When something isn’t right in your home’s plumbing system, it can feel like the clock is ticking before a bomb goes off. However, emergency plumbers tend to come at a higher price because of the immediate need, so it’s important to know which situations constitute calling up your local plumbing superheroes.

Here are six emergency plumbing situations when you should consider your predicament as an actual emergency.


It’s a scary moment for any homeowner: A water line bursts and water begins to flood the house. This is not a regular occurrence in a well-kept home, but it does happen enough to warrant some advice. In this scenario, two things are of utmost importance: First, act fast and locate the home’s water supply valve to shut off water flow completely. Second, call the plumber since this is a situation that requires expertise!


A sewage backup occurs when an obstruction or system damage stops waste from draining away from one’s house. Thus, sewage “reverses direction,” as it were, and comes up out of the pipes in your toilet, shower, or other drainage location. Trust us when we say, it’s disgusting.

This most often takes place because of a clog in the sewer system, caused by inappropriate items being disposed of in the drain, cracked or collapsed pipes, or problems with municipal sewers. Needless to say, there is no DIY solution, and you should summon the pros!


A sump pump is your home’s safety net from a flooding disaster. It is designed to turn itself on if water reaches a certain level in the basement, pumping the water away from the home’s foundation. Now, imagine you’re away for the weekend, a pipe bursts, and your sump pump fails. Yikes!

Sump pumps break down for a myriad of reasons (power outage, faulty installation, clogged discharge pipe, system age, or electrical error), but the most important thing, regardless of why your sump pump is broken, is to get it up and running as quickly as possible. You could save yourself thousands of dollars in repairing damage from even a small amount of standing water downstairs.


There are a handful of causes for a burst pipe. All of them require an experienced professional to save the day.

If you leave for an extended trip during the winter and turn the heat in your home completely off, you put your home’s pipes and spigots at risk for freezing and eventual flooding. When pipes freeze, water is unable to flow through the system, but instead expands inside the pipes, causing them to crack. When the water/system thaws again, the water could burst or flood.

Tree root invasion: If you’re lucky enough to live in a home surrounded by enormous, beautiful trees, be warned that this could mean trouble for your underground sewer system. As trees grow, so do their roots. And sometimes, tree roots try to mingle with buried pipes, leading to broken or burst water lines, which is a party you don’t want to host.

An increase in water pressure is another concern for your home’s pipe system. Whether the pipes are old, made of steel, or are frozen, an accidental or unknown rise in water pressure can cause noteworthy damage. Don’t try to fix this yourself.


It is a rare occurrence in which water would be cut off to one’s entire home. This is normally a localized issue and therefore doesn’t warrant an immediate call to the plumber.

If you notice a lack of water in a room of your home, check other water sources throughout the house to determine if it is a whole-system failure. Ensure that both hot and cold water flow are unavailable. Sometimes, the water heater isn’t functioning properly and only cold water is flowing to faucets.

Also, double-check that your water payment pended out this month, it could be a simple fix of contacting your utility provider.

If you’ve done the above, and find that there is indeed no hot or cold water flow to any room of the house, you have an emergency situation. This likely means that the buried pipeline running from your local water meter to your home has burst or been cut off, and is flooding elsewhere.


If you are smelling a gaseous odor in your home, and it can’t be attributed to an ignited but unlit stovetop, this is a potentially dangerous scenario.

Gas is a naturally odorless substance; the chemical “mercaptan” was added long ago to help people take note of a gas leak as the odor we smell and recognize today. Most adults recognize the scent upon encounter; it resembles sulfur or rotten eggs. If you smell this coming from your water heater, this may be a sign of a leak, or something worse.


For every unique plumbing challenge you might encounter in your Northern Colorado home, To the T Plumbing & Heating provides expertise, professionalism, and friendliness. We are a family-owned and operated business, offering all the emergency plumbing services your home might need.

Whether you need a repair, maintenance, or a brand new installation, our team is ready to save the day. Contact us today for a free quote!