Is a Leaking Water Pipe an Emergency?

leaking drain pipe woman calling plumber

Learn About Emergency Plumbing

It is obvious you need plumbing repairs with a dripping faucet or a running toilet, and for the most part, those are simple repairs you can do yourself. But what about a leaking water pipe, does that constitute to be an emergency plumbing repair?

What is considered an emergency plumbing situation?

As much as 10,000 gallons of water are wasted annually in the average household from leaking pipes, does that make all leaking pipes a plumbing emergency? Nationwide, that is over one trillion gallons of water going to waste that could be used with purpose in over 10 million homes. But, before you make that emergency plumbing service call, you need to ask yourself if you have a true plumbing emergency.

Why does it matter if it is an emergency? The first reason is your bank account. Emergency plumbing calls can cost three times what a normal plumbing call does. The next reason is something similar to calling 911 to get your cat out of the tree takes first responders away from a true emergency, like a house fire. 

 So, what are the signs of an emergency plumbing issue? A few examples would be: 

  • Water Leaks

Not every water leak will constitute an emergency, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Even the smallest leak can turn into an emergency plumbing matter in time. A water leak can have an effect on your home’s structural integrity, even silent leaks. 

Mildew and mold form, creating health issues like asthma, itchy eyes, and respiratory symptoms. A water leak can create a fire hazard if it comes in contact with electrical wiring, short circuits, and wires. So yes, a water leak that you can’t repair yourself right away is an emergency plumbing matter.

  • Water Stains

Water stains on the ceiling aren’t a copy of the Sistine Chapel and its famous Renaissance art. These types of stains usually show up once a water leak has been happening for some time, and the same is true with water stains on the floor. If you’re concerned with water stains on the ceiling or floors, especially if you’ve had an increase in your water bill, you have an emergency plumbing matter. 

  • Busted or Damaged Pipes

Busted or damaged water pipes that have caused a flood is a viable emergency plumbing matter. Left unattended, it can damage your home’s structure with gallons of water flowing. The ceiling, floors, wall, furniture, and other personal belongings can be damaged, and the safety of your family is in jeopardy.  When you discover these situations, especially when accompanied by sagging ceilings or buckling floors, shut the water off and make that emergency plumbing service call. 

  • Water Pressure Decrease

If you notice a sudden drop in water pressure, it can indicate you have a busted or damaged water pipe, whether it is at one faucet or every water feature. This can also indicate you have a clogged aerator, but that would typically affect only one faucet. Multiple outlets with low water pressure would dictate an emergency plumbing service. 

  • Toilet Overflowing

A toilet overflowing can be caused by a variety of reasons from an issue inside the tank to a clogged sewer line. Either way, this can quickly become a nightmare and if you can’t get the problem fixed immediately yourself, turn the water off to the toilet and call for an emergency plumbing service call. 

  • Drains Clogged 

If your home has never had a clogged drain, just wait. This is an inevitable problem that every home will have at some point. You can do your part to avoid this from happening by watching what you flush down the toilet and pour down the drains. But they still happen. 

So, when is a clogged drain dictate an emergency plumbing service call?  When you have slow drains, bubbling water, or puddles of water in the house or yard, and you’ve done everything you have in your arsenal that hasn’t helped, call a professional plumber and request an emergency plumbing service. 

  • The Water Heater 

Having hot water isn’t just an expected luxury in the home. Today, it is a necessity to kill bacteria, germs, and viruses. If you wake up one winter morning and there isn’t any hot water for a shower, you probably have frozen pipes and this can lead to bigger problems. 

  • If this lack of hot water is accompanied by the smell of gas, this can be an extremely serious issue that needs immediate attention. Make that emergency plumbing service call immediately and if the smell of gas is all through your home, evacuate everyone to a safe place and call 911.
  • Sewage Back-Up

Your sense of smell will be the biggest indicator that there is a problem. If you’ve not noticed a smell but you’ve noticed backed-up water in the kitchen sink or bathtub, this is a health hazard and should be addressed sooner than later. Make that emergency plumbing service call, the ROI will show in your family’s health and well-being.

Close-up Of A Woman Calling Plumber On Mobile Phone While Cleaning The Sink With Plunger

What are the common causes of emergency plumbing problems?

The top six reasons that plumbers are called for emergency plumbing service are: 

  • Busted Pipes
  • Major Water Pipe Leaks
  • Gas Leaks
  • Clogged Drains and Toilets
  • No Hot Water
  • Toilet Constantly Running
  • Sewer Backing Up

How can emergency plumbing be prevented?

One way to prevent emergency plumbing issues is to have your home’s plumbing regularly inspected by a licensed plumber. This will include having all plumbing-related appliances, drains, equipment, faucets, and plumbing lines inspected, including the water heater. 

Additional things you can do is to avoid flushing things down the toilet that shouldn’t be flushed. This includes diapers and wipes, food, hair, animal waste, and female hygiene products. Avoid pouring FOG (fat, oil, grease) down the kitchen drain is a big step to avoiding emergency plumbing service calls for sewer line problems.

When It Is All Watered Down

If you simply walk away from a busted water pipe, an overflowing toilet, or a clogged drain you can’t clear, what are the potential risks? Extensive water damage! From the flooring and walls to the ceiling and the foundation, as well as your personal belongings. Additionally, you’re putting your family’s health and safety at risk with mildew, mold, wet flooring, and more.

Tribeca Plumbing, Inc. offers 24/7 emergency plumbing repair in Dallas, TX. Call us at (214) 402-5454 to set up an appointment.  

What Is Considered Commercial Plumbing?

