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Plumbing problems can occur anytime. They do not confine themselves to normal business hours. Sometimes serious problems require an emergency plumber, which is a professional plumber willing to answer calls outside of regular operating hours.
What Constitutes an Emergency?
Homeowners are often reluctant to take on the inconvenience and cost of an emergency plumber unless it is absolutely necessary. Torrents of water flooding through your home create an obvious emergency, but less spectacular plumbing issues may not be so easy to evaluate.
How do you decide if a problem is severe enough to warrant emergency service? Consider consequences of the problem beyond the immediate issue. Sewage contaminating your home or property is a health hazard regardless of the amount of water involved. Water from leaks and broken pipes damages materials in the surrounding area and promotes mold growth.
Overflowing Toilets and Sewage
A clogged toilet resulting in overflow may not seem like an emergency. It is just not in the same category as a burst pipe spewing water everywhere. However, overflowing toilets are potentially harmful. Microorganisms love sewage, and liquid pouring over the rim of a toilet bowl contains untreated sewage.
An overflowing toilet spreads water across the floor. The water is full of microorganisms and contaminates the floor and every structure and object it touches. contacts nearby structures and objects.
People and pets in the bathroom touch contaminated surfaces, which gives microorganisms a chance to contaminate skin, clothing, fur and shoes. These microorganisms are then carried out of the bathroom and spread throughout the home.
Anyone can become ill from bacteria in sewage, but the risk is higher for certain groups. The elderly, young children and infants, and people with compromised immune systems are at much higher risk than most healthy adults. Even very brief contact with bacteria may cause infection.
Bacteria are present on every surface and in almost every water source in a home. Most bacteria in our homes are harmless or present in such small amounts that illness is very rare. Bacterial concentrations in water from an overflowing toilet are much, much higher than concentrations normally found inside a home. Overflow water also contains more pathogenic bacterial strains than you would encounter anywhere else.
A stubborn clogged toilet that does not respond to routine de-clogging methods can overflow. The ideal time to contact an emergency plumber is when you realize routine de-clogging measures are ineffective. Seek help before overflow occurs to avoid many potential problems.
Clogged sewer lines or blocked drains can force sewage back into your home. The risk of bacterial contamination from sewage backup is even higher than risk from an overflowing toilet. Contamination will probably spread farther as well, depending on the amount of sewage and drain locations. Backed-up sewage warrants a call to an emergency plumber.
Leaks and Broken Pipes
Any plumbing issue that causes water to enter a home’s interior has possible long-term consequences. Burst pipes, leaks, clogged drains and blocked water lines let water into places it is not supposed to be.
Moisture encourages mold and mildew growth. Structural elements of a home can rot, break down or become breeding grounds for microorganisms after exposure to water. Small leaks do not seem like emergencies, but they have potentially serious repercussions.
A small leak from a pipe inside a wall or ceiling saturates the surrounding materials. It’s very difficult to clean and dry a wall’s interior or material within ceilings between floors. Shutting off the entire water supply prevents additional water loss.
The necessity of an emergency plumber in this situation depends on several factors. How long will it be until regular business hours? You can probably wait to make a regular call for plumbing services if the delay is only a few hours. A leak discovered Friday night that would go unattended until Monday morning is a different story. A weekend without running water is very inconvenient for most households, but leaving the water on lets leaking continue for almost three full days.
Septic Tank Issues
Some homes in Memorial City have septic tanks. Occasionally a problem with the tank may constitute an emergency. Wet grass or a muddy lawn when it hasn’t rained for a few days may indicate a problem. A foul odor at the same time your yard suddenly becomes a muddy mess is a fairly obvious sign of a major problem.
An overflowing septic tank spreads sewage throughout the surrounding area. The size of the affected area depends on tank size and extent of the overflow. Call an emergency plumber right away when you notice overflow. The overflowing water contains human waste, bacteria, and other microorganisms. You do not want septic overflow to contaminate your well or pipes transporting clean water.
It is also important to make sure overflow does not contaminate a neighbor’s property or water supply. Homeowners are often liable for damage to neighboring properties. Septic tanks can also backup into the house and present the same risks as a sewer main backup or overflowing toilet. Most homeowners do not have the necessary equipment for major septic tank repairs. An emergency plumber with septic tank experience is the best chance for a quick solution.
Sump pumps are usually installed to pump water out of basements and crawl spaces to prevent flooding. These pumps are useful in Memorial City during spring and summer during heavy rains. A sump pump failure has compounded effects. The pump is used when water enters a basement or similar space. Sump pumps serve a protective function, so a sump pump failure leaves you with no way to remove unwanted water. Call an emergency plumber immediately.
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston in the Memorial City area offers emergency plumber services. Call these experienced professionals when an urgent plumbing problem disrupts your household and you need help fast.