A plumbing emergency is something you can't ignore. Although a clogged sink drain is annoying, it's not typically an emergency because further damage isn't likely to occur if you put off repairs until normal business hours. An emergency is when immediate action must be taken to protect your home or to provide for the pressing needs of your family. The following information can help in the event of a true plumbing emergency.
An overflowing toilet is an emergency, at least until the water stops coming over the edge of the bowl. Your first step is to stop the flow of water. You can do this by locating the water valve behind the toilet and turning it off so no more water flows into the bowl. You may also need to open the toilet lid and manually close the flapper so the water remaining in the tank doesn't continue to flow into the toilet. If you have another toilet in the house, you can use old towels to clean up the mess and put off the repair until business hours. If this is your only toilet, then you need to call an emergency plumber.
A burst pipe can lead to flooding and major water damages throughout the house. If you know the exact location of the burst pipe, then you can shut off the water supply valve closest to it. For example, if the pipe beneath your kitchen sink breaks, simply turn off the supply valve under the sink. If the pipe is in the wall or it's otherwise impossible to easily determine the closest shutoff valve, you will need to shut down the main water valve for the house. This is usually located outside under a green utility box lid, in the basement, or in a laundry or utility room. You may be able to live without water in one room until the plumber opens, but you need to call an emergency plumber if you must shut down the supply to the whole house.
Basements flood for a variety of reasons, such flooding outside, a failed sump pump, a burst water main, or a backed-up sewer drain. Regardless of the reason, you must handle the problem promptly. If you know the cause is a burst main, you can shut off water to the house. If there is raw sewage or floodwaters, stay far away since disease-causing pathogens could be in the water. Contact an emergency plumber right away so they can find the cause of the flooding and put a stop to it.
If you experience any of these issues, contact an emergency plumber in your area right away.