Homeowners could lower their water bills by about 10% by addressing easily repairable water leaks, according to the EPA. However, plumbing issues sometimes occur after normal business hours, and you’re not sure what to do. Should you call for help, can you fix it yourself, or can it wait? There are times when it’s imperative to pick up the phone and call an emergency plumber, and there are times when you should wait. They recommend following these five general guidelines to help you make the proper determination.
1. If Flooding Is a Risk.
Burst pipes, a malfunctioning sump pump, a backed-up sewer, or a faulty water shut-off valve all have the potential to cause flooding and substantial water damage. For this reason, these situations need to be resolved quickly by a 24 hour plumber.
2. When a Sewer Line Backs Up.
When sewer lines become backed up, sewage remains stagnant in the area of the backup and poses a hazard to health as well as a flood risk. In this case, the services of a plumber are required promptly.
3. If You Have No Running Water.
A lack of access to running water is also a health concern because it affects your ability to clean and cook properly. It’s wise to contact a plumber after hours in this case.
4. If Your Pipes are Frozen.
Pipes that are frozen are a cause for concern for two reasons: the potential for flooding and lack of water. When a pipe freezes, water can’t run through it freely. As the pipe expands, the pipe can crack or burst, possibly causing flooding. If you haven’t already done so, the next time your plumber performs a preventive maintenance check, be sure to ask where your water shut-off valves are and how to use them properly.
5. If the Problem Isn’t Urgent.
Calling an emergency plumber can be extremely costly. If you’re able to wait to address the problem, then it doesn’t constitute an emergency, and it would be wise to consider waiting for regular office hours and engaging more affordable plumbing services.
Also bear in mind that even if you call a plumber to come on an emergency basis, they may not have access to their supply houses to get the parts they require to finish the work. If you don’t have an emergency situation, it’s a good idea to wait until normal business hours. By doing this, you can be assured that the plumber can obtain the parts needed for the job on the same day, with the exception of specialty parts that must be ordered.
There are certainly instances when a call to an emergency plumber is warranted, such as possible flooding, backed up sewer lines, or a lack of running water. However, to avoid a costly repair that could have been handled more affordably on a non-emergency basis, follow these guidelines to properly assess the situation.