Plumbing disasters. We’ve all been there. A pipe suddenly bursts, a leaky faucet becomes a little too loud, a mini flood happens every time someone uses the shower—they almost always catch us off-guard, and they’re pretty awful. But are all plumbing emergencies worth ringing up the closest plumber near you?
The answer: It depends.
Now, this answer may seem like a cop-out, but it’s the truth. In some cases, calling a 24/7 plumber is your best course of action. In others, it’s overkill because the time of the day when you call a plumber doesn’t really matter so much as why you’d call a plumber outside of business hours.
And you’d really call a plumber near you outside of business hours if it’s a straight-up emergency.
Is It An Emergency?
What counts as a plumbing emergency?
It might seem pretty straightforward—especially if there’s water pooling around your feet or your pets are in danger of a spontaneous bath—but you’d be surprised. Some homeowners tend to blow things out of proportion. Some go the other way. To know what makes a situation a plumbing emergency, here are three questions you can ask yourself:
Can I Fix This?
Can you sort out the problem by using some DIY plumbing fixes (which we don’t really recommend unless you have the training and the tools) or searching for the solution on Google? If the remedy is as easy as turning off the water source, or by simply not turning on the faucet/toilet/pipe, you can probably work on your own.
If stop-gap measures work well enough that you can afford to postpone a plumber visit, then it’s probably not a plumbing emergency.
Should I Fix This?
There are some special cases, which might be rare, but not uncommon, where the problem may not be even your responsibility. For instance, your water company or utility provider might have shut the water off without prior notice, which means no matter how many pipes or levers you check, you still won’t get the water going. Alternatively, issues such as low pressure, leaks, and overflows might even stem from their own office.
In cases like these, there’s no point in rushing and calling a plumber near you to get it fixed, as other people will handle it for you.
Can It Wait?
This is perhaps the biggest question to take into consideration. Whatever issue has sprung up—a leaky pipe, a burst pipe, a malfunctioning tap, weak water pressure, flooding—does it need to be fixed now, right this second, or can it wait another eight or nine hours?
Look at the situation carefully. Like we mentioned earlier, are there any stop-gap solutions you can use to temporarily “fix” the problem? Let’s say the top of the bidet pops off, and water starts spraying everywhere—does it stop if you turn off the water valve connected to it? In another scenario, the shower stall in the downstairs bathroom floods every time someone uses it due to a clogged pipe—are there other bathrooms that can be used for now in the meantime?
If such temporary measures can be taken, then by all means, do what you can for now and call emergency plumbing services during their normal hours of operation. If this is not applicable, then you can start looking for 24/7 plumbers in your area.
Emergency Plumber Considerations
If you’re ready to ring up a plumber near you to deal with this emergency, you need to consider several things—most of which you can probably find on their website.
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What are their business hours?
Most offices open at 9 AM and close by 6 or 7 at night. Plumbers and plumbing businesses might operate a little differently—perhaps opening shop earlier or closing a little later. If your plumbing emergency happens during their business hours, then feel free to give them a ring. If it doesn’t, check the next consideration.
Do they offer emergency services?
When a plumber offers emergency services, it typically means that they’re open 24/7. So, even if your plumbing emergency happens late at night, they’ll still take your call.
How can you reach out to them?
If they can only be reached through email or online form, it might be worth looking at a different plumber near you, who’s somebody that you can contact immediately. If your plumbing issue really does need immediate attention, you can’t risk letting it drag on longer than it already has. And even if a business offers 24/7 services, there’s no telling how often they check their emails or submitted forms. A call is the best way to get an immediate response.
How far away is their main office from your home?
You also want to take the distance into consideration. After all, in a plumbing emergency, time is of the essence. You want to choose the closest plumbers that offer 24/7 emergency services—even if it does take them forty or fifty minutes to get to you.
Do they offer quotes or a general price list?
While an hourly rate is more common, some plumbing companies have a general price list or template fee in the case of plumbing emergencies. They will need to assess the situation before they can give you a specialized quote, but it could help you plan your budget better if they can give you at least an idea of how much repairs are going to cost.
A plumbing emergency warrants an immediate response, regardless of the time of day. That’s why emergency plumbing services and 24/7 plumbing companies are steadily becoming the norm. Sometimes plumbing disasters happen during regular business hours, and sometimes they don’t. It can’t be helped. So the next time you find yourself facing a burst pipe at 2 AM, don’t hesitate to find and phone the nearest emergency plumber near you.