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What Is A Plumbing Emergency & What Issues Can Wait?

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Know The Signs Of An Emergency 

Many of our day-to-day activities rely so much on a functioning plumbing system. For Bluffton, SC homeowners, drainwork is usually out of sight, out of mind - until there’s a problem. When a pipe bursts or you encounter a sewage build-up, calling a plumber is the obvious solution. Some issues are not so straightforward, though, and may make you question whether or not emergency service is required. How do you know when to call an emergency plumber? R.S. Andrews is here to help with a breakdown of common plumbing problems and whether or not they constitute immediate concern. 

Differences Between Emergencies & Inconveniences

Generally speaking, there are two categories of plumbing problems: those that don't need urgent attention, and those that do. As the name implies, plumbing emergencies are issues that homeowners must address as quickly as possible, preferably with the help of a professional. Even though it is critical to remedy most plumbing issues as soon as possible, some problems do not pose an immediate issue or threaten major damage. So, the first and most apparent thing to ask yourself is whether or not this plumbing problem can wait till the morning.

Emergencies may include burst or damaged pipes, severe drain clogs, gas leaks, no hot water and more. If the risk of water damage or personal injury is present, you should call a professional. If the issue prevents you from using your plumbing system as normal and is more than a minor inconvenience, contact a plumber for assistance. 

Plumbing issues that can wait, however, may cause some annoyance but do not restrict access to running water or impair day-to-day activities. If you have three bathrooms and one toilet is clogged, the issue can wait until the following day or the weekend if necessary. If you encounter a small leak that can be contained by a bucket, cloth or other temporary fixes, you may be able to hold off on repair for a bit. Never let a leak go unattended for longer than necessary, though, as it can quickly become a bigger issue. 

What Are The Most Common Plumbing Emergencies?

It’s important to know the most common plumbing emergency scenarios so that you can be prepared. When you encounter a major issue that requires a trained professional, you shouldn’t waste any time in contacting them. Some of the most common plumbing emergencies include: 

Overflowing Toilets

Backed-up toilets can be frightening for homeowners, especially when they start to overflow! Clogged toilets are common, though, and nothing to panic about if you’re prepared. To prevent water damage, the clog should be fixed as soon as possible by a professional plumber. While plungers can offer a great solution for small backups, they are no match for an overflow and don’t address the root cause of the blocked drain. When you have an overflowing toilet, call a professional and do not attempt to fix the clog on your own or use any other plumbing fixtures in the house while you wait for help to arrive. 

Clogged Drains

Severe clogs in sink drains may prevent water flow, leading to a plumbing emergency. While plunging or using a drain snake can work on small clogs, there are some that require professional interference. 

Burst Pipes

When the water pressure gets up to an extreme level, the weak junction can no longer withstand the force, resulting in a pipe burst. The too-high water pressure might cause a pipe to explode or a plumbing device like a faucet or a toilet to malfunction. Although a pipe makes a loud popping noise when it bursts out, most residents don't hear it. Depending on the extent of the pipe damage, a burst pipe in your house might cause extensive water damage. If you hear this noise or notice any other problems, you should call a plumber right away. 

Rust & Leaking Fixtures

Your water cost might skyrocket if you have a leaky faucet or toilet. However, the water damage and the expense are not the only things to worry about. Standing water may also lead to corrosion and mold growth in your pipes which can affect your and your family’s health. 

Sewage Backup

Water and sewer pipes function to remove wastewater from your property and ensure clean water is returned. Clogged pipes from toilet paper, hair and grease are the most prevalent cause of sewage backup. If your drains are often clogged, your toilets are gurgling or you notice a foul drain smell, you may have a sewage problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. 

What Are The Causes Of Plumbing Emergencies?


Basement flooding is more likely to occur during a severe storm. Fortunately, most water damage can be prevented by preventing dirt from going down the pipes to protect them. Being proactive can save you thousands of dollars in repair and restoration. 

Lack Of Regular Plumbing Maintenance

When a homeowner neglects routine plumbing maintenance, emergency issues might occur. Most homeowners may prevent major plumbing issues if adequate maintenance and frequent inspections are performed. During the plumbing maintenance visit, a certified plumber will evaluate your whole plumbing system to see if any problems need to be rectified. The evaluation is essential since it may help avoid more severe problems and expensive repairs.

What To Do When There Is A Plumbing Emergency

Turn Off The Main Water Supply

Burst pipes are one example of a plumbing emergency. To avoid additional damage to your property, the first step is to turn off the main water supply before contacting a Bluffton, SC emergency plumber.

Knowing where the shut-off valves are in a plumbing emergency is always a good idea. Also, make sure that everyone in the household is aware of this location as well. Having several shut-off valves in your house might make it simpler and faster to turn off the water.

Wipe Off The Floor

While you're waiting for a plumber, do all you can to keep the area as clean as possible to avoid mold growth and other structural problems. Be careful to remove any furniture that may have been damaged. Although water damage may be expensive, you can avoid this if you know what to do in the case of a plumbing emergency.

Address Any Minor Leaks

Try to address small leaks to the best of your abilities while waiting for a plumber. Keep a small bucket nearby in case of a flood to prevent as much damage as possible.

Basic Tips On Plumbing Issues

The foundation of your house might be in jeopardy if a plumbing emergency isn't taken care of immediately. Always contact an emergency plumbing professional at the first sign of an emergency to avoid significant problems. 

Make sure you don't overlook a typical plumbing issue as well. The more you wait, the more dangerous it can be. You should call a plumber if you suspect a problem with your water heater or any other plumbing appliance in your home. You may get a correct diagnosis and practical answers only by consulting a professional plumber. 

Expert Plumbing Services In Bluffton, South Carolina 

When you have a plumbing emergency, you need a plumber to call any day or night, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In an emergency, don't hesitate to contact us at R.S. Andrews Plumbing, and we'll send a technician out to you right away. Call R.S. Andrews Plumbing at 843-706-5090 for all of your plumbing needs in Bluffton, SC! You may rest assured knowing your plumbing is in trusted hands.