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Plumbing Repairs: What Needs an Emergency Plumber

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When Should I Call an Emergency Plumber?

Some plumbing problems are obvious emergencies. A burst pipe definitely requires emergency plumbing, but what about a leaky faucet? While flooding in your home is an emergency, all plumbing problems should be fixed sooner than later to prevent further damage. From a leaky sink to a sewer line problem, learn what plumbing repairs need to happen right away and should happen as soon as possible. 

Plumbing Emergencies

If you are experiencing one of the problems below, it’s time to call an emergency plumber. 

Burst Pipes

Especially in colder climates like Calgary’s, a burst pipe can happen because of freezing temperatures. In other cases, a burst pipe can be due to corrosion, oxidation, or rust. Whatever the cause, shut off the water supply and call an emergency plumber immediately. A burst pipe can cause extensive water damage in minutes and needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. 

Odours or Suds From Your Floor Drain

Your floor drain may not be what comes to mind when you think of plumbing problems, but it can signal some serious issues. Odours can be a sign of a dried out drain, or worse, a damaged sewer line.

Like odours, suds coming from the drain can be a sign of sewer line problems or incorrect pipe installation. Whatever the cause, odours and suds are signs of a plumbing emergency. If you notice either coming from your floor drain, it’s time to call an emergency plumber. 

Clogged or Overflowing Toilet

A clogged toilet is an obvious inconvenience, but an overflowing toilet is an emergency. It’s important to deal with a clogged toilet sooner rather than later to prevent overflows. If your toilet is overflowing, first shut off the water to your toilet. 

You might be able to then use a plunger to fix the clog, but serious clogs may require an emergency plumber. An emergency plumber will be able to use an auger to loosen the clog if a plunger doesn’t do the job. 

Leaking Washing Machine Hose

In most cases, washing machine leaks come from the hose. Even if the leak seems small, it’s important not to ignore it. A leaky washing machine hose can cause damage to the walls, floors, as well as rust and mould. 

Depending on the location of your washing machine and hose, you may not be able to notice small leaks either, which makes fixing the problem quickly that much more important. 

Water Heater Malfunction

An issue with your water heater won’t damage your home like some other plumbing emergencies might, but it is still an issue that needs to be fixed ASAP. No hot water makes it difficult to do household tasks like washing the dishes, not to mention unbearable to shower or bathe. 

There are a number of issues with your gas line or water heater itself that could leave you without hot water. The pressure relief valve can become stuck in the “open” position which will cause your tank to leak water and damage your home. If the valve is stuck in the closed position, it can cause an explosion. Given the potential hazards of your water heater, it’s best to have any issues checked by a professional.

Sump Pump

A broken sump pump can quickly cause other problems in your home. Because a sump pump is designed to prevent excess moisture and flooding your home, a faulty sump pump can allow moisture to collect. 

With that excess moisture, your basement or crawlspace could be at risk for mould and water damage. One of the most common issues with sump pumps is debris, so first check that the impeller isn’t blocked by debris. If that doesn’t solve the problem, it’s time to call an emergency plumber.

Sewer System Back-Up

A sewer system back-up can have many causes and is more common in older homes. Some of the most common reasons for a sewer back-up include ageing pipes, tree roots, melting snow, rain, or an issue with the city system. Improper sewer line bedding of the pipe could be another cause. If the pipe was laid on top of large rocks or construction debris, the pressure from the soil up can cause the pipe to fracture.

Whatever the cause, it’s important that a sewer system back-up is dealt with immediately. They are messy and can introduce hazardous materials into your home. To prevent a sewer system back-up, watch for signs like multiple drain clogs, gurgling toilets, and water pools in your basement.


While the following issues aren’t emergencies, they should still be fixed as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home. When any plumbing problem is left unrepaired, it has the potential to cause further damage and other problems like mould. In some cases, the cost of the damage can easily exceed the original cost of repairs.

Clogged Sinks

Clogged sinks are certainly annoying, but usually don’t need to be fixed immediately. If you have a clogged sink, you can try a DIY method like baking soda and vinegar to try and fix the problem. However, avoid using chemicals to unclog your drain, they can cause more damage to pipes and cause fumes in your home. In the event a plunger and at-home methods don’t work, or if your sink won’t drain at all, it’s probably time to call a plumber. 

A plumber can use an auger (also known as a drain snake) and steam to eliminate stubborn clogs. A severely clogged sink not only hinders your daily activities but can lead to problems like leaks and bad smells. To help prevent clogged sinks, avoid putting things like coffee grounds and grease down the drain.

Leaky Toilet 

A leaky toilet is another annoying plumbing problem, although it is easy to ignore. While a leaky toilet doesn’t require emergency repair, it is something that’s important to fix. As your toilet leaks, 0you’re flushing money down the drain. The average home’s leaks can add up to over 37, 000 litres of wasted water in a year, which can really add up on your water bill. 

Mould growth can also be a side effect of a leaky toilet. To tell if you have a leak, place a few drops of food colouring in the toilet tank. If the colour shows up in the toilet bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining, and call a plumber to have the problem repaired.

What to Do in an Emergency

If you have a plumbing emergency or problem with your water, here are some important things to know:

  1. Know where the main water shutoff is in your house.
  2. Know where the shutoff valves are for individual sinks and toilets.
  3. Always have a plunger on hand for clogs.

For everything else, it’s often best to call a professional plumber. No plumbing issues get better with time. In fact, plumbing problems only get worse if left unrepaired. Even if it’s not an emergency, it’s best to call your plumber and make an appointment for all plumbing issues to prevent further damage. 

Written by Jack Devetten

The company was built on dedication to quality services, skilled and experienced technicians, and competitive prices. Our owner, Jack Devetten, brings more than 45 years of experience with him. All our staff members are focused on delivering 100% satisfaction on every job they do – we guarantee it!
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