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Common plumbing emergencies happen quite often and have to be immediately dealt with to avoid inconvenience. This is especially true if you live with family or flatmates. The more people there are in the house, the more inconvenience there will be. You should know these seven common plumbing emergencies so that in case you have one, you don't panic and know what the cause of the problem is.

1. Overflowing Toilet

An overflowing toilet is a major plumbing emergency that can ruin your entire day!! It's a very common issue because your toilet is one of your home's most utilized fixtures.  The best strategy is to fix a clogged toilet as soon as possible to avoid any wastewater damage. You can fix a clogged drain with the help of a plunger in case your toilet overflows. Once your toilet overflows, avoid using your home's plumbing until a plumber can identify the reason for the clogged toilet. A common reason for a clogged toilet is something clogging the pipes. This could be anything such as toilet paper or waste itself. Repeatedly trying to flush the toilet might cause the waste to spill on the floor. Try unclogging the toilet with a plunger or call a professional.

2. Clogged Drains

It's common for homeowners to deal with clogged drains. This could be a sink drain or the bathtub drain. Clogged drains can impact the flow of water and cause a severe plumbing emergency. Were you ever in the shower and water started rising up to your ankles? Yeah, that's the clogged sink. At times, water is slow to drain from the sink or bath. At other times, water won't drain at all. This is a major inconvenience as you cannot use a sink that is not draining to wash your hands or brush your teeth. First, try to unclog the sink with your hands. If this does not work, you can use either a plunger or a drain snake to unclog. In case it becomes really bad, and water starts leaking onto the floor, call for a plumber immediately.

3. Burst Pipes

Burst is an extremely damaging plumbing emergency. A burst pipe can waste up to 100 gallons of water in eight hours. If a pipe bursts, shut off the water supply immediately. Also, remove furniture items from nearby to avoid damage. One major reason for burst pipes is corrosion over the years. This weakens the joints of the pipe, and water build-up can cause it to explode. Burst pipes can cause plumbing fixtures such as toilets or a faucet to fail. A burst pipe would require a pipe replacement, for which you will need a plumber.  Pipes can also burst if water freezes in the pipes during winter. To avoid this from happening, keep the temperature in your house regulated. Don't try to let it get below freezing point. Also, check the pipes of your home regularly to know what level of wear and tear they have gone through and if they are able to withstand water pressure.

4. Malfunctioning Water Heater

There are many signs you have a water heater malfunction. Some are a lack of hot water, discolored water, or a strange smell when your water is running. When your water heater is faulty, it can cause leak springs, which cause water to spill out of the water heater tank. This situation will worsen until the water heater eventually fails. A malfunctioning water heater is dreadful in winter. It also poses a problem if you want to use the dishwasher or run the washing machine. Other common heating problems also include sludge build-up inside the heater or the heating mechanism breaking down.

5. Leaking Fixtures

Leaking fixtures are super inconvenient! A leaky faucet, hand shower, or toilet can slowly but surely cause wastage of water and up your water bill. You should get leaky fixtures fixed as soon as possible to prevent this. Leaking fixtures can also cause standing water which can result in rust and the growth of mold. This can lead to health concerns for you and the other occupants of the house.

6. Sewer Back up

A house has both pipes with incoming water and pipes with outgoing sewer. These wastewater or sewage pipes move all used water out of your home. Sewage pipes can get clogged, which can cause a sewage back-up. They can get clogged due to reasons such as toilet paper, grease, or hair blocking the pipes. Signs of a sewage pipe blockage include multiple drain clogs, bad odors emanating from the drains, or a gurgling toilet. If you feel you have a sewage blockage, get it checked as soon as possible to avoid any inconvenience and to minimize damage.

7. Broken Water Lines

This is when your underground water lines break. It can be due to many reasons such as poorly aimed shovels, earthquakes, or even tree roots. Broken water pipes can cause the backyard to become soggy. You will also have very low water pressure in the house and very poor water quality.


These are some of the most common plumbing emergencies homeowners often experience. If you ever go through any of these situations, call a plumber to rectify the problem swiftly and minimize any resultant damage.

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