A line of faucets seen in a clean public bathroom

Learn More about the Heavy-Duty Nature of Commercial Plumbing

Plumbing is plumbing, right? What comes out must drain and go away, right? Not necessarily! A general description of commercial plumbing is a complicated faucet and pipe installation. It covers a variety of businesses and large residential complexes with water supply systems and waste removal. 

Commercial plumbing has clogged drains, busted and leaking pipes, and water heaters problems just like residential plumbing, commercial plumbing is designed for heavier workloads. 

What are the Specific Differences Between Commercial Plumbing and Residential Plumbing?

  • The Daily Usage 

The daily usage of commercial plumbing is greater than residential plumbing due to the amount of traffic. From employees to customers, commercial plumbing has more fixtures and piping. 

  • Durability and Size

Because commercial plumbing has more usage, it has more durable and larger fixtures. This minimizes the number of breakdowns and problems. Residential plumbing systems are smaller, with low-grade pipe fixtures that have the same amount of frequency use.

  • Complexity

Commercial plumbing is installed in multiple floor structures with numerous sinks, toilets, and urinals. Residential plumbing is simpler and has easier navigation. 

  • Efficiency

No plumbing system is perfect, damages are possible at any point and time. A commercial structure with a clogged toilet or sink can affect many people and repairs need to be done quickly. Where residential plumbing can often be fixed by the homeowner, a commercial plumbing problem must be addressed by a professional commercial plumber.

  • Damage Probabilities

The complexity of commercial plumbing is more apt to be damaged than residential plumbing because of the higher number of people using the system. 

  • Water Heaters

Commercial plumbing requires water heaters with larger storage tanks with higher gas input levels compared to what residential water heaters do.

  • Health Concerns 

Commercial plumbing is used by more people and is subjected to more bacteria and germs. Proper hygiene is a must in commercial structures like hospitals and restaurants where residential plumbing can be less demanding. 

What Kind of Structures Need Commercial Plumbing? 

We have discussed the large scale that entails commercial plumbing, but to better understand where commercial plumbing is needed, here are some examples: 

  • Private or Public Offices — Commercial bathrooms typically have multiple stalls. So, when one toilet backs up because of a clog, the flooding can have an effect on the other toilets. Even a breakroom sink being backed up can cause problems for the employees. 
  • Hospitals or Restaurants — Faulty equipment in a hospital or restaurant kitchen can put the beverages and food at risk. They can also impede the chef’s preparation of the food by not being able to rinse the fruits, pasta, or vegetables. 
  • Apartments and Hotels — If you’ve never experienced an upstairs neighbor leaving a sink or tub filling, feel fortunate! There is nothing worse to come home to a downstairs apartment or hotel room to have a bathtub sitting in the living room. 

Can You Live in a Commercial Building with Commercial Plumbing?

In Texas, yes, as long as the commercial property has zoning that permits living in the structure. Throughout The Lone Star State, every city and county has different regulations, so you’ll want to confirm with the powers that be if habitation in a commercial structure is allowed. Commercial plumbing is heavy-duty and meant for heavy-duty use, but you can accommodate yourself to live in the facility too if the zoning regulations permit.

What Type of Material are Commercial Plumbing Pipes? 

In the old days, most residential or commercial plumbing was either copper or galvanized iron. Today though, there are other options that have proven to be more cost-efficient and reliable: 


Polyethylene, aka PE, is the least expensive and this makes it a common commercial plumbing material. This pipe material efficiently handles cold water distribution and works well with low-temperature applications. 


HDPE (High-density polyethylene) commercial plumbing pipes are denser products than the classic PE pipe described above. Because it is a flexible pipe, it is ideal for replacing old steel pipes. HDPE is impermeable, making it ideal where the water is at high pressure. 


Commonly referred to as PEX, this is another version of the polyethylene pipe that is manufactured to handle both cold and hot liquids. Because of that, its flexibility, and minimal maintenance, it is the perfect choice for a commercial establishment. 


PVC isn’t as flexible as the other materials available for commercial plumbing, but polyvinyl chloride is still a common choice in commercial plumbing.

In Closing 

In addition to those 4 commonly used pipe materials for commercial plumbing, other options include Chlorinated Polyvinyl, PVC ducts and conduits, Polypropylene Random Copolymer Plastic, Polybutylene, and Polyvinylidene Fluoride. Each has its benefits and drawbacks.

If you’re building a commercial structure from the ground up, a professional commercial plumber is the best to advise the right type of pipe to use. And the same is true with renovating a commercial structure’s plumbing. 

What are the benefits of water softeners?

close-up of a clean glass of water in hand

Why We Need Water Softeners

Why do we need water softeners? First, let’s discuss the terms “hard water” and “soft water”, but what do those terms mean exactly? Water is wet, so how can it be either hard or soft? There are many different minerals in water naturally. Among those minerals are calcium and magnesium. It is the amount of the different minerals in the water that give us “hard” or “soft” water, with fewer minerals making it “soft: water. Thus, the more minerals, the harder the water. This is more minerals and other contaminants in the water, which can damage water-based appliances and fixtures. Hard water is also harder on our bodies and can cause health issues for some. To extend the appliances and plumbing in your home, to have healthier water for consumption, water softeners are needed.

What does a water softener do?

The water softeners for homes are often referred to as ion exchange units. These devices remove the minerals that make can make water hard, like calcium and magnesium. What are the benefits of water softeners? 


Water softeners will give you softer skin, and silkier by removing the unneeded chlorine and other minerals that are making your water hard. This will minimize the amount of body and hand lotion you need. 


You’ll need half as much soap with water softeners installed, which is a money saver in the long run. 


Water softeners reduce scale and scum buildup, reducing the scrubbing time for cleaning your bathtub, shower, and sinks.  You’ll use less water, another money-saving feature. 


