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What Defines a Plumbing Emergency?

Two of the most terrifying words in homeownership are “plumbing emergency,” but different homeowners might define those words differently. For instance, a water heater that is broken and doesn’t produce hot water or a dishwasher that doesn’t run might be an emergency for some people. For others, it’s only an emergency if something like a toilet, pipe, or appliance is actively leaking (or gushing) water all over the place. The truth is that either situation could be a true emergency (not having hot water or functional toilets in a business like a restaurant certainly would be an emergency if it shut you down). Let’s explore the general criteria that most people would accept as defining the term plumbing emergency.


Understand the various reasons for these plumbing issues.

Issues That Can’t Wait

The generally excepted definition of an emergency is a situation that cannot wait, and there are several scenarios where plumbing issues cannot stay. One of the biggest would be a burst pipe or broken appliance that is flooding the house, especially if you cannot turn off the main water. Water can do much damage very quickly, so an ongoing leak is a significant problem. Similarly, an overflowing toilet that you can’t stop from flowing would be a plumbing emergency.

Issues That Might Be Able to Wait Normally

Other plumbing issues might not be an emergency under some circumstances but are under others. For instance, if you have a toilet that is backed up but not overflowing, it may be gross, but it is not causing a dangerous or unhealthy situation. That is unless it is the only toilet in the house. A home must have a working bathroom, so this would be an emergency, whereas a home with other bathrooms could probably wait to have a plumber come out.

Issues With Health Implications

Similarly, any issue with severe health implications could be considered an emergency. For instance, if you have a broken shower head and turn the water off to just the shower, you could likely let that go till the next day. However, if you could only figure out how to turn the main shutoff, leaving your home with no water at all, then it cannot wait. Similarly, a backed-up sewer line that causes slow drains could remain, but if sewage is backing up into your property, the situation is unsanitary and cannot wait.

Gas Issues

Finally, in many areas, the gas lines are considered part of the plumbing, and a gas leak is absolutely an emergency. If you ever smell gas, you must call the gas company immediately, and they will find the source of the leak, and after that getting a plumber who can repair the lines to come out is a top priority.

Get in Touch With B&D Today!

Dealing with any plumbing concerns that require a professional to step in? Struggling with an absolute plumbing emergency that can’t wait? Let B&D Plumbing know. B&D Plumbing Inc. services the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area, including Maryland and Northern Virginia. Get in touch with us by calling (301) 595-1141 or follow us on social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. As a small, family-owned business, we understand how important your home is—and we offer exceptional service that matches!

This entry was posted on Friday, December 9th, 2022 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.