The Most Common Vancouver Plumbing Emergencies

What Is a Plumbing Emergency?

Not everything that goes wrong on the weekend or in the middle of the night counts as a plumbing emergency. And plumbing emergencies can happen during the middle of the workday. That means a plumbing emergency isn’t based on the time it happens. Instead, the real definition of a plumbing emergency is the severity. These are the plumbing problems Vancouver home owners face that can’t wait until tomorrow to get solved. Let’s look at some of the most common plumbing emergencies that result in calls to Vancouver plumbers.

Severe Flooding

A broken pipe you can shut off by turning off water to that section of the house is serious. If you have to turn off water to the whole house or essential areas like the kitchen, then it counts as an emergency. A continual water leak in a wet bar faucet doesn’t count. Nor does flooding from an outdoor sprinkler or pool pump, since you can turn it off without losing the ability to continue living in your home.

Sewerage flooding into your home is always an emergency. It is by definition a flood, and it is arguably worse than water damage since it is a health threat, as well. It doesn’t matter if this is happening because the wastewater line finally backed up or bad weather has flooded your septic tank, forcing sewage into your home. You may need a plumber’s help to find out what happened, and they may be able to implement solutions so that it doesn’t happen again.

On the other hand, leaking hot water heaters and washing machine hoses are not an emergency. Water around the appliance that you can clean up with towels is an inconvenience that can wait until business hours to be resolved.


A Lack of Working Toilets


If you live in a conventional home with two bathrooms, one toilet not working is an inconvenience. If the second toilet stops working, it is now a plumbing emergency, if using plungers didn’t resolve the problem. Call a Vancouver plumbing service. And don’t try to get by with buckets and camping toilets. These aren’t as sanitary as you think they are, and you don’t want your family getting sick.


A Total Plumbing Failure

A clogged kitchen drain is not an emergency. You could put food waste in the trash instead of pouring it down the drain. You can dump the wastewater in the backyard, too. A single clogged toilet or shower is an annoyance, not an emergency. However, a total stoppage of drainage in every plumbing system in the home is an emergency. For example, when neither your sinks, showers nor toilets drain, this counts as a plumbing emergency. After all, you can’t wash your hands or use the toilet. And you want to get the issue resolved as soon as possible, because this creates the risk that sewage will backflow into your home. Or you’ll just get a flood when someone tries to fill a bath and the water can’t go anywhere.

No Running Water

A lack of running water is always a problem. A lack of water in one room of the house, such as the toilets and showers not working in one bathroom, is not an emergency. It is the lack of water in the entire home that counts as a Vancouver plumbing emergency.

We’re assuming you’ve paid the water bill, so your water shouldn’t have been turned off. You may not have the knowledge to determine if the water was turned off to your home by mistake or if municipal maintenance crews turned it off to do maintenance but forgot to turn it on. Sometimes the issue is a pipe break. And the city may not even know about it. A professional plumber will determine the cause and get the necessary people involved if it isn’t something they can fix by themselves.

Gas Leaks / Smells of Gas

Any gas leak counts as an emergency. Do you think you smell gas from your gas hot water heater? It is an emergency. Turning off the appliance and its gas supply is a good first step, if you know how to do so. Unfortunately, that might leave you without hot water or even the ability to cook on your gas stove.

Is there a smell of gas in the bathroom? That might be due to gas buildup in the sewers or poor drainage in the wastewater pipes, but this should be checked out as soon as possible. After all, it isn’t uncommon to confuse sewer gas for utility gas. You can determine if it is sewer gas by running water down all your drains. This will reduce if not eliminate the odor if the smell is coming from traps in dry drains. If the smell lingers, call for service.

A Carbon Monoxide Detector Is Going Off

Carbon monoxide detectors are invaluable safety devices. They may malfunction, though this is rare. They may make noise as the battery gets low, and that could be mistaken for an alarm. However, if it is going off, it is better to be safe than sorry. Get everyone outside, and check them for symptoms. If they have symptoms, call for medical assistance and turn off the gas. Air out the home as best you can, but calling for service is a lower priority. What if no one in the family is ill? The problem might be the detector. Open the windows, turn off the gas as a precaution, and then check the battery detector. If the battery is fine or the alarm continues to go off once you’ve replaced it, make an emergency service call. You don’t know if it is your gas hot water heater, stove or furnace, but a Vancouver appliance repairman should be told of the emergency. After all, the gas is a health hazard, but the only solution to it may leave you without heat or hot water. And that’s an emergency in its own right, especially in colder months.