A Guide to Plumbing Emergencies

Plumbing emergencies can strike at any time. Maybe your faucet broke while you were rushing to get ready for work, or your pipe burst smack-dab in winter peak. Indeed, there’s never a good time for a plumbing malfunction. Plumbing systems play a vital role in the smooth operation of any building, whether it’s your home or business. Even the most minor malfunction in your plumbing system can severely disrupt your daily routine and cause major inconveniences.

Not only that, but some plumbing malfunctions can cause extensive damage to your property. Worse still, they can endanger your health and safety, as well as your family, employees, pets, and even the environment. Suffice it to say plumbing emergencies demand immediate attention and action from you. This post will walk you through the different types of plumbing emergencies and how to deal with them appropriately.

What Does a Plumbing Emergency Look Like?

An ill-timed toilet clog or a bursting sink pipe makes for some good comedy, but it can be a real thorn in the side in real life. Not only are they a major inconvenience, but some plumbing malfunctions can pose immediate and long-term threats to the health and safety of people. If you run an establishment or business, you might even be held legally liable. Therefore, these malfunctions constitute and should be treated as an emergency.

Moreover, some plumbing emergencies also threaten to compromise the structural integrity of your building as well as the surrounding infrastructure. The longer you go without addressing the issue, the worse that threat becomes. Hence, you must treat your plumbing malfunctions as pressing and time-sensitive. To do this, you must be able to recognize what counts as an emergency in a particular setting. So, let’s look at some common examples of plumbing-related emergencies.

Plumbing Emergency Examples

Here are some common examples of plumbing issues and why they might count as an emergency:

  • Burst Pipes— When the pressure inside pipes builds too much, the pipes can burst. Burst pipes cause substantial water damage to the floors, walls, and ceilings of your business. Not to mention, burst pipes can be a serious health and safety hazard.
  • Frozen Pipes— Frozen pipes are a warning sign for something worse to come since they can cause your pipes to leak, creak, and burst. Remember: it’s much easier and less costly to fix a frozen pipe than a burst one.
  • Gas Leaks— Gas leaks are never to be taken lightly; you should address the leak as soon as you suspect one.
  • Overflowing Toilets— Apart from being an inconvenience, overflowing toilets can lead to water damage, structural damage, slip and fall accidents, and contamination.
  • Water Heater Malfunction— a water heater malfunction can be disastrous in hospitals, labs, restaurants, gyms, etc., disrupting or even halting daily operations. Moreover, it can lead to other problems, such as high electricity bills, fire hazards, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Sewage Backups— sewage backups can lead to contamination, structural damage, flooding, pest infestations, foul odors, and a range of other problems.

Sometimes, a plumbing malfunction may not seem like an emergency on the surface. But you can never know just how deep the problem runs. Our advice is: it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Moreover, the definition of a plumbing emergency may vary between commercial and residential properties, with different stakes in play.

Residential vs. Commercial Plumbing Emergencies

At their core, all plumbing systems essentially serve the same purpose. Their mega-network of pipes, fixtures, and appliances transport fluids across a building for various applications. However, the specific applications of plumbing systems can vary significantly between residential and commercial settings.

Commercial buildings host more people. Hence their plumbing systems are much more complex and sturdier. Moreover, commercial buildings are bound by safety regulations and answerable to the law. Hence, the stakes of a plumbing emergency are considerably higher.

How to Handle a Plumbing Emergency

In case of a plumbing emergency, the most important thing to do is remain calm. With a clear head, you can then take the following essential steps to deal with the emergency.

Step 1: Turn off the Water/Gas Supply

The first thing you must do is turn off the main water or gas supply. This will minimize any further damage to your property and ensure the safety of the people in the building.

Try to locate the source of the problem. If you’re dealing with a burst pipe or a gas leak, the safest thing to do is turn off the main supply. However, if the problem is more contained, like an overflowing toilet, closing the shutoff valve should suffice.

Step 2: Take Safety Precautions

Some plumbing emergencies can pose immediate safety risks. For example, a burst pipe can lead to flooding, which can lead to slip-and-fall accidents. Moreover, if your pipe has burst around an area with a lot of electrical wiring or open sockets, electrocution and fires are a serious risk.

If you have young children or pets, you should get them as far away from the accident site as possible. Meanwhile, you should wear protective clothing and take all necessary safety precautions.

Step 3: Call a Professional

Once you’ve guaranteed everyone’s safety, you should contact a professional plumbing service as soon as possible.

While en route, the plumber may provide you with some instructions to help mitigate additional damage. Heed these instructions religiously.

Step 4: Clean Up The Mess

If the site isn’t a safety hazard, try to clean up the mess as soon as possible. This will minimize contamination and long-lasting damage, as well as clear a path for the plumber to work their magic.

Step 5: Document the Damage

If there is any considerable damage to your property, you should document the damage to file your insurance claims.

Trust Us With Your Plumbing Emergencies

A plumbing emergency demands immediate action. Luckily, our team of skilled, experienced, and dedicated plumbers are always on standby to help you deal with your plumbing emergency. So if you’re having a plumbing-related emergency, fret not. Contact O-Town Plumbing Solutions now for immediate solutions. Our team is available 24/7 to address all your plumbing malfunctions at a moment’s notice.

Don’t put off the emergency if you’re worried about repair costs. We offer competitive prices and strive to be fully transparent about our costs. Once your plumbing emergency is on our radar, just sit back and let the professionals take care of everything.