When you own a home, it seems you need to call a guy constantly. It’s an old joke, but truthfully, you need to phone a professional plumber relatively often. It may seem you need this more frequently than you think you should but calling a professional to consider the immediate problem and examine the system as a whole can alleviate future problems.
Sometimes, the problem becomes so egregious that you must hire a 24-hour plumber. Calling in an emergency plumber can cost more per hour than a regular plumber. Using the emergency plumber saves you money in the long run. This includes commercial plumbing services that provide 24-hour service. That is because treating the immediate problem can stop it from causing further damage.
From the Perspective of the Insurance Company
Let’s look at the reasons you would need to call in an emergency plumber to better understand how this remains true regardless of the cause of the immediate need. Rather than consult a plumber for this information, consider the reasons one of the largest home warranty companies in the US, Landmark Home Warranty, pays for an emergency plumber on its warranties:
-The plumbing problem causes interior flooding.
-The failure of the appliance, such as a water heater, or the plumbing system causes ongoing secondary home damage.
-The plumbing problem creates an imminent danger to health or safety.
-The plumbing problem rendered toilet facilities or water feed in the home unworkable.
For example, if due to a water leak, the homeowner must shut off the water at the home, it qualifies as a plumbing emergency. To leave the water on would damage the home and create an interior flood. To turn it off renders the home absent of toilets and drinking water.
From the Perspective of the Plumber
You might discover a leak and you think it requires immediate attention. Your plumbing service may not agree. Even a 24-hour plumber will try to ascertain if you actually need immediate service. They do get higher pay for making a call at 3 am, but probably do not want to get out of bed to do so.
No Water Service
You discovered you have no water service. You woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and you cannot flush the toilet, nor can you wash your hands. That creates an emergency situation that the plumber will visit the household to address.
A Pipe Burst
Cold weather can cause your pipes to burst. You might not expect this if you live on the periphery of an area that rarely experiences freezing temperatures. Even the southern tip of South Carolina freezes at times though. If you aren’t prepared and have not wrapped and insulated your pipes, they can burst. You would need emergency service, so the water does not flood your home. You can turn off the water while you wait for the plumber to arrive, so you do not incur damage.
The Problem Causes a Significant Risk of Water Damage
Perhaps you have a sewer line backed up or the toilet or a sink. Your water valve got stuck. Whatever happened, you put your home at risk of a flood. To mitigate the likelihood You need to get in contact with a professional ASAP to alleviate a problem like this.
The Sewer System Backed-Up
Oh, that smell! The stench of a backed-up sewer system probably seems like the worst part, but the smell just indicates a harbinger of something much worse. Look in your backyard for a soggy spot. That shows you where the sewer leak is. Now, you know where the awful smell comes from, so call the plumber because that sewer that already leaks could spew into your home any day now and come through your sink or your tub or toilet.
Your Plumbing Developed a Clog
That clog that blocks your bathtub, toilet, or sink should easy dissipate by pouring drain cleaner down it, waiting 15 minutes, and following that with hot water. If you still have a clog, you have a more serious problem than hair down the drain. Why? Because the corrosive chemicals in the drain cleaner dissolve the hair. If you treat a clog with a bottle of drain cleaner and that does not fix it, then your plumbing has a much larger problem. That clog can cause problems in other areas of the larger plumbing system. All of your pipes are connected, so a problem in one area eventually creates problems in other areas.
Think of it this way. Your bathroom sink develops a clog. All you see is the water that does not drain above the clog. However, what caused that clog? If it isn’t hair that a drain cleaner can dissolve, something has occurred further down the literal plumbing line that blocks water flow and drainage. Depending on where that is and what it is, you could have the first of many blocks in your system. It could be the root system of a backyard tree that has bisected a pipe. Since roots grow in every direction and underground, that same root system could block other pipes, too.
What Does an Emergency Plumber Do?
An emergency plumber provides the same services as a regular plumber, they just make service calls during all 24 hours of a day and night. Typically, these businesses have a lead plumber for each of three shifts. No one plumber works all of the 24 hours.
The services do not differ although some things must wait until daylight. For example, if the plumber needs to run diagnostics on the pipes in your backyard, 3 AM light and a porch light do not provide the ideal time. Of course, in a pinch, they could use work lights, but if you live in a suburban or urban area, your neighbors probably won’t appreciate it suddenly seeming like daytime at 3 AM.
