Knowing when to call a plumber can be tricky when you aren’t an expert. You don’t want to waste money on a tiny problem you could have solved yourself, but you also don’t want to get in over your head on a project that should have been handled by an actual plumbing technician.
How do you know when to call a plumber?
You should call a plumber when a DIY option isn't available and not fixing it immediately could cause damage to your property or could be dangerous for your health. For example, if water is flooding into your house from a burst pipe, call a plumber immediately to avoid extensive water damage throughout your property.
Here are 9 clear signs for when you should put down the DIY tutorial and call a plumber to handle it:
1. There is no water throughout the whole house.
A sink or shower not getting water flow is pretty normal, but it is rare when your entire house isn’t getting water. Before calling, make sure you check every water outlet and both hot and cold water supplies. If still no water, this could indicate that a buried pipe leading from the streetside water meter has burst or broken, which is a serious problem.
2. It takes hours for your home to produce hot water.
It’s normal for hot water to be depleted after multiple showers in a row, but if it takes hours for your home to replenish it’s hot water supply every time, you could have a problem on your hands. This could be due to several issues, such as the pilot light going out due to drips or your tank not being big enough.
3. There is water around your water heater.
If you notice water around your water heater or that it appears that your water heater is “sweating”, you should call a plumber. A small leak might not seem like a big deal, but water heater leaks can become big problems quickly. When looking for water leakage also look out for other warning signs like rusty spots, corrosion on the water heater, and a very full drip pan.
4. It smells like a sewer or other gaseous odors.
Most people have dealt with a backed-up or stinky toilet, but if your whole home starts smelling like sewage that is a sign of major plumbing distress. It could be drainpipes that aren’t properly ventilated or backup of your sewage system.
5. Your water pressure is low.
If a single faucet with low pressure can usually be fixed with a fixture replacement or a clogged aerator, but low water pressure through your whole home is a bigger issue. Low pressure can be an indication of cracked or broken pipes.
6. Your toilet keeps overflowing.
Overflowing issues and clogs can usually be resolved with a plunger, but if your toilet is constantly causing problems, it could be due to a deeper clog in the drain. Trying to resolve a deep clog problem yourself can potentially damage your pipes, so when your toilet is consistently overflowing, it’s best to let a professional handle it.
7. Your house smells like natural gas.
If you smell natural gas in your home and can’t attribute it to a stove or appliance, it could be coming from your water heater. Pilot lights in water heater also come with a thermocouple that senses when there is a flame and will turn off the gas if there is no flame. If the thermocouple malfunctions, it can continue to pump gas into your home. For your safety, we recommend opening all your windows and doors before calling a plumber.
8. All your drains don't work.
If all your drains are clogged at the same time, that indicates a problem with your main sewer line. This type of clog can't usually be resolved through DIY means, and you might need a sewer camera inspection to even see where the problem lies.
9. Your pipes have burst.
Pipe damage is one of the most wasteful plumbing problems you'll experience. Depending on the severity of the damage, your poor pipe can release gallons of water by the hour until you shut your main water line off. However, if your main water line isn't the source of the water flow, such as in an apartment complex, you might need someone from the water department to come and shut off the entire block of buildings, which can take hours. DIY solutions in such cases tend to be not only inadvisable but impossible. If a pipe has burst in your home or apartment, call a plumber as soon as possible to resolve the situation before the water damage gets out of control.
How Often Should You Call a Plumber?
How often you should (or will need to) call a plumber is determined by how often you schedule regular maintenance or plumbing inspection services. It is recommended that homeowners schedule a plumbing inspection at least once every two years. However, you should do it more frequently than that if the home you are living in is old, you have mature trees, or if you are moving into a new home.
If you are looking at a problem that should be handled by a plumber, contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Charlotte today by calling (704) 842-9508">(704) 842-9508 or filling out our online contact form. Our expert Charlotte plumbers deliver professional and reliable services every time!
About the Author: William Iliev, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Charlotte
William has been a trusted plumber and owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Charlotte since 2003. With over 15 years to back him, William has experience with a wide range of plumbing related solutions and systems. He and his team specialize in water heater services, tree root plumbing repairs, and more.