For those who have never had to call a plumbing technician for an unexpected repair, it may be hard to understand what differentiates emergency plumbing from other types of repairs. Is a clogged drain a job for residential services, or does it require an emergency plumbing technician? What generally happens during an emergency plumbing repair?
This article will help to explain the difference between emergency plumbing and regular residential plumbing services. We will also provide 12 tips to avoid emergency plumbing repairs in your home.
What is Emergency Plumbing?
Emergency plumbing generally refers to any type of repair that needs to be completed outside of normal business hours. This can include anything from a burst pipe to a sewage backup. Because these repairs typically cannot wait until regular business hours, most plumbers offer 24/7 emergency services.
In addition to being available 24/7, emergency plumbers usually have a flat rate fee for their services. This means that you will not be charged by the hour like you would for regular plumbing services. Instead, you will pay one price for the entire job, no matter how long it takes the plumber to complete the repair.
What Are The Top Causes of Emergency Plumbing Repairs?
A few different things can go wrong with your plumbing that would require an emergency repair. Some of the most common causes of emergency plumbing repairs include:
- Burst Pipe: A burst pipe is one of the most common causes of emergency plumbing repairs. This usually happens when water freezes in the pipes and causes them to expand and eventually break.
- Sewage Backup: Another common cause of emergency plumbing repairs is a sewage backup. This can happen for various reasons but typically occurs when there is a blockage in the sewer line.
- Clogged Drain: A clogged drain is another plumbing issue that can often be resolved with a simple plunger. However, if the clog is located further down the pipe, it may require the use of a plumber’s snake.
- Water Heater Issues: Water heaters can also malfunction, causing either a lack of hot water or flooding. If you notice that your water heater is leaking, it’s important to shut off the power and call an emergency plumber right away.
- Gas Leaks: Gas leaks are one of the most serious issues that can occur in your home and should always be considered an emergency. If you smell gas, evacuate your home immediately and call your gas company or an emergency plumber.
While these are some of the most common causes of emergency plumbing repairs, many other issues can occur. It’s important to always be aware of any strange smells or sounds coming from your plumbing and call an emergency plumber right away if you suspect there is a problem.
Top 12 Ways to Avoid Emergency Plumbing Repairs
- Know where your main water shut-off valve is located and how to turn it off. This is the first step you should take if you have a burst pipe or a major leak.
- Always keep a plunger handy for clogged drains. If you notice your drains are starting to slow down, use a plunger to try and clear the clog before it has a chance to worsen.
- Don’t pour grease or oil down the drain. Grease and oil can solidify in your pipes and cause major blockages. Instead, dispose of it in a container such as an empty coffee can.
- Never flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet. Feminine products, diapers, and paper towels can all cause major clogs.
- Inspect your pipes regularly for any signs of leaks or damage. If you notice a leak, have it repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
- Keep an eye on your water bill. A sudden increase in your water usage could be a sign of a leaky pipe.
- Don’t ignore strange noises coming from your plumbing. Gurgling sounds could indicate a blockage, while banging noises may mean there is too much pressure in the pipes.
- Know the symptoms of a gas leak and how to safely evacuate your home if necessary. Natural gas has a distinct smell that you should be familiar with. If you smell gas, leave your home immediately and call the gas company.
- Educate members of your household on proper plumbing usage. This includes things like not flushing feminine products or paper towels down the toilet, as well as knowing where the main water shut-off valve is located.
- Have your plumbing inspected by a professional at least once a year. This will help to identify any potential problems before they have a chance to worsen.
- Invest in quality plumbing fixtures and materials. Cheap fixtures are more likely to break or leak than quality ones.
- Don’t try to tackle complex plumbing repairs yourself. Unless you are a qualified plumber, it’s best to leave complex repairs to the professionals. Attempting to fix a complex issue yourself could make the problem worse and put you at risk of injury.
How to Find an Emergency Plumber for Your Home
If you have a plumbing emergency, it’s important to find a qualified emergency plumber who can resolve the issue quickly and efficiently. Here are a few tips on how to find an emergency plumber:
- Ask your friends, family, and neighbors if they have any recommendations. Chances are, someone you know has had to call an emergency plumber before and will be able to give you a good suggestion.
- Check online reviews. When looking for an emergency plumber, read online reviews to see what others have to say about their experience. This will help you narrow down your options to the most reputable companies.
- Call multiple plumbers and compare prices. Once you’ve found a few emergency plumbers that you’re considering, call them and get quotes for the services you need. This will help you find the most affordable option.
- Make sure the plumber is licensed and insured. This is important in case something goes wrong during the repair process.
- Ask about their availability. When you have a plumbing emergency, you need someone who can come to your home right away. Be sure to ask about the plumber’s availability when you are calling around for quotes.
Can I DIY Emergency Plumbing Repairs?
Attempting to DIY emergency plumbing repairs is not recommended. Unless you are a qualified plumber, it’s best to leave complex repairs to the professionals. Attempting to fix a complex issue yourself could make the problem worse and put you at risk of injury. If you have a plumbing emergency, contact a qualified emergency plumber who can resolve the issue quickly and efficiently.
FAQ About Emergency Plumbers and Repairs
- What is an emergency plumber?
An emergency plumber is a qualified professional who can resolve plumbing issues quickly and efficiently. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can usually come to your home within an hour or two of receiving your call.
- What types of issues do emergency plumbers deal with?
Emergency plumbers deal with all sorts of plumbing issues, including leaks, blockages, burst pipes, and gas leaks.
- How much do emergency plumbing repairs cost?
The cost of emergency plumbing repairs will vary depending on the issue that needs to be fixed. However, it’s important to remember that emergency plumbers charge premium rates for their services, so expect to pay more than you would for a regular plumbing service call.
- Can I DIY emergency plumbing repairs?
No. Attempting to DIY emergency plumbing repairs is not recommended. Unless you are a qualified plumber, it’s best to leave complex repairs to the professionals. Attempting to fix a complex issue yourself could make the problem worse and put you at risk of injury. If you have a plumbing emergency, contact a qualified emergency plumber who can resolve the issue quickly and efficiently.