Your plumber would need this light so they could run a tiny camera down through the backyard sewer line. This camera shows the problem and how bad it is. It lets them assess the situation to determine if you need replacement pipes or if they can use a non-invasive method of repair, such as a pipe liner. This they can insert through a slit then inflate the liner inside the pipe. This fills the pipe with the liner and blocks the leak. This method of pipe rehab saves your money, time, and keeps your beautiful yard intact.
You can typically count on the plumber to address clogged toilets and sinks effectively and efficiently without worrying about the time of day. Since this rarely requires outdoor work, unless it’s a sewer issue, you can count on the service pro to fix the problem. They may need access to rooms besides the bathroom. Your pipe access panel is probably in the room next to the bathroom, usually a closet in a bedroom. This means you may need to wake one or more individuals, so the plumbing pros can access the pipes. This pipe feed includes the toilet and bathtub access.
Your plumber will probably tell you to shut off the water as soon as possible. If you do not know where this is, they will likely describe the most common areas to you.
Weather provides another reason your outdoor plumbing issues might need to wait. With the water off at the main feed, the leak or burst cannot cause any damage.
Of course, you may return home from an evening out or a day at the office and find that the pipe burst. In this case, you already have a flood. You shut off the water main and call the plumber. Mop and bail with a bucket as much water as you can clean up. Your plumber will also clean as much up as possible and can bring water vacuums. You should not wait for them to arrive though because the longer the water sits, the more damage it does. That is your flooring and wallboard it is rotting away.
Once the plumber fixes the leak, you need to have a mold damage restoration team visit the house. This is because of the water that caused damage. It can have caused a problem that you cannot see. Mold could be growing inside your walls. You definitely need to have a mold test conducted in the house. You should have them examine the area where the leak developed. You may need mold spore treatment to kill the mold. This serious growth produces potentially deadly spores. Mold causes problems with existing respiratory illnesses and issues such as allergies and asthma. It can lead to respiratory arrest in serious infestations. Plumbers can not treat this issue. They just handle the pipe issues, clogs, and water restoration.
After the 24 hour emergency plumbing service finishes their job and the mold folks do theirs, you may find you also need home renovation services. This typically only happens when a flood occurs. Your plumber will likely do a small cut in the wall to access the pipes where they need repairs. They will also patch this hole. A flood causes widespread damage to whatever room the water accesses. You cannot simply mop up the water and assume all is fine. You need a restoration company to check under your flooring to see if the flood damaged the subfloor. Any room that incurred water damage and mold damage will need you to have the wall board in it replaced. Wall board provides a less hearty surface than particle board. It’s essentially sawdust mushed together with glue that has a thick cardboard surface also glued to it. That is why they weigh so little. When it gets soaked, it dries warped, just like a piece of cardboard does.
So, when you need an emergency plumber, whether you need commercial or residential plumbing service, realize that your plumbing repair may only be the first item you need to address. Besides the reason for plumbing emergencies, you will also need to address problems caused by the leak.
Call a professional plumber for emergency service. This helps reduce damage and that reduces the total cost of the problem.
What Is Not an Emergency
If you have a genuine emergency, call 911. If the pipes burst or there is no water, phone an actual professional plumber. Do not bother reading a guide online or otherwise. Just call the plumber.
Many things people think qualify as an emergency do not. If your tap won’t turn probably, you can wait to call the plumber. This does not qualify as an emergency and you can save yourself the expense of paying for a 24-hour service. You can turn off the water underneath the sink to quell the rush of water. Just use a different sink until morning when the plumber can come by. They probably need to install a new washer or replace the spindles. These quick, cheap fixes can wait.
Showerheads also clog. This also does not qualify as an emergency. It just means that sediments and dirt have likely clogged it. You probably need a new showerhead and that can wait until morning. It the shower won’t turn off completely and it drips, turn off the water to the shower until the plumber can arrive. If it happens in the middle of the night, you just shut off the water and wait until morning. This is the best way to avoid paying the extra fees for an emergency plumber.
Those small leaks that show up over time can wait until morning. A burst pipe requires immediate attention. You can just tape up the small, slow leak with the handyman’s tape until morning. Put a bucket under it so it does not leak onto the floor of your cabinet.