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.