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The most common clogged pipe emergencies

Have you ever had to bring out the plunger in the middle of a family party?

It might have been because Uncle Bob was too free with the foul language and needed his mouth cleaned out. But it’s more likely that the kitchen drain was backing up and all the aunties couldn’t finish washing the dishes.

Clogged pipe emergencies seem to come up at the most inconvenient times. You need to be able to tell if it’s a problem that can wait or if you need to call in an emergency plumber. Here’s a guide to help you deal with a number of different urgent plumbing situations so the party can go on.


  • A slow drain. A sink, shower or bathtub that drains slowly could have a partial blockage. If the problem is caused by an organic clog made up of hair, soap chips, rotting food or cooking grease, you may be able to handle it yourself with a plunger or by pouring a safe vinegar and baking soda mixture down the drain, chased by some boiling water. If that’s not enough to dislodge the clog, you need to call a plumber.
  • Leaks or flooding. In winter, a leaking pipe can be the sign of a blockage caused by a freeze-up. This is the kind of emergency that won’t resolve itself; turn off your home’s main water valve and call in the plumbers immediately.
  • Kitchen drain backup. If backwash comes up through one of your kitchen sink drains, it may simply be that there’s a clump of decaying food and grease stuck in the P-trap. If some plunging and the baking soda/vinegar/boiling water mixture don’t move the clog, you have a more serious problem that requires a plumber.
  • Floor drain backup. Waste water backwashing through the shower floor plate or in your basement’s floor drain could indicate tree roots growing into your pipes or a municipal sewage line problem. Call a plumber to get to the real root of the problem as fast as possible.
  • Toilet overflowing. If your trusty plunger can’t dislodge the blockage, you may have more than a wad of toilet paper clogging your toilet’s pipe. Our plumbers use CCTV technology to find the location of the clog so we can remove it cheaply and fast.
Hold the fort

With locations in Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Brantford and Stoney Creek, A Rescue Rooter is only a phone call away from solving your home plumbing emergencies. Call us, and we’ll come to the rescue.