How to know if you have a plumbing emergency

You can hear a drip or see a pool of water. But is it really a plumbing emergency?

Here’s how to assess a water issue in your home or business to know if you need a plumber pronto…

What is a plumbing emergency?

Any water issue that causes an immediate and serious impact to your quality of life, or safety in your home or business, is a plumbing emergency. 

This includes:

  • waste water overflowing from a toilet or drain
  • no hot water
  • toilet doesn’t flush
  • tap won’t stop running
  • clear water leak (i.e.: water pooling behind a wall, in the ceiling, or up from the ground)
  • hearing dripping sounds behind your walls

Receiving an excessively high water bill might also be a plumbing emergency. While these occasionally occur due to inaccurate metre readings, they are more often the result of a burst pipe under the ground. 

When we receive a call from a home or business owner involving any of these issues, we will always prioritise the job immediately. In some cases, it means we will endeavour to be at your home or premises within the hour. 

What is not a plumbing emergency?

All issues that affect water access and use in your home or business are concerning to some degree. When an issue is not a dire emergency, but is still a concern, we will generally try to schedule a call out for you within 24 hours. 

Plumbing issues that are not a dire emergency often include:

  • a leaky tap
  • slow draining water in a toilet
  • suspected blocked pipe
  • minor roof leak

While you may need a roofer to repair a leaking roof, we can assist with first determining the problem. This could be as simple as a build-up of leaves in your gutter, pipes penetrating your roof, or a problem with the flashing. Issues with flashing are especially common, due to rubber perishing from hot or cold weather or a lack of silicon which requires re-sealing. 

How we approach emergency plumbing issues

Sometimes we can fix an emergency plumbing issue on the spot. Other times, we may need to perform remediation works in the interim and return to conduct more extensive repairs. 

For example, let’s say you are experiencing an issue with your water pressure. This could indicate a burst or leaking pipe. Sometimes the leak can be minor, but if you hear running water in a wall or have a significant drop in pressure this could mean something more serious and urgent. We have several different ways of diagnosing the leak and can usually rectify the issue on the spot. In all circumstances, we can make safe to mitigate damage until full repairs can be undertaken. 

Where the issue is a leaking tap, it could be as simple as changing the washers, receding the seat of the pipework, or replacing the tap or mixer. 

For failing hot water heaters, there could be a problem with the element or thermostat which we can replace on the spot. Or we may find that the tank itself has split and needs to be replaced.  

The good news is we’re experienced emergency plumbers in Canberra. So rest assured that as soon as we find the root cause of your plumbing issue, we will clearly explain the level of repairs that are needed. We will also provide a quote, and say when we expect to complete the repairs – be it that day or as soon as possible. To find out if your plumbing issue is an emergency, or to book an immediate call out, please get in touch.