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In the US, life expectancy has more than doubled within the last two hundred years. Historians conclude that plumbing system innovations contributed to such incredible health improvements. After all, they gave rise to better sanitation, water treatment, and sewage management.
However, plumbing issues like wastewater backups can also pave the way for diseases. When plumbing backups occur, they can cause sewage to infiltrate your home. Exposure to these wastes puts you at risk of illnesses such as infections.
For those reasons, it’s best you know when to call an emergency plumbing service. We’ll talk about the signs of plumbing emergencies in more detail below, so be sure to read on!
1. Multiple Clogged Drains and Toilets
Is there’s more than one toilet or drain that takes forever to channel wastewater out of your home? In this case, it’s best you start googling “emergency drain service near me“. That’s because simultaneous clogs often indicate a blocked main drain or sewer line.
Keep in mind that each drainpipe in your home connects to your plumbing system’s main drain line. The main drain, in turn, links your plumbing system to the municipal sewer line. The sewer line then delivers the wastewater to your local sewer treatment facility.
So, wastewater won’t be able to leave your home as quickly as it should if you have a clogged main drain or sewer line. Most of the waste will stay within the pipes and hinder the passage of incoming wastewater. Since the main drain is where all your drain pipes connect to, most, if not all, of them will start acting up.
That’s how a blockage in the main drain or sewer line can lead to multiple clogged drains and toilets. It won’t take long before all the individual drain lines in your home cease to function properly. So, hire an emergency plumber if you have several drains and toilets that take a lot of time to drain or flush.
2. Plumbing Backups
Did you know that there are at least 100 types of viruses found in raw sewage? Wastewater also harbors many other pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, parasites, and worms. This is why sewage and wastewater exposure can result in a plethora of diseases.
In fact, at least 15 types of illnesses, such as gastroenteritis, are sewage-related.
Your entire household can get exposed to these dangers if your drains and toilets back up. Multiple clogged drains and toilets often precede plumbing backups.
Moreover, a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) can result in indoor flooding. This plumbing emergency can occur when sewer lines get overtaxed due to bad weather. Existing plumbing clogs further heighten your risk of SSOs.
As if that’s not bad enough, SSOs are quite common in the US, with 23,000 to 75,000 cases occurring each year. Homes in or near flood zones have the highest risk of SSO-related indoor flooding.
With that said, you should call a plumber as soon as you’ve experienced a plumbing backup. Plumbing specialists use special personal protective equipment to handle germ-filled wastewater. They won’t just clear your drains; they’ll also help clean the area where the backup occurred.
3. Burst Pipes
In 2018, one in four US homeowners’ insurance claims was for water damage and freezing. These claims led to an average insurance payout of almost $11,000.
Frozen pipes that burst are some of the most common plumbing issues that cause water damage in US homes. When pipes rupture, they send out a constant stream of water into your home. Pipes can burst due to the internal pressure caused by ice buildup in water supply pipes or drain lines.
If one or more of your water supply pipes burst, turn off your main water shutoff valve right away. In some homes, the shutoff valve is on the front wall’s exterior side facing the street. In other properties, it can be in the basement, a mechanical room, or near a water heater tank.
Be sure to don rubber gloves and boots if you need to walk through water to turn off your shutoff valve. You should also turn off your home’s main electrical panel. This helps ensure no live current flows in the water flooding your home.
From there, call an emergency plumber right away to have your burst pipe fixed or replaced. This is even more important if you can’t find the shutoff valve or if you have a burst drain pipe. A plumber can quickly find (and turn off) the valve or use devices to pinpoint which drain line has burst.
4. Visible Water Damage
Researchers found that dampness or mold problems affect one in two US homes. Leaking plumbing pipes are some of the top causes of such structural and health issues. Worse, many plumbing leaks are easy to miss, considering that most pipes aren’t visible.
Over time, though, even hidden pipe damages create apparent surface water stains. You’ll often see these ugly water spots on ceilings and walls.
If you notice any of these water stains at home, be sure to call an emergency plumber right away. Otherwise, those defective pipes will continue to leak and cause further water damage.
Note, too, that the more water leaks you have, the higher your risk of mold infestations. Keep in mind that molds only need three things to survive: water, oxygen, and organic materials. From there, they can proliferate and damage your home’s structural components.
Not all molds are dangerous, but their spores can trigger allergies or asthma. According to some estimates, about 10% of the US population have mold-related allergies. Experts also associate over 80 types of mold with lung, nose, and throat conditions.
Don’t Delay Calling an Emergency Plumbing Service
There you have it, four of the top signs you need to call an emergency plumbing service. If you notice any of these symptoms, don’t delay contacting a 24-hour plumber. Their prompt service can help keep you and your loved ones away from plumbing hazards.
Looking for more home, health, or lifestyle guides like this? Then please feel free to check out our many other how-to blog posts!