always include a warranty on parts and labor. We also care deeply about our community. That’s why we regularly support charitable causes, such as Rockstar Rescue and Helping Hands. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with our team, call our offices at Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical today.

Air conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical repair since 1976 in Phoenix, AZ.


How to Handle a Plumbing Emergency

How to Handle a Plumbing Emergency

If you’re a homeowner, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll have plumbing problems at some point. They can seem overwhelming, but knowing they’re common and can be treated by a good residential plumbing service should help ease your mind.

Simple projects and problems can be solved via the DIY route. This includes things like dripping faucets and clogged toilets but not more serious problems like water heater leaks. Plumbing services are well worth the cost and are the route to go in the majority of cases.

If you notice leaking, water damage to your home, or another plumbing problem, remain calm. Follow the steps outlined below and you’ll be well on your way to fixing the issue.

Steps to Take in a Plumbing Emergency

When things start going wrong with your plumbing, it’s pretty easy to panic. Even though the situation might seem stressful, it’s important to take a moment to stop and breathe deeply. Calm your nerves and know that following a few simple steps can help minimize the damage to your home.

Remember that you don’t have to do this alone. It’s best to call a plumber early in the process. The more severe the problem is the sooner you should call your plumber. Store the company’s number in an easy-to-access location so you don’t have to spend time finding it during an emergency.

Step One: Turn Off Your Water

The first thing to do is shut off the water. This will prevent the leak from getting worse, eating up more money, and causing damage to your property. For small things like toilets, you can shut off just the supply to that one appliance. For bigger problems or leaks where the source isn’t known, you’ll need to shut off the main water that runs to your home.

Step Two: Check and Protect Your Water Heater

If there’s a major plumbing problem that involves water seeping onto your floors, it’s wise to turn off your water heater so it doesn’t get damaged. After you’ve closed off the water supply, shut off the unit. This applies to both electric and gas water heaters.

Step Three: Correct Simple Leaks

Fixing small leaks yourself isn’t a difficult task. Plumber’s tape can be used to patch up small holes and make them watertight. Another step you can take to prevent water damage from occurring is to put buckets or pans beneath leaks to catch the water. Once the plumbers arrive, you can direct them to the leaks.

Step Four: Open Drains and Spigots

Even after the water has been shut off to your home, some will still rest in your pipes. This can cause water damage if it continues to leak out into the home. You can drain this excess water by turning on any spigots you have outside. Don’t put any chemicals down your drains to loosen a clog. This can cause more damage.

Step Five: Call for Emergency Plumbing Services

It’s important that you get help from an experienced professional during a plumbing emergency. Calling early can help you tackle the situation in the safest way possible. Listen carefully to any instructions your plumber provides you with. They’ll help guide you and tell you whether this is a job you can tackle on your own or if it’s truly an emergency.

The Most Common Plumbing Emergencies

Every plumbing emergency requires a different response. By knowing ahead of time the most common plumbing troubles, you can determine how much of an issue a problem is and what steps you need to take.

When in doubt, know that no two situations are exactly the same. The best route to go typically involves contacting a plumber and asking for their advice and direction.

Leaking Faucets

Leaks are some of the most common plumbing emergencies, and they’re the most common reason that calls are placed to plumbers. When it comes to leaking faucets and fixtures, the good news is it’s probably not an emergency.

You should turn off the faucets’ valve by hand only. Many people instinctively grab a wrench to get the job done, but this can actually turn a small leak into a major disaster. If you can’t get the valve shut off by hand, it’s a good idea to turn off the water to your home.

This is an okay project to do yourself as long as you’re familiar with the steps you need to take. If you feel totally out of your element, it’s better to call for assistance.

Leaking Pipes

There’s not much you can do about this problem. If there’s an obvious leak, shut off the water to your home and wait for the plumbers to arrive. Don’t try any DIY fixes you read about on the internet. Most of them do little good, and some of them can actually damage your plumbing system further.

Leaking Hot Water Heater

Another area that is known to leak is your water heater. These leaks can be severe and quickly cause damage to your home. Check the drip pan beneath the machine. If it has water sitting in it, the leak is coming from the hot water heater. Shut off the water line leading to the machine, turn the unit off, and call a plumber.

Scalding Water

Having hot water instantly is one of the greatest things about modern living. Water that scalds the skin is a hazard, though, and can lead to severe burns. If the water heater temperature settings haven’t been fiddled with, there’s probably something wrong with the water heater itself. Turn off the unit before calling a plumber and let the hot water cool.

Clogged Toilets and Drains

Clogs are a very common plumbing issue. Sometimes these come in the form of drain clogs. The kitchen sink is the most common culprit, but any drain in your home can become clogged. If your drains are running slowly or not at all, it’s time to call a plumber.

Toilets are another common area to get clogged. A minor clog can be fixed yourself with a plunger. If the clog is more serious, however, and plunging seems to have no effect, it’s best to call in the pros so you don’t get sewage all over or make the clog worse.

Sewage Smells

Smelling sewer in your home is always a cause for concern. If you smell this while running water or if there’s a visible leak that smells of sewage, call a plumber right away. This smell is a red flag that there’s a serious problem somewhere in your septic system. Exposing yourself to sewage also means exposing yourself to some nasty bacteria that can harm your health, so never attempt to fix this kind of problem on your own. This task is one for the pros.

Working With Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical

Have you ever been the victim of a plumbing emergency? We’d like to know! Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical serves Phoenix, AZ, and the surrounding area. We offer a full range of plumbing services, and our team is available for all your heating, cooling, electrical, and indoor air quality needs.

Have a question or want to book an appointment? Give us a call today!

Air conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical repair since 1976 in Phoenix, AZ.