Know the Difference Between a Plumbing Emergency and a Plumbing Problem

Do You Know the Difference Between Important and Urgent?

Sometimes it can be easy to tell the difference between an emergency and a problem. When the house is on fire, it’s an emergency, and it’s best to call for help. But when a candle gets knocked over and threatens to start a fire, it’s a problem. Problems can turn into emergencies if they’re not dealt with. These are two pretty clear examples. But, it can be harder to tell the difference between an important problem and an urgent emergency when it comes to plumbing issues. So read on for examples of each and what to do about them. 

Broken Pipe: Urgentpipe

The dreaded broken pipe in the home is an example of an emergency. This unfortunate incident can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s due to high water pressure, and other times pipes break because they’re old and need to be replaced. In the wintertime, freezing pipes can cause them to burst. No matter how it happens, it’s something that requires an expert to fix properly. 

The clear first step to dealing with a broken pipe is to turn off the main water supply to the house. This will limit the damage that the flowing water will do to the home. The main water valve is usually located inside the house near where the water comes in, so it’s usually on the street-side. Possibly near the water heater. Some homes may have another shutoff valve near the street in a small municipal box fixed into the ground. Once the water is shut off, call a certified plumbing company to deal with the emergency.  

Clogged Toilet: Importanttoilet

While a broken pipe is a serious issue, a clogged toilet is somewhat less so. It should still be dealt with in a timely manner, but most of the time, it doesn’t require the help of a trained professional. Most homeowners are handy with a plunger and know the nuances of their toilets and how to get them unclogged.

If a plunger doesn’t work, a plumber’s snake can be used for most toilet clogs. A homeowner rarely needs to call a plumber for a clogged toilet. However, if some foreign objects ended up in the toilet (usually when there’s a toddler in the house), a  plumber may be required to get these out safely without harming the pipes or the toilet. 

Sewage System Backup: Urgent

Like a broken pipe, a sewage system backup is an urgent emergency. This can end up contaminating the entire home’s water supply, posing a health risk to those using the water. Some common sewage backup signs include foul odors coming from drains, multiple drains backing up or draining slowly, or discolored (black) water coming up in the toilets or drains. 

A sewage backup like that is not something that most homeowners are equipped to handle. Those who suspect that they are experiencing a sewage backup should immediately stop using the water and call a professional plumbing company for help. 

About PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning

PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning has been serving Staten Island, NY, since 1979. They offer top-notch, award-winning service from friendly technicians. Their workmanship is always excellent, and they provide budget-friendly options for every job. Call now for plumbing service!

They Grow so Fast: Leaks Can Become a Problem

A common misconception is that the only serious water leaks are the ones on a roof, and that really only happens when there are heavy rains and damage to the roof tiles.

The fact is, an unattended household leak can cost about 10,000 gallons of wasted water a year. That’s approximately 588 showers!

There is another way to put it… a leak is a warning that there is something worse coming on the horizon. It is always best to catch it before it gets too late! However, many people are not sure how to react, this article is here to help. 

Water Leak

From Little Leak to Burst Pipe

A tiny little crack never hurt anyone, right? Wrong! Having a cracked or leaking pipe can be considered a time bomb. As hot water of different pressures goes through a home’s plumbing system, it chips away slowly at the integrity of the structure.

Over time, the inner walls of the pipe will give in and rupture, leaving a dangerous flooding and a heavy repairment bill. The most common household leaks come from:


  • Water Heaters - This occurs when the tank is old and corroding. Leading to a huge burst so it’s best to keep an eye out!
  • Toilets - The water supply, or flange and wax ring. This can be damaging to walls so tending to it as soon as possible is imperative or puddling water can form around the floor.
  • Washing Machines - A broken cold or hot water supply hose.
  • Fridges/Dishwashers - Usually, this happens behind the machine and can go unnoticed for a long time. Inspecting it regularly must be done in the event that something sounds off. 
  • Sinks/Showers - Occurs behind wall tiles usually and can be hard to detect.
  • HVAC Systems - An AC can leak when it runs, but long-term dripping can cause water damage.

Burst Pipe

Saving Money Now, by Fixing a Leak

People often wait for a little leak to turn into a giant problem. A single leaky faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.

Leaks can occur for a variety of reasons, from misaligned washers and gaskets to loosened traps, to straight-up cracks in the piping.

Once the cause of a leak is determined, homeowners should take action. Most of these issues can be solved with a simple wrench for tightening or using pipe tape to seal a stubborn hole. It’s never good to allow these things to worsen, because it is much more cost-effective to repair than replace an entire broken pipe.

It is also important to remember to inspect the outside of a home for leaks as well. Most irrigation systems that are exposed, or even underground, are affected by extreme hot or cold temperatures, causing them to rupture. Underground or out-of-sight irrigation systems are more difficult to inspect for leaks and will require a professional.

Leak Plumber

Better Safe Plumbing Than Sorry Plumbing

A good way to weed out any undetected leaks is by monitoring water meters and examining the water usage bill. Inspect a water meter in a two-hour period where no water has been running.

If the meter changes, it’s time to go in deeper. The only way to be 100% certain that a house is leak-free is by calling in the pros

Safe Plumber

About PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning

For Staten Island, NY professionals in the field of plumbing, heating, cooling, air quality, and even commercial services; PAC Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning techs have been around as a staple since 1979. They serve from homeowners to businesses and large facilities, and focus on maintenance plans to prevent emergencies all over NYC.