When do I need emergency plumbing?

young woman dealing with a plumbing emergency and making a phone call

Dealing With Plumbing Emergencies

When is a plumbing issue serious enough to call a local emergency plumber? Think about a routine morning, getting everyone ready for the day, or perhaps a routine evening getting dinner prepared. These are busy times for many households, so when the plumbing goes crazy, you may not be able to stop and think about whether your issue is really a plumbing emergency. 

When there is a plumbing issue early in the morning, late at night, on a holiday, or on the weekend, it will always seem to be an emergency. But is it really? While it is usually necessary to get it fixed, there are many times that it could wait till the next business day. It could even be an easy fix you could take care of yourself.

How do I know it’s an emergency?

Before you call a local emergency plumber and, ask yourself these questions to determine if it can wait: 

1) Is this a problem that can wait?

This is the most important question to ask yourself before calling a local emergency plumber. So, before you dial, answer these questions honestly. Is the affected plumbing something you need right now? If it is a clogged toilet and you have another bathroom, things can wait until the next business day/hours. If there’s a leak in the basement and it’s a winter night with below-zero temps, you probably should make that phone call. 

Can you turn the water off? If you know where to turn the water off and feel comfortable doing that so that you can keep the water from flowing and there isn’t a reason to call a local emergency plumber. The situation can wait until business days/hours.

If the plumbing problem isn’t addressed right now, will it cause more damage? Maybe you can’t get the water turned off, but can you diminish the damage sufficiently enough so you can wait to call a local emergency plumber the next day by using buckets, rags, and other measures?  If the problem could create extensive collateral damage, like damaging the ceiling, flooring, or walls, make that phone call. 

2) Is the repair your responsibility?

If this is a case where water needs to be turned off, but it isn’t something you have access to, call the local emergency plumber for the city or utility company. Describe the situation to them and they will advise you on if this is something that can damage your home and other properties. 

If you live in an apartment, gushing water in your apartment isn’t going to just affect you. It could damage apartments around yours too. In this situation, calling the service for emergency plumbing for an apartment is totally acceptable and is your responsibility. In fact, not calling could get you evicted.

3) What if you do need to call a local emergency plumber

If the issue can’t wait for the next business day/hours, and you can’t do anything about it yourself, then make that call for a local emergency plumber, but ask yourself these additional questions: 

How much is a local emergency plumber service going to cost? What, if any, other fees are going to be charged?  It may be an emergency but call a few local emergency plumbers for estimates first. You may save some money. 

Can you get an emergency plumber?

In most areas, yes, there are 24-hour emergency plumbers.  The more remote location you live in, the less chance there will be a local emergency plumber available, but you can use Google to locate one nearby. If you are in a remote area, ask how long it will be before they arrive and if they have any advice on temporary solutions for you until they arrive. 

How do you get a plumber in an emergency?

Ideally, you have the number of a local, reliable plumber that offers emergency service. If not, you can ask family, neighbors, friends, and co-workers for recommendations. You can even use social media to find a local emergency plumber. You know those postcards you get in the mail from various services? One of those is probably a plumbing company that offers local emergency plumber services.  Don’t be too quick to throw those postcards away! 

In fact, you can call those plumbers before you need an emergency plumber for a toilet that’s clogged or overflowing. Have them do a general plumbing inspection – this will allow you to meet them and get an idea of the services they offer. Not every local emergency plumber is certified and licensed as an emergency plumber for boilers, for example. Better to know before you need one! 

Is emergency plumbing more expensive?

Absolutely!  Some local emergency plumber services will tout they do not charge for emergency calls and overtime, but you can be almost certain their rates will cover those emergency costs. Most plumbers have hourly rates, typically between $50 to $200 per hour for normal business days/hours. Some have a flat rate for coming out and then start the hourly rate for the repair.  It is acceptable, even expected, that you ask what the charge will be when you need to call a local emergency plumber for service. 

In Closing  – What to Do In Plumbing Emergencies 

If you own a home, it isn’t “if” you’ll ever have the need for a local emergency plumber, but “when”. So, what do you do in a plumbing emergency? First of all, you need to stay calm, then follow these steps: 

  • Turn the water 
  • Turn off all electrical appliances and gadgets
  • Clean up what you can
  • Don’t attempt the repair if you aren’t sure you can fix the problem
  • Call a local emergency plumber.

And if you’ve found yourself in need of a local emergency plumber right now, you can reach out to us by calling 661-201-6016 to get help from experienced plumbing pros.