4 Situations That Are Plumbing Emergencies

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

Pipe Burst

Your plumbing system doesn’t come with a warning system. When something is about to go wrong, there’s no flashing red light that warns of impending problems. In most instances, proper maintenance and regular plumbing inspections will warn you of major plumbing problems.

However, if you’re a homeowner, you are bound to have unexpected problems with your plumbing at one time or another. Many companies offer plumbing services outside of normal work hours. However, these services can be expensive. A plumbing job during normal business hours can easily cost twice as much when handled after hours.

Some plumbing issues that occur after hours might be able to wait until the next business day. However, some things should be taken care of right away. But how do you know if it’s a real plumbing emergency?

Here are four situations that are considered emergencies.

1. Burst Pipes

If your pipes burst, they can cause major damage inside your home. Besides damage to flooring, burst pipes have enormous potential to damage wiring and insulation. If a pipe burst inside a wall, you might not notice it right away. This causes damage to the structural materials in your home. When water is not cleaned up right away, it also causes mold problems.

Burst pipes can happen if:

  • The pipes are not secured properly, which causes them to move around.
  • The pipes experience a significant increase in water pressure.
  • The pipes have become corroded.
  • The pipes have frozen.

Sudden changes in water pressure, watermarks on the drywall, standing water near plumbing fixtures, and increased water bills can all be signs of a burst pipe or a leak.

2. Gas Leak

If you smell gas inside your home or your home smells like rotten eggs, you might have a gas leak. Besides the smell, a gas leak might cause a low hissing sound coming from the leaking pipe. Disturbances in the air might also indicate a gas leak. These air disturbances are evidenced by swaying curtains or dust blowing around the air inside your home.

If you notice any of these signs, you should leave your home immediately. You should also call your local gas company so that they can shut off your gas or tag the leak. After that, you’ll need to contact a professional plumber who knows about natural gas lines.

If you are exposed to natural gas, you might experience the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion
  • Blurry vision

Prolonged exposure to natural gas can be fatal. Another reason natural gas leaks are so dangerous is that they can cause explosions.

3. Sump Pump Failure

Your sump pump is a great addition to your home. Not only will a sump pump protect your home in the event of a flood or heavy rainfall, it will reduce moisture in your basement and crawl space. This is important as moisture in these areas can lead to mold. A sump pump could fail in some instances.

Common reasons for sump pump failure include:

  • There is a power outage with no backup generator.
  • The switch is stuck or there is debris blocking the float.
  • The sump pump doesn’t have enough horsepower or too much.
  • The discharge pipe is either jammed with debris or frozen.
  • The sump pump was not installed correctly.

A sump pump can also fail if it is too old. The average lifespan of a sump pump is 7 to 10 years. If you have had your sump pump for over 10 years, you should consider replacing it.

4. Water Heater Leak

One appliance you want to be working at all times is your water heater. This appliance provides the convenience of a hot shower, and it gets rid of germs when you wash clothes and dishes. When your water heater leaks, it is not just an inconvenience. It is dangerous.

In some cases, a leaking water heater valve is caused by temperature or pressure extremes. If there is something wrong with the valve, the pent up pressure will not get released. This can result in a water heater explosion.

Another danger of a leaking water heater is that there is an increased risk of harmful chemicals getting into the water. This happens when the leak is caused by a rusty pipe. A leaking water heater also has the potential to cause structural damage to your home.

This is especially true when the water heater has been leaking for a prolonged period of time and the water is left standing.

If you experience a burst pipe, gas leak, sump pump failure, leaking water heater, or any other situation that requires emergency plumbing services, contact Jim Dhamer Plumbing and Sewer, Inc. at (630) 964-2222. We offer quick, efficient, and affordable plumbing services in Naperville, Lisle, Glen Ellyn, and the surrounding areas. We can help with emergencies or everyday plumbing problems.


Jim Dhamer
Plumbing and Sewer, Inc.


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