When it comes to plumbing emergencies, some situations are more pressing than others. A clogged sink that won't drain or a broken garbage disposal that won't turn on can be incredibly disruptive and prevent you from using the sink or even feeding your family. In these cases, it's best to call a plumber right away. If the pipes are old and have already accumulated clogging agents, a home remedy may not be enough.
In this case, you may need to use a more elaborate tool, such as a plumber's snake. This is a thin and flexible auger that can dislodge any type of obstruction. A flooded basement is an obvious emergency, but what about a broken toilet or clogged sink? These issues can usually wait until the morning to schedule an appointment with the plumbing. Make sure your family knows to avoid using the device until further notice and tape a note to the wall, toilet, or faucet, or block the room completely.
The first thing you should try with a toilet with a backrest is to use a plunger. This could clear the blockage and restore function. If this is a recurring blockage that you have already cleaned with a plunger, you may want to contact a plumber. You can also try cleaning the drain with a chemical cleaner, but this carries the risk of damaging the drain pipe and eventually causing a leak. If you can see a leak, then you're eligible for emergency plumbing services.
If it's just a small leak under the sink, then it's considered a minor repair as long as you address it sooner rather than later. Letting that little drip go unnoticed will likely result in needing emergency plumbing services in the near future. If you find that you cannot restore the functioning of the sink drain, it's time to call an emergency plumber. From a drain pipe that leaks under the bathroom or kitchen sink to water stains on the ceiling or wall, any plumbing problem greater than a “small leak” requires immediate attention. If you have a small leak in the sink and you can cut off the water supply to that device, then it's not considered an emergency.