Anyone can experience a plumbing issue anytime, even during small hours or on weekends. It can be tempting to call the first emergency plumber you come across when you stumble groggily into the bathroom in the middle of the night and discover your socks soaking wet from a busted pipe. Before calling a 24-hour plumber, there are things you can do.
The cost of a 24-hour plumber might be high, and the reality is that many plumbing issues can wait until morning when business hours are open—providing you have a plan in place. But what action should you take first, how do you know when to call a plumber, and what issue can there be? Here are some solutions.
Offset the Water
To stop more damage when dealing with a plumbing problem, you should turn off the water as soon as possible. Please turn off the water supply to a fixture when water is coming from it, such as a faucet or toilet. You can stop the water flow to the entire house at the water meter if you cannot locate the source or if the shutoff valves on the fixtures are not functional. Similarly, as the water meter and main shutoff valve, ensure you and every household member know where the fixture shutdown valves are.
Identify the Urgency
Before you place any calls, consider how urgent the repair is. As long as you don’t flush, turning off the water will stop the damage from an overflowing toilet and allow the repair to wait. And pretty much any other localized issue can typically wait till morning, assuming you have additional fixtures that can temporarily fill in and cut off the water to the issue area. If you have a second bathroom or a kitchen sink that can be used in the interim and turn off the water, you can wait until Monday morning for a regular plumber to fix a bathroom sink that leaks on Friday night. If you can get by until normal business hours restart, you can avoid paying a premium for a service call during the middle of the night, on a Sunday, or a holiday.
Your water supply line may be leaking suddenly.
A water line bursts, causing significant flooding throughout the house—it’s a classic scenario that summons a plumber. This does occasionally occur, though it is not typical. When it does, you must be ready to take quick action.
Start by checking any nearby intermediate water supply cut-off valves. If you’re lucky, you might find a cut-off valve with a knife (ball valve) or knob design that only turns off the water to the leak and not the entire house. If all else fails, locate and close your home’s main water shut-off valve. After turning off the water, find a plumber who can arrive immediately.
What if the house doesn’t have any water?
When the water in your home stops flowing, it usually happens in a specific location, like a sink or shower. The water in your entire house won’t usually stop hovering, though.
Check them all to ensure that none of the water outlets in the house are receiving water. Verify the availability of both hot and cold water. The cold side of a water heater is frequently still functional if hot water is no longer being delivered due to a problem.
If the water still doesn’t run, you might be dealing with a serious issue. The underground water pipe from the water meter on the street to your home may have burst or been severed, diverting water meant for your home. Or, the leak might be concentrated near the water meter.
Possible Rapid Drainage Line Leak
Most homeowners can fix this fairly common problem with basic tools and materials if their kitchen sink or bathroom sink leaks from the trap directly below the counter. Shut the water, crawl underneath the sink, and swap out the web. The garbage disposal in the kitchen may be the source of the leak. Fix or get rid of the garbage disposal in this instance.
However, drainage lines are often difficult to access and extend much further than the sink cabinets. You must act immediately if a drainage line concealed behind a wall or under a floor is actively leaking. The fast solution to this issue is to call a plumber, who can also stop further harm from occurring to the drywall, paint, subfloor, or floor covering.
A sewer line leak may be present.
Your yard may develop slowly-growing puddles of foul-smelling water or mushy soil due to a broken or blocked sewer line. Or strange occurrences occur indoors, such as toilets filling up when the sink is running or bathtubs overflowing. You can always dig up the sewer line to find the damaged or obstructed pipe and then repair or replace it. However, this do-it-yourself fix can require at least several days of labor.
The only pipe that transports all of the wastewater from your home’s toilets, sinks, showers, tubs, dishwashers, and washing machines outside is the sewer line. Without this line, your home cannot run; until you fix it, all activities are halted.
This is why getting a plumbing company to handle this repair is crucial. Through the entry point for the sewer line clean-out, the business can perform a video inspection of the sewer line. Using a motorized drain snake to drill the sewer line could solve the issue. If the line is broken or permanently blocked, it must be dug up and replaced.
There may be a natural gas leak in your water heater.
Call the fire department or 911 immediately and leave your home if you think there might be any gas leak. Call your gas company when you are far enough away. It would help if you waited until your house had been deemed safe before returning to look into the leak’s origin. Only then should you possibly call a plumber to address a possible problem with your water heater. Because natural gas buildup is so explosive, it is best to proceed cautiously.
How to Address a Plumber When You Call
Know what to say when you call the 24-hour plumber if your plumbing emergency cannot wait. Try to pinpoint the issue as precisely as possible and note what is and is not working. If the toilet is backed up, see if any other home appliances are also having problems. To better prepare for a plumber’s visit, prepare a list of inquiries before you make the call.
Make a few calls to plumbers. Before setting up a service call, compare prices from different companies; while emergency plumbers are always expensive, there can be a big difference in cost.
Give precise information about the issue. The plumber can estimate the repair cost better if you provide more details over the phone.
Request an estimate for the service call. Even if the repair is minor, emergency plumbers charge a fee just for arriving after hours. Inquire in advance about the lowest price. If the repair ends up being significant, these fees may occasionally be included in the job cost.
Request a repair price estimate. Even though not everyone will give you a quote over the phone, you might be able to get an idea of the price you might have to pay. Specify the problem (such as a burst pipe or clogged toilet) and request an estimate of the repair costs.
Request to speak with the plumber. Ask the plumber on duty to call you first if you get through to an answering service so you can get a better estimate.
Significant issue Contact the water company to inquire.
Don’t presume that the repair will fall to your charge. The civic water or sewer service division should be contacted first if the issue involves:
- A mainline water break.
- Service line break.
- Sewer blockage.
- Sewer maintenance hole problems.
To respond to these emergencies, the water company occasionally provides 24-hour service. Before scheduling any qualifying repairs, contact them to find out what they cover.