Water softeners will eliminate annoying spots on dishes, fixtures, and shower doors by removing the minerals that create the hardness in water. 


Hard water creates soap curd which finds its way into the fibers of our clothing. This leads to fading and stiffness, and when chlorine levels are high, they fade even more. Your clothes last longer and look better longer by installing water softeners in your home. 


When you have hard water, the minerals from that build up inside your appliances and plumbing, damaging them and making them less efficient. The chlorine causes the rubber parts to dry out and become brittle, requiring to be replaced or more repairs. 


Water softeners and filters make hard water taste better and that makes us drink more, making it a healthier choice overall. 

What does it mean to soften water?

The process of water softeners is to remove metals, calcium, magnesium, and other unnecessary contaminants from the water. The things that make water hard are removed and the water becomes soft, easier to digest, and easier on clothing, dishes, plumbing, and more. 

How do you soften water?

There are different water softeners you can use that will stop the clogged drains and spotty glasses, and quit drying your hair and skin, or wearing your clothes out faster. Some of the methods are: 

Kitchen Water Softeners

Install a small ion exchange filter on the kitchen faucet or purchase a pitcher that you can keep in the refrigerator for drinking water. Also, remember that boiling hard water will remove some types of hardness temporarily. 

Laundry Water Softeners

There are non-precipitating water conditioners that you can purchase and add to each load of laundry. They trap some of the minerals that make water hard and won’t leave scale and scum on your clothing or in the washing machine. Hard water spots and stains can often be removed with distilled white vinegar mixed with an equal amount of water and gently scrubbed. 

Whole Household Water Softeners

The first thing that should be done is to test the water. You can purchase self-test kits and test strips or take a sample of your water to a testing center. This will tell you what type of chemicals and minerals are in your water, then you know what type of water softeners you need. Among the types of water softeners to choose from are ion exchange water softeners, which are the most effective and comes in two types themselves. The most common is sodium chloride water softeners, which add a small amount of sodium to your water. This is not recommended for anyone with kidney issues or potassium issues. The other type of system is RO (reverse osmosis), which removes all the unnecessary minerals without adding salt or potassium. 

Is soft water a danger?

And can you drink softened water? Soft water is safe for most people to consume. There is a higher amount of sodium in soft water, and anyone on a low or no-sodium diet should use one of the water softeners that are potassium-based.

Is soft water better for your skin?

Yes, because it doesn’t dry skin or hair out, leaving the natural oils that are needed. This leads to clear skin, fewer breakouts, and silkier hair. 

Are there any downsides to water softening?

A major downside is the added sodium for any person on a low or no-sodium diet. Calcium and magnesium are also removed, which can affect some people’s diets. 

a whole house water softening system

At The End Of The Pipes

Is soft water a problem for plumbers?  When it comes to plumbing, water is water, and whether it is hard or soft, they can both create problems.  For homes that have lead pipes, soft water is more likely to draw out unhealthy contaminants in the pipe, including lead, and it flows and mixes in with the drinking water.

How Long Will It Take An Emergency Plumber to Get Here?

young man holding buckets under a leak

Dealing With Emergency Issues

Emergencies of any kind are not pleasant to deal with, and emergency plumbing is especially challenging. There never seems to be a problem with plumbing until there is an inopportune time!  But we all have a different opinion of what constitutes an emergency when it comes to plumbing. 

So, what counts as a plumbing emergency?

The following are typical examples of what a plumber will regard as emergency plumbing needs: 

  • Flooding 

Water damage is going to be considered a plumbing emergency when there is a heavy storm, and the sump pump fails. If that isn’t addressed immediately, your basement could flood, costing you more than an emergency plumbing service call. 

Pipes that aren’t insulated and bust when frozen can cause flooding is considered an emergency plumbing situation. To prevent this, investing in a leak detection system is recommended. 

  • No Water

When you realize that you do not have any water available, check with the utility company to make sure it hasn’t been cut off at the main for repairs. If that isn’t the issue, Is no water an emergency? Yes, if all is clear with the utility company, then you have an emergency plumbing issue. The plumber can inspect the issue and then provide a repair solution that gets your water flowing again.

  • Drains Clogged

A typical slow drain is not a plumbing emergency. However, if basic home remedy efforts do not open the clog and get your drain flowing again, you may have a major clog in the sewer line and that can create emergency plumbing problems. 

Is an overflowing toilet an emergency?

If there is an epitome of an emergency plumbing issue, an overflowing toilet would be the one! Who wants to clean up the bathroom after the toilet has overflowed, right? Not to mention the water damage that is being done while the floor is underwater. 

If you have another bathroom you can use, then wait to call the plumber during normal business days and hours. If you only have one toilet and everything you’ve tried has not unclogged it, then yes, you have an emergency plumbing problem. 

Is a leaking pipe an emergency?

It will depend on the size and location of the leak that determines if it is an emergency plumbing issue. Often, even the smallest of leaks can be because of a larger problem that isn’t visible. If you have noticed water stains on the ceiling or wall but there isn’t any water coming through, this plumbing matter can wait for a business day and business hour phone call. 

If water is coming through the area that is stained, then yes, you have an emergency plumbing situation that should be addressed immediately. What do you do in a plumbing emergency like that?  Find the main water cutoff and turn the water off to the entire house, then call an emergency plumbing service. 

As you wait for the plumber, take pictures in case you’re able to file this on your homeowner’s insurance.  Then use towels to soak up as much water as you can, or a wet/dry vacuum if possible. Place fans around the wet area to get dried out as quickly as possible to minimize the water damage. 

Should I call a plumber or do it myself?

It will all depend on the type of emergency plumbing issue and your ability to work with the tools needed to fix the problem. A clogged drain or toilet, try to plunge the clog yourself and save the emergency plumbing charges. If there is water everywhere and you don’t know anything about plumbing or have any tools, then you’ll too call an emergency plumbing service. 

