6 Reasons You May Need Emergency Plumbing Service

At McPherson Quality Air & Plumbing, we understand that unexpected plumbing issues can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. That’s why we’re here to discuss the six critical reasons you may need emergency plumbing service in Hutchinson, KS. Whether it’s a sudden catastrophe like burst pipes or subtle signs like strange odors, being aware of these situations can help you act swiftly and protect your home from extensive damage.

Burst Pipes: A Sudden Catastrophe

Burst pipes are one of the most urgent and critical reasons to seek emergency plumbing services. When pipes burst, it means there is a sudden, uncontrolled release of water within your home’s plumbing system. This situation demands immediate attention and action for several reasons:

Water Damage Prevention

Burst pipes can release a significant volume of water into your home within minutes. This water can cause extensive damage to walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, and personal belongings. The longer it goes unaddressed, the more costly and devastating the damage can become.

Mold and Mildew Risk

Excess moisture from burst pipes can create a conducive environment for mold and mildew growth. Mold can spread rapidly in damp conditions, leading to health concerns and the need for extensive remediation if not addressed promptly.

Structural Damage

Water damage from burst pipes can weaken the structural integrity of your home. Over time, it can compromise the stability of walls, ceilings, and even the foundation, leading to costly repairs and safety hazards.

Frozen Pipe Risk

In colder climates, a burst pipe can be the result of freezing and expansion of water within the pipes. If not addressed promptly, other pipes in your home may also be at risk of freezing and bursting.

Electrical Hazards

The presence of water near electrical wiring or appliances can pose electrical hazards, increasing the risk of electrical shock and fire. Safety is a paramount concern in the event of burst pipes.

Leaking Water Heater: Signs of Trouble

A leaking water heater can occur for various reasons, and identifying the underlying cause is essential for effective repairs. Here are some common factors that can lead to a leaking water heater:


Over time, the interior of a water heater tank can corrode due to the constant exposure to water. Corrosion weakens the metal and can eventually lead to small cracks or holes in the tank, causing leaks. Corrosion is more likely to occur in older water heaters.

Faulty Pressure Relief Valve

Every water heater has a pressure relief valve designed to release excess pressure to prevent the tank from bursting. If this valve malfunctions or becomes stuck in the open position, it can result in a constant release of water, causing a leak.

Sediment Buildup

Over time, mineral deposits can accumulate at the bottom of the water heater tank. This sediment can trap water beneath it, causing the tank to overheat and develop cracks or holes, leading to leaks.

Temperature and Pressure Issues

If the water heater’s thermostat is set too high or the pressure within the tank becomes excessive, it can lead to stress on the tank and potential leaks. Proper adjustment of these settings is crucial to prevent such issues.

Rusted Anode Rod

Water heaters typically have a sacrificial anode rod inside the tank that helps prevent corrosion. When this rod becomes corroded or depleted, it can no longer perform its protective function, increasing the risk of tank corrosion and leaks.

Low Water Pressure: Indications of an Underlying Issue

Low water pressure is often perceived as a minor inconvenience, but it can signal a more significant plumbing issue that requires immediate attention. While it may not cause as dramatic a response as burst pipes or flooding, low water pressure can impact your daily activities and reveal underlying problems within your plumbing system. Here’s why it should be considered a concern:

Inadequate Water Supply

Low water pressure can make simple tasks like showering, washing dishes, or filling a pot take much longer than they should. It disrupts your daily routine and can be frustrating.

Potential Pipe Obstructions

Reduced water pressure may be a result of obstructions within your plumbing system. These obstructions can include mineral deposits, sediment buildup, or even debris lodged in the pipes. Ignoring low water pressure can allow these obstructions to worsen over time, potentially leading to more extensive plumbing issues.

Leaks in the Plumbing System

Low water pressure can sometimes indicate hidden leaks within your plumbing. When there’s a leak, the water pressure within the system drops because water is escaping before it reaches its intended destination. This not only affects water pressure but also leads to wasted water and higher water bills.

Corrosion and Aging Pipes

Older homes with aging plumbing systems are more susceptible to issues like corrosion. Corroded pipes can restrict the flow of water, resulting in low water pressure. Addressing this issue promptly can prevent further deterioration of your pipes and the need for costly replacements.

Backflow Issues: Protecting Water Quality

Backflow issues pose a significant threat to the safety and quality of your water supply. Understanding and addressing these issues promptly is crucial for safeguarding the health of your household. Here’s why backflow issues demand immediate attention:

Contamination Risk

Backflow occurs when the flow of water in your plumbing system reverses direction, potentially allowing non-potable (unsafe) water to mix with your clean, potable (safe) water supply. This contamination can introduce harmful bacteria, chemicals, and other contaminants into your drinking water.

Cross-Connection Dangers

Backflow commonly occurs through cross-connections, where the clean water supply comes into contact with potential contaminants. Examples include garden hoses submerged in buckets, unprotected hose bibs, or improperly installed check valves. Identifying and eliminating these cross-connections is essential.

Backflow Prevention Devices

Installing and maintaining backflow prevention devices is often required to mitigate the risk of backflow. These devices help ensure that water flows in one direction only, preventing the possibility of contamination.

Strange Odors: Detecting Gas Leaks and Sewer Problems

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Gas Leaks

One of the most dangerous situations associated with strange odors is a gas leak. Natural gas, which is commonly used for heating and cooking, is odorless in its natural state. However, gas companies add a distinctive odorant (mercaptan) to make gas leaks easily detectable. If you notice a foul, sulfur-like smell, it could be a sign of a gas leak. Gas leaks are not only flammable but also pose a severe health risk, including the potential for explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Sewer Gas

Sewer gas has a distinct, unpleasant odor that resembles rotten eggs. It can be released from drains, pipes, or septic systems. Inhaling sewer gas can lead to health issues, including respiratory problems and nausea. Detecting and resolving sewer gas odors is essential for your indoor air quality and comfort.

Flooding: Protecting Your Home from Water Damage

Flooding is not just an inconvenience; it’s a significant threat to the safety and integrity of your home. Whether caused by heavy rainfall, plumbing issues, or other factors, flooding demands immediate attention for several important reasons:


Floodwaters often carry contaminants from various sources, including sewage, chemicals, and debris. This contamination can affect the cleanliness and safety of your living environment.

Loss of Belongings

Floods can damage or destroy your personal belongings, including furniture, electronics, and sentimental items. Irreplaceable items may be lost forever.

Inaccessible Areas

Flooding can render parts of your home inaccessible, making it challenging to perform daily activities and disrupt your daily routines.

Structural Weakening

Continued exposure to water can weaken the structural components of your home, leading to long-term stability issues that require extensive repairs.

Property Value

A history of flooding or water damage can lower the value of your property. It may make it more challenging to sell your home in the future or lead to increased insurance premiums.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a plumber in Hutchinson, KS when faced with any of these plumbing emergencies. Your home’s comfort, safety, and well-being are our top priorities. With McPherson Quality Air & Plumbing, you can rest assured that your emergency plumbing needs will be handled with the expertise and care they deserve.