A plumbing emergency could happen to anyone. Do you know if the emergency requires a 24-hour plumber? Not every case has to be dealt with in the middle of the night at the higher cost that a 24-hour plumber will charge.
Picture this; you wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of running water. It could be a sprinkler but the sound is too close. You follow the sound into the bathroom and your socks get soaked. What do you do?
Turn Off The Water
The first thing you can do is to shut off the water to prevent any further damage. When the water is clearly running out of a fixture, like the toilet or the faucet, turn off the water supply to that fixture. If you can’t identify the source or you can’t turn it off, you can turn off the water supply at to the house at the water meter.
Can It Wait?
Assess the urgency of the repair before you make any calls. If it is an overflowing toilet, turning off the water will stop the damage and the repair can wait as long as you don’t flush. Any localized problems can usually wait until morning as long as you can turn off the water to the problem area. For example, you can use the kitchen sink if the bathroom sink is not working. You can avoid paying a premium for a service call in the middle of the night or on a Sunday or holiday if you can somehow make due until morning.
Check With The Water Company
Don’t assume that you will be responsible for the repair. If the problem involves a mainline break, service line break, sewer blockage or sewer manhole problems your first call should be to your water company. The water company will sometimes offer 24-hour service to respond to these emergency situations. Contact them first to see what they cover and to schedule any qualifying repairs.
Making The Phone Call
If your plumbing emergency cannot wait