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What Can You Do in a Plumbing Emergency?


A leaky sink faucet or a running toilet typically are not considered emergencies. Barring anything unusual happening, these issues can wait until morning or another day, during normal business hours at a time that is convenient for you and your plumber.

However, there are some issues that really cannot wait: if water starts to flood your home or damage the walls, if you cannot use a vital component of your plumbing system, if you have no clean water.

You might need a plumber at any time, since your pipes and drains and fixtures are not on the clock. You’ll also need to know how to get the problem under control while you wait. Here’s our advice.

What’s a plumbing emergency?

Any plumbing company will define a plumbing emergency on their own terms, based on what they’re willing to come out and fix in the middle of the night. However, we think it counts as an emergency any time you are inconvenienced.

Some emergencies can be dealt with by the homeowner and repaired by morning, while others require a plumber’s help as soon as possible. Plumbing emergencies may include:

  • A broken toilet
  • A clogged toilet
  • Backup in the drains
  • Burst pipes
  • Pipe flooding the home
  • No water or low water pressure

Know how to shut off the water

First, you should know how to shut off the water if you need to. This is important if water is filling up your home or if a bathtub, kitchen, or bathroom sink faucet is leaking water at such a high rate, it seems out of control. Usually, any fixture has a shut-off valve located nearby that is fairly easy to find. The bathroom or kitchen sink shut off valve is usually underneath the counter, while the toilet shut-off valve is right next to the fixture.

If you cannot find a shut-off valve next to the fixture or pipe that is leaking, you’ll have to shut off the water to the whole-home while you wait for a plumber to arrive. This may be located in a utility area near the water meter. Turning it clockwise shuts off water throughout the house.

Know how to unclog drains (and how not to)

Knowing how to unclog a drain can keep you from panicking as you wait for a plumber, or it may hold you over until a more convenient hour. If drains throughout the house are clogged or backing up, there’s likely nothing you can really do without a plumber’s help. However, in one drain, a plunger or small drain auger might do the trick.

Have a plumber on call

After you’ve shut off the water or gotten the situation under control, it’s time to call in a plumber for more help. Luckily, there are companies that offer 24-hour service—you’ve just got to find them! Great plumbing contractors know that a plumbing emergency cannot always wait for regular business hours.

While you wait, be sure to get a thorough look at the area around the leak or clog and clean up whatever needs it. Do whatever you can to prevent water damage, health hazards, and the potential for mold and mildew to develop.

Continental Plumbing Services, LLC provides plumbing service throughout New Port Richey, FL.