An emergency plumber is a welcome sight when you have a plumbing leak or clog. But sometimes, you find something and don't know if it actually is an emergency or something that can wait until business hours. Don't ignore the situation because sometimes it is an emergency.
Your Toilet Is Clogged with Toilet Paper
Your toilet is clogged with toilet paper after your kid got bored and sent a bunch of paper down there. If you're absolutely sure the toilet paper is the only thing there, wait a while. Toilet paper is made to dissolve in water, and after a while, the clog should be dissolved enough to try flushing again. Some brands of toilet paper are better about dissolving fast; if you're using a slower-dissolving brand that is thicker, you might try removing the visible portion of the paper first. Yes, gross, but a good idea.
The Toilet Gurgles, Especially When Something Else Drains
If you hear your toilet gurgle, especially as another fixture in your home drains, that is a real emergency. That gurgle is displaced air from one of the pipes, working its way out through the easiest route. Normally that's the vent stack, a pipe that leads from your plumbing to the roof to vent sewer gas. If the vent stack is plugged, or if the main sewer line is plugged, the air can actually head to the toilet. Call a plumber now because a main sewer line clog is an emergency. A vent stack clog is bad, too, but the sewer line is the main threat.
There's Water Coming Up from Under the Floor — Occasionally
Water coming up from the floor is bad. That's an emergency – either a basic broken pipe or a slab leak – and you need to get a plumber over as soon as you can. But if you see the water coming up and then it stops, then you need to look around. If the water is coming up in the middle of the floor, and you have no running water around (and that includes outside your home; no running hoses, no sprinklers, no adjacent condo neighbors), then you need to call a plumber immediately, even if it's the middle of the night.
But if you find a running water source, and the leak appears only when that water is running, it might not be an emergency. Say you find the people in the condo next door are watering indoor plants that are right next to the wall that separates your units. Ask them to check if the water was splashing or spilling out of the overflow trays for the plants and running to the wall. If yes, and the leak happens only when they watered, there's the cause. The water likely seeped under the wall and under a few floorboards. You still have a cleanup job, but it's not a plumbing emergency.
Reach out to a service like Roto Rooter Plumbing & Drain Service to find out more.