Throughout your home ownership, you may encounter some plumbing problems that eventually require professional assistance, including common issues like clogged drains, poor water pressure, and other plumbing annoyances. But a plumbing emergency is a situation in your home that should not be ignored or put off until you can afford to get repairs made. Here are three plumbing emergencies that require you to call your plumber right away.

1. Leaking Water Heater
Your water heater should never leak, and if it does, you should call your plumber immediately. A leaking water heater can cause a malady of expensive problems, including:

Rust in your water heater’s base
Foundation moisture damage
Excessive energy consumption
Loss of water pressure

Thankfully, a leaking water heater can be a simple fix — often a leaking valve simply needs to be repaired or replaced. But if your water heater is rusting or rusted through, your plumber will suggest replacing the unit.

2. Burst Pipe
A burst pipe in the home is a plumbing emergency because of two reasons.

Where the Water Is Coming From

You don’t know if the burst pipe is from a clean water source (such as from your water heater) or from polluted water (like from a pipe leading from your toilet to the sewer). Contaminated water can be dangerous and expose your family to harmful bacteria.

Amount of Water Damage

It doesn’t matter whether a pipe burst under your sink or in your basement, as the water damage can be extensive quickly. The longer you wait to address a burst pipe situation, the more you put your home’s foundation, carpeting, drywall, and other affected areas at risk for water damage and mold growth.

If your pipe burst, turn off your water’s main line to stop the flow of water. Your plumber will arrive at your home any time of day or night, provided they offer emergency services, to address the pipe issue.

You should also hire a water restoration company to remove any excess water following a pipe burst in your home. Your plumber may be able to recommend a specialist to you, or you can refer to your home insurance company for a referral (plumbing emergencies are often covered by your home insurance).

3. Overflowing Toilet
A toilet that overflows is not an emergency in and of itself. An overflowed toilet becomes an emergency when the water extends over the bowl and spills out all over the floor. Sometimes a toilet can overflow all on its own, leaving you with an unsightly mess the next time you go to the bathroom.

If your toilet has repeatedly failed to flush properly and overflows on a regular basis, you risk exposing your family to contaminated sewer water, in addition to damaging your home’s floors and walls with excess water. It only takes a moment of exposure to contaminated toilet water to make you ill from present bacteria or parasites in the flooded water.

Your plumber can take your toilet apart to check under the unit itself to see if debris or a foreign object is lodged inside the toilet bowl, preventing proper flushing.

Do not hesitate to call for emergency services as soon as you have a plumbing situation that is out of your control. After calling a plumber, you should also vacate your home if the water damage is extensive or you feel sewage has entered your home (especially if you smell sulfur or a gas-like smell during a pipe leak).

Call us at Billy Bell Plumbing today if you have an emergency. One of our professional plumbers can promptly address any plumbing emergency you have.