Some plumbing problems are obvious emergencies; a burst pipe, frozen pipe, toilet that won't flush for an unknown reason or no water coming through the taps all mean that your home needs urgent attention from a plumber. However, there are some plumbing problems that you may not realize are urgent, so you might overlook calling an emergency plumber in these cases. Note a few of those problems here, so you can ensure your home's plumbing is always in good repair and you avoid even more serious repair bills down the road.
Flushing and water backup
If you flush the toilet and notice water backup through a shower or sink drain, this often means there is a serious clog somewhere in the plumbing lines. Water that cannot go down the toilet lines will back up to another line in the home, often coming through a shower or tub drain. This type of clog needs to be addressed right away, as that backup can get worse and may also be bringing raw sewage with it. A clog can also result in a burst pipe, so it's best to have the clog fixed as soon as you notice this type of backup.
Bubbling in the toilet
If you run water in a sink close to the toilet, and notice that the water in the toilet starts bubbling, this often means that there is air trapped in that plumbing line. That air comes back up through the lines and reaches the toilet bowl, causing the bubbles. Trapped air can cause clogs, as it stops the water in the pipes from running freely. These clogs will get worse over time and also put pressure on pipes, risking a burst pipe, as mentioned.
When a shower drain is clogged, you can usually unscrew the drain stopper and look for a build-up of hair and other such debris; clean this out and note if this clears the clog. If this doesn't work, you want the clog to be fixed by a plumber as soon as possible, as this can often signal severe damage somewhere in the pipes outside your home. If outside pipes crack, they let in dirt, mud and other debris, so that the showers then clog. An interior pipe can also be cracked and this may be allowing in air that causes clogs. Don't try to clear this clog yourself with chemicals or tools, as this can be ineffective or damage the pipes, but call an emergency plumber instead.