Can you call a plumber in the middle of the night?

Yes, there are many plumbers and plumbing services that offer after-hours, holidays, and weekend emergency plumbing services. It is recommended to have one on your speed dial in case of an emergency plumbing need. If you don’t know a plumber to all, knowing how to get emergency plumbing service is all on the internet these days, or if you still have yellow pages, look one up! Be sure to let the plumber or plumbing service know where you got their number.

young woman plunging a clogged sink

In Closing 

Is emergency plumbing more expensive? You can expect to pay up to three times what a plumbing service call would be on a normal day during business hours. But, if you don’t call for an emergency plumbing service, the damage that could happen while you’re waiting for Monday morning could be more expensive. As we mentioned earlier, considering making the investment in a leak detection system could save you those expensive and unwanted emergency plumbing service calls when it comes to busted water lines. 

What is the most common problem with water heaters?

close-up of a hose being attached to a water heater

The water heater was invented somewhere between 1868 and 1889, it depends on who you ask. But like most things we take for granted today, the water heater wasn’t available to every until the 1940s. Today, we take the water heater for granted and when it isn’t working, we don’t hesitate to have a water heater repair or replacement – same day if possible! 

For something that we don’t display in the living room or carry with us to show off, it is an invaluable part of our homes today. There probably isn’t a day that goes by that you don’t depend on your water being heated for something. From bathing to cooking to doing laundry, we need a water heater in our home. Many people don’t realize that a water heater can be repaired. 

Can you repair a water heater?

Sometimes, yes, water heater repairs are possible. It will depend on the problem and the age of the water heater. In many cases, a professional plumber can replace certain parts and get a few more years from a water heater. 

When is water heater repair an emergency?

A water heater leaking gas is a definite emergency. You should shut the gas off to the water heater and call a plumber immediately for water heater repair. 

A water heater leaking water from the water line and valve is typically not an emergency if you can tighten the connection. If you cannot tighten the connection or the water heater is leaking from the tank, that would be considered a water heater repair emergency. 

What are the signs of a water heater going bad?

 The more you know about the parts in a water heater, the better you’ll be able to diagnose problems. You’ll also know whether you can fix the matter yourself or if you need somebody that know how to fix a broken water heater, aka, a professional plumber. The following are signs that your water is going out and which is the better option – water heater repair or replacement. 

Water Leaking

This is the most common water heater problem because at some point, they all will begin to have a water leak. Why? Because they are made of metal and water is not friends with metal. It causes them to corrode and rust, develop fractures and microscopic cracks in the tank. 

However, the tank isn’t the only part of a water heater that can begin leaking water. Water leaking from the top of the tank could be that the water connections need tightening. Check the cold-water inlet pipes and hot water outlet pipes are solidly connected and aren’t loose or rattling. 

If water is leaking at the bottom, it is probably condensation, and that water repair is done simply by turning the thermostat up. Water that is spilling out of the overflow pipe or PRV (pressure relief valve), a water heater repair is possible. 

No Hot Water

“Why is my water heater not getting hot?” This is a common complaint that plumbers are called to fix. If the tank appears to be full of water but isn’t getting hot, checking the power source should be the first step. An electric water heater could have a thrown breaker and a gas water heater may be a pilot light problem. Both are water heater repairs you can do yourself. If the breaker isn’t thrown or the pilot light won’t stay lit, you need to call a professional plumber. 

Strange Odor in the Water

If there is a strange odor coming from the hot water, it is probably a bacterium building up, and turning the thermostat up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit will usually kill it. Never use the water when it is at 140 degrees, it can scald the skin. Wait an hour or longer and let that heated water kill the bacteria then turn the thermostat down and wait 4 to 6 hours before using it. If this didn’t get rid of the odor, you need to call a plumber for a professional water heater repair service.

Taking Too Long to Reheat

If your water heater is starting to take longer and longer to heat the water, try moving the thermostat up higher. If that doesn’t help, it could be either a dirty burner orifice or dirt vent flue that isn’t letting the gas flow. Simply clean these two parts and you’ll have a water repair done! If that doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to replace your water heater with a larger capacity. 

Low Hot Water Pressure

A common problem in older homes is the water pressure because the plumbing pipes installed were ½” size and today the standard is ¾” size plumbing. The allows a greater water throughput, and the only water heater repair that will fix that problem is replumbing the entire house. 

In newer homes, a water heater repair for this problem is to check the sink aerators aren’t clogged. The water inlet valve can be accidentally closed may be the problem. 

Too Hot or Too Cold

If your water heater has inconsistent water temperature and you’ve moved the thermostat with no success, it could be the thermostat is going out. A water heater repair for this problem is to clean or replace the thermocouple. 

What is the average life of a water heater?

A water heater can last between 8 to 12 years on average. The brand and quality of the water heater are a factor, the quality of the water where you live is a bigger factor, and if you follow routine maintenance of flushing the tank periodically will factor into the lifespan. If you need water heater repairs by the 8th year, replacing it is recommended. 

water heating in a storage room

In Closing – Who do you call to repair a water heater?

A professional plumber is the person to call for any water heater repairs or replacement. If you don’t a plumber you use, you can find several with an internet search. Advise them of the problem that you’re having, and they can give you an estimate of a possible water heater repair. 

Should I repair or replace my toilet?

toilet with an out of order sign

Taking Care of Toilet Problems

If there is one thing in your home that you wouldn’t want to live without, it is probably the toilet. You could; they did many years ago before the toilet was invented, but who would want to do that, right?  As important a part of daily life as the toilet is, it makes toilet repairs an absolute must. Fortunately, you can do many toilet repairs yourself, and toilet repairs from an experienced plumber are still affordable.

Can you repair the toilet bowl?

It seems unlikely, but yes, toilet bowl tanks will crack, and those cracks aren’t always visible at first. It could be a crack from the factory that never showed up until now, or a crack may develop over time, often due to extreme changes in temperature. 

Whatever the reason, before you can repair it, you’ve got to find the crack. Then you need to assess if it is a possible toilet repair, or if will you need a new toilet. A toilet bowl crack can be challenging to find, and the water leaking may only happen when the toilet is flushed. So, as you inspect the toilet bowl from the floor up and all around the bowl, flush the toilet. 

Three common places a crack may occur and require toilet repair are: 

  • Above the water level: You’ll need to keep monitoring this because unless the water gets up higher than normal, you may never know there is a crack. 
  • Below the water level: This will be more challenging and almost impossible to find because of the bowl shape. If you can see the crack, you can’t do any type of toilet repair – it needs to be replaced. 
  • The invisible crack is a possibility that will show up in different ways: water standing on the floor around the toilet, or water is missing from the bowl. This type of leak will cause water to pool up on the floor at the base or slowly leak into the drain. This could be because the seal is worn on the underside of the bowl and isn’t the easiest toilet repair, but it is repairable. A hairline crack in the base of the toilet can be sealed with an epoxy. 

Can you repair a toilet tank?

If the tank has a hairline crack, an easy toilet repair is to use waterproof epoxy to seal the crack. If there is a crack where it bolts to the floor, you can try an epoxy seal there too. If that toilet repair doesn’t stop the leak, you’ll need to replace the toilet. 

Can you buy a replacement tank for a toilet?

Yes, you can purchase a replacement toilet tank at any home improvement center or hardware store. Replacing a toilet tank is a fairly easy toilet repair for DIY homeowners, saving you a service call to a plumber. 

It is essential to match the toilet tank with the toilet bowl, getting the same manufacturer brand and model so the installation goes smoothly and the toilet functions correctly. Nothing can be worse than finishing a toilet repair and finding that you’re still having the same problem, or worse, another problem! 

Where can I get replacement toilet parts?

Any hardware store or big box chain home improvement store will have toilet parts and toilet repair kits for the internal parts of the tank. You can also purchase for retail plumbing supply stores, where you’ll be able to get experienced plumber guidance. 

Do toilet repair kits come in different sizes? 

Yes, there are different sizes when it comes to toilet repair kits. Not all brands of toilets are the same and within the different brands, the toilets are often different too. When everyone is having to ‘jiggle’ the handle to stop the toilet from running, there are several toilet repair kits to choose from. 

Each one will have a chart or guidelines on what toilet it fits and information on how to replace a toilet repair kit. This can include information on how to repair toilet flange and other parts within the tank. You can also find a plethora of online videos that can walk you through the process of toilet repairs. 

plumber performing toilet repairs

The Big Question About The Household Throne

How do I buy a replacement toilet? And how do I choose a replacement toilet? Every homeowner will find themselves asking this question sooner or later. We will flush a toilet over 100,000 times in our lives. The toilet uses up to 30% of the water in our home. A few facts you’ll want to consider when purchasing a replacement toilet: 

  • Gravity-assisted toilet – the common type in most homes. The height and weight of the water in the tank facilitate the  flush. 
  • Pressure-assisted toilet –  there is an active mechanism that facilitates he flush using gravity to force the flush.
  • Vacuum-assisted toilet –  This type uses a vacuum to draw water with force into the bowl using the holes around the rim of the upper toilet bowl. 

There are one-piece model toilets that have an integrated bowl and tank, creating a compact unit. These are easier to clean and ideal for small bathrooms with limited space. Then there is the standard two-piece model, separate bowl and tank that fit together and is often less expensive than the one-piece style.

When it comes to the seat, there is an elongated shape and a round shape and then there is toilet height to be considered. If you have a home with small children, the standard 14” to 15” height would be recommended. The most comfortable toilets are 17” to 19” tall from the floor. You’ll need to measure the rough-in for your new toilet as well. This is the space between the outlet pipe of the toilet and the wall behind it. There are several different sizes within the different models, the correct rough-in is important in getting the right size of toilet for years of happy flushing and hopefully minimal toilet repairs.

The Most Common Garbage Disposal Problems

garbage disposal under sink

Garbage disposal issues

The holiday season is here! So, before you start baking and cooking, make sure you aren’t going to need garbage disposal repair in the midst of all that flour, sugar, and mess! Let’s call this this garbage disposal pre-holiday tune-up! 

First, how do you know which is the best way to go, a garbage disposal repair or replacement? And can you repair a garbage disposal yourself? Not just for holidays, but your garbage disposal is a convenience that has become an essential tool in your kitchen.  Prepping the food, baking, and cooking are easier when you can simply toss scraps in the sink and flip a switch. However, that takes a toll on this unit, wearing them out. 

The following are problems that your garbage disposal could have at some point. By learning these things now, you’ll have a better idea why garbage disposal stopped working and if you need to replace the unit or if garbage disposal repair is possible and worthwhile: 

  • No Noise: If your garbage disposal unit is a quiet one, that is awesome. Until it is quiet because it isn’t grinding. First, you need to make sure it is plugged in (usually under the sink). Then, push the reset button on the bottom. If the button is popped out, check the circuit breaker. If none of these is out of position, then you need to call a professional for garbage disposal repair, or you may need to replace the unit. 
  • Leaking: Water leaking from a garbage disposal is usually a problem with a seal inside the unit or at the sink. By learning how to repair a leaking garbage disposal, you could save yourself a repair phone call and postpone buying a new unit! If the leak is around the sink flange, you can usually tightened the unit there or apply new plumber’s putty around the flange for a simple garbage disposal repair. Sometimes, as a garbage disposal ages and wears out, or if something gets down inside the garbage disposal like a utensil, it can crack the unit and cause it to start leaking. In this case, you’ll need a replacement unit. Another area to check for possible leaking is where the dishwasher connects to the discharge drainpipe. There is usually a clamp at that connection, and it may need to be tightened, and check the bolts around the drainpipe, they may need tightening too. If these DIY garbage disposal repairs don’t work, then call a professional plumber. 
  • Slow Draining: If after running water and the garbage disposal for a bit, the drain isn’t draining, then it is probably the drain line. Chemical drain cleaners are a no-no with a garbage disposal, they can damage the disposal and you’ll have to clean those toxic chemicals and the wastewater out by hand.  First try pouring baking soda and vinegar in the drain, followed by boiling hot water, often that DIY garbage disposal repair is the cure. If that doesn’t get the wastewater draining, you’ll need to call a plumber. 
  • Garbage disposal is jammed: When the flywheel of a garbage disposal is jammed, you’ll know it by a humming sound. Before you attempt a DIY garbage disposal repair by un-jamming it, make sure you have turned it off and unplugged it. Underneath the garbage disposal is a small slot and usually a small wrench that fits that slot. Use this hex-head wrench or an Allen wrench and see if you can get unjam the unit by turning that slot. Check inside the drain where the garbage disposal is located and make sure a dish cloth, or food packaging, didn’t get wrapped around the blade. If neither of these seem to be the problem and the garbage disposal not jammed but humming you’ll need a professional garbage disposal repair, or maybe a replacement. 
  • Smelly: If the garbage disposal motor is spinning and working, but the blades aren’t moving properly, food can get stuck under the blades, and we all know what rotting food smells like! If this is the case, you’ll probably need to replace the unit. If bad odors are coming from the garbage disposal, it could be some foods didn’t get chopped up fine enough and didn’t wash down the drain. Put some lemons peels in the disposal and turn it on, this should help.  If not, it could be there isn’t any garbage disposal repair that will help you unit this time. 

After you have tried all these steps, and before you call a plumber for an emergency garbage disposal repair, with the unit off and unplugged, make sure the garbage disposal repair loose blades isn’t the problem. 

With a flashlight and Allen wrench, check that the blades are tight, but not too tight.  If they are loose, they’ll simply spin over the food waste you put in the drain. 

system needing repair

If the DIY garbage disposal repair didn’t work, who to call for garbage disposal repair? 

While a garbage disposal requires electricity to operate, this is a plumbing appliance.  Call a local plumber and explain what’s going on with your garbage disposal. Explain all the DIY garbage disposal repairs you tried and schedule that appointment.  Chances are they will come with a replacement unit “just in case”. Call (214) 402-5454 today for your garbage disposal repair in Dallas, TX.

Is your water heater costing you more than it should?

Hot water heater being serviced.

Signs of Water Heater Problems 

You wake up for work, hop in the bath for that nice warm shower as part of your morning routine, and BOOM! You got a cold wake-up instead! What was that all about? Yeah, you’re awake now, but you also know you may have a problem, and water heater repair or replacement was not on the agenda today. 

Maybe if you’d noticed a few things, you could’ve seen this about to happen and got the water heater repaired over the weekend. So what are some signs your hot water heater is going out? Here are some indicators telling you that water heater repair or replacement is going to be needed soon: 

  • Age – You probably don’t have a birthday party for your water heater; you save that for the cat and kids. However, you need to stay on top of how long you’ve had your water heater because by the tenth year, it is reaching the end of its life. If it’s a good quality water heater, repairs have been little to none, and the water quality is good, you could get upwards of 15 years. 
  • Puddles – You know the water is supposed to be inside the tank, right? So, when there are water puddles around the outside of the water heater, repair or replacement is needed. Before you call a professional for help, save yourself a little money by checking all the pipes and knobs and making sure everything is fitting as tightly as it should. 
  • Noises – A water heater will make some noises, but if it’s making noises more frequently and it’s getting louder, like an angry goblin coming from the closet, or you’re hearing clanking sounds and rumbling, you may have some sediment build up inside the tank. A good flushing will take care of that sometimes, but if you’ve never flushed it and the water heater is around 8 to 10 years old, water heater repair probably isn’t possible.
  • Rusty Water – If the water coming out of the faucets and spigots is a rusty brown or red, that could be from the water heater tank. Try draining it and let it refill again. If the water is still rusty, it is time for a new water heater installation. 
  • It’s Not Heating Well – Do you get one shower or one load of laundry done before you’re out of hot water? Have you adjusted the temperature on the unit and found it’s still not any better? You are beyond water heater repair at this point. Start shopping for the different types of water heaters on the market.

What is the average life of a water heater?

The average is between 8 years to 12 years, depending on few factors such as the quality of the water heater, the quality of the water, and how well you perform maintenance on the unit. If you never do the recommended flush routine, the sediment will keep stacking up inside the tank and affect its efficiency. Some areas have hard water, which has more sediment, and that can take a toll on any water heater. 

How do you know when to replace a hot water heater?

As it has been said, all good things must end, and that’s as true a statement with a water heater as with anything else. When it isn’t doing the job you need it to do, electric or gas water heater repair may be possible, but you need to be prepared for any of the following, because these mean it is time to replace the unit: 


As we mentioned earlier, you’re lucky to get 15 years from a water heater, especially if you never had to get water heater repairs! If it hasn’t gone out by its 15th birthday, you may consider replacing it anyway before it catches you with a cold shower one morning. 


If your water heater doesn’t offer a good volume of hot water, it is time to get a new unit.


A big part of your energy bill is used to heat water with the water heater. If that amount has gone up substantially lately, it could be because the water heater can’t keep up with the demand. It could also be too old or maybe even too small. 


If you’re seeing corrosion on the exterior of your water heater, that means it is leaking and there isn’t any safe water heater repair to fix that. Replace the unit soon! 


As we mentioned earlier, if you’re getting brown or red-colored water from the faucets or spigots, and draining the water heater tank didn’t help, it is time to replace the unit. 


If you have had several water heater repairs over the past year, and it’s giving you trouble again, it’s time to save that money and put it towards a new water heater. 

Plumber fixing a hot water heater.

In Conclusion 

Okay. Now you’re convinced you need a new water heater. Do your research so you know what types of water heaters are on the market today and what is the best choice for your home and your family. These aren’t just electric and gas water heaters anymore. There are choices such as tankless water heaters and high recovery water heaters that may be more suited for a large, busy family. For help figuring out which choice is best, or help with water heater repair in Dallas, TX if there’s still some life in it, call Tribeca Plumbing, Inc. at (214) 402-5454 today. 

What is Faucet Repair?

water dripping from faucet

What is the most frequent failure part in a typical faucet?

When we consider that 19% of a home’s water usage is from the bathroom and kitchen faucets, consuming as much as 20 gallons of water each day, the faucet is used a lot!  As with anything that has that much daily usage, there is bound to be the need for faucet repairs or replacements. 

The rubber washers. Every bathroom and kitchen faucet can have multiple rubber washers, and there are two factors that cause them to wear out: 

  • Usage
  • Water

Worn out rubber parts on any faucet will cause it to leak either at the base, under the handle, or under the knobs. 

How do you fix a broken faucet?

When the kitchen faucet breaks, it is easy to pick up the telephone and call a plumber. Or you can do your own faucet repair  and save that money!  You’ll need a few common household tools like Allen wrenches, flat-head screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, and slip-joint pliers. You’ll also need the basic materials that are available at your local home improvement center:

  • A faucet repair kit
  • Water diverter for hot/cold
  • Packing grease

With these tools and materials gathered, follow these steps for a mixer-style water faucet repair: 

Turn the Water Off & Remove the Handle

Turn off the water under the sink then turn the faucet on so it can drain any water still inside. Next, put the stoppers in the drains to keep small parts and pieces from falling in.

With your Allen wrench, loosen the faucet handle setscrew and remove the handle. Set the parts out in the order your remove them so you have a line-up how to reassemble. 

Remove the Bonnet, Ball and Cam Assembly

Cover the slip-joint pliers teeth with masking tape and remove the bonnet, then remove the ball and cam assembly.

Remove the Springs

Using the needle-nose pliers, remove the springs and packing pieces the clean any buildup and sediment from inside the faucet.

Remove the Diverter and O-Rings

With both hands, grab the spout and move it back and forth until it is loosened, then remove it, the O-rings, and the diverter. Clean any buildup and sediment from the faucet face.


Place the new diverter into position and install the new top O-ring, followed by the others after coating them in the  packing grease. The packing grease protects the components of the faucet by protecting them from the high temperature. 

Connect the Spout

Press the spout into place, pressing with both hands firmly. If you’ve been considering updating your kitchen, now is the time to install a new spout. With the Allen wrench guiding them, slide the springs and packing pieces in place.

Finish Up

Position the faucet ball into the slot, install the cam and its packing reinstall the bonnet and handle.  Now turn on the water and if any leaks, backtrack your steps, usually an o-ring is out of position. 

How do you fix a broken faucet stem?

In every home, it is the bathroom faucet that gets used the most, next to the kitchen faucet. That repeated use causes the stem to wear out, then they drip water even with the handles in the “off” position, wasting water and money. 

If you can’t afford a plumber right now, the following steps will guide you how to do your own faucet repair by replacing the stems and stop that constant dripping of water and money:  

  1. Turn the water supply off under the sink then turn on both cold & hot water knobs to release any pressure & water left in the faucet & lines.
  2. Pop the caps off the top of the knobs using a flathead screwdriver. If there isn’t a cap, there should be exposed screws that need to be removed.
  3. Now pull the faucet handles of. This will expose the stems.
  4. Loosen the retaining nuts with the pliers if the faucet has cartridge stems. If the faucet has ceramic stems, loosen the mounting nuts. Then pull the stems out of the faucet body.
  5. If you haven’t already got the replacement stems, take the ones you removed to your local home improvement store or a plumbing supply store to get the correct replacement stems.
  6. Install the cartridge stems in the faucet body and place  new O-rings above the threads on the compression stem bottoms, coated with plumber’s grease.
  7. Use the retaining nuts to ensure the cartridge stems are securely in place, then install the packing nuts with a clockwise turn of the pliers till tight.
  8. Install the handles on the faucet stems and tighten the setscrews to secure the handles or install new ones.
  9. Turn the faucet handles on and turn the water back on under the sink slowly.

Why does my faucet drip after I turn it off?

The working part of a faucet is the valve which is located in the handle. This is what controls the on, off, temperature, and volume. As  you use the faucet every day, it wears the valve out and it loses the water-tight seal which allows the water to drip when you have the faucet turned off. Follow the steps we listed above for a DIY faucet repair. 

How do you fix a faucet that won’t turn off?

When you turn the faucet off, there are either rubber or plastic components inside that compress across the opening that stops the water flow.  When the water is still running after you’ve turned the knob off it is usually the cartridge, stem, or O-rings are worn out.  Follow the steps we have listed earlier in this article for faucet repair. If you aren’t able to do this yourself, turn the water off under the sink and call a plumber. 

How do I know if my faucet cartridge is bad?

Fortunately, a faucet cartridge will let you know it is getting worn out. Some of the typical indications are: 

  • Constant  water dripping
  • Adjusting the temperature
  • Hot water coming from the cold water outlet

How long do faucet cartridges last?

The lifespan of a faucet cartridge will be affected by how much it is used. A home with one or two people, the faucet doesn’t see as much use as a household with kids. On the average though, you shouldn’t need a faucet repair to replace the cartridge any sooner than 15 years, maybe even 20 years if it is a high quality faucet. 

new faucet installation

Can Washerless faucet be repaired?

When we hear the words “washerless” faucet, we automatically think it is free of needing any faucet repairs. Oh, but how we are wrong in that thinking!  This simply means there is not there isn’t washer in places where standard faucets have them, but they do have a gasket, an O-ring and other rubber parts that need replacing.  So, yes, a washerless faucet could still need faucet repair, and we have provided you steps here to replace those parts. 

If faucet repair wasn’t the fix and you’re going to replace your faucet, which faucets have lifetime warranty?  First, you need to understand that a Lifetime Warranty will generally cover the end consumer that uses the product in their residence. So, if you sell your house, the warranty doesn’t transfer to the new owner or is you’ve purchased it for a commercial setting, the warranty isn’t included. 

The best brands of faucets that will need limited to know faucet repairs are Delta and Moen with lifetime warranty. However, this will require you maintain your faucet with regular cleaning as they instruct in their paperwork. Call (214) 402-5454 for your faucet repair needs in Dallas, TX.

What is considered a plumbing emergency?

damage to internal plumbing

Keeping your plumbing at its best

Indoor plumbing isn’t a luxury for us anymore. Instead, it is just assumed it will always be there and we never think twice about it. Until we need emergency plumbing help, then we make that emergency plumber phone call. We explain our situation and then the response we get is scheduling an appointment for the next day. 

So, what is not an emergency when it comes to plumbing? If the plumbing problem can wait, you don’t have a really true emergency. Here is a list  of things that plumbers do not consider an emergency: 

  • Furnace tune-up
  • Water heater flush
  • Slow or clogged drains 
  • Remodeling
  • Plumbing inspections
  • Appliance installations
  • A leaking faucet
  • A running toilet

What’s the worse thing that could happen if you make an emergency plumber request, then they determine the issue wasn’t a true emergency? Well, the plumber will likely take care of the issue for you, but you’re going to pay for after hours or holiday rate.  

What is considered an emergency plumber repair then? The first thing you should ask yourself before making that phone call for an emergency plumber service is, “Can this wait till the next business day?” and “Is having a professional plumber come unclog my drain worth $100 an hour service call?”  Some true plumbing emergency examples would be: 


When there is a risk of your home flooding because of a busted pipe, sump pump failure, backed up sewer, or failed water shut off valve. These are legitimate reasons that can justify an emergency plumber service call. 

Backed Up Sewer

If your sewer line is backed up and there is sewage puddling in the yard or under the house makes it inconvenient to use the basic household facilities or access running water. What justifies this for an emergency plumber service call though is the health hazard it presents. Exposed sewage is an extremely health issue that should have immediate attention. 

No Water

If you have encountered a plumbing issue where there is absolutely no access to running water and you have checked everything you can (non-payment water bill, city emergency cut off), can become a safety concern. 

Pipe Burst Possible

A frozen water pipe and/or water spigots can cause two issues: 

  • Busting and flooding
  • No water 

A frozen pipe keeps water from flowing and it can also expand and crack while frozen. Then when the water thaws, flooding prevails. If you have frozen pipes and notice it has crack, an emergency plumber call is justified if you don’t know how or where to turn the water main off.  

Is a clogged toilet a maintenance emergency?

A important component of your home’s plumbing is the toilet. In fact, it could be the most important next to having running water. So when that prized gem becomes clogged, is it worth an emergency plumber service call?  

If you have more than one toilet, no, that is not a plumbing emergency. However, if you only have one toilet in the house and you haven’t been able to unclog it with a plunger, make that emergency plumber phone call. 

burst pipe leak

Is a leak an emergency?

If you can see a leak, that could justify an emergency plumber phone call, but only after you have tried to shut the water off at the main without success.  If you don’t know where the shut off is located and how to use it, you should have your plumber show you. 

For a leak that is obvious, but is small, is that worthy of an emergency plumber call? Not is placing a bucket under will catch the leak for a while where you take care of it later or a non-emergency plumber appointment will suffice.  However, you do need to either address it yourself or schedule a plumber soon. Why? 

A leak is telling you that something is wrong, and often, if there is one obvious leak, there could be another leak somewhere else that you don’t see. An unseen leak is the worst leak possible. Plumbing leaks happen when the water pressure rises or there is a buildup of corrosion, limescale, etc. If there is unseen leaks, it is leaking somewhere that is going to cause mildew, mold, rot, and from there, you’re looking at extensive structural damage. 

Just a few drips behind a wall or in the ceiling will begin soaking through drywall. By ignoring these signs or putting off taking care of them, you’re creating an expensive mess for later. So, while your immediate issue may be put off with a bucket catching a few drips right now, don’t let it become an emergency plumbing and drain problem. Schedule your plumber sooner than later, just not necessarily an emergency plumber appointment. 

When you do make that emergency plumber call, how long do emergency plumbers take? When emergency plumber call out is made, a professional plumber will stay and work on the problem until it is fixed. There are emergency plumber cases that are solved with in an hour or two and others that take three or more hours. There is no set time frame because the plumber won’t know what they are dealing with until the arrive and assess the problem. Even then, once they start working on it, another issue may arise causing it to take longer. Call (214) 402-5454 today for emergency plumbing services in Dallas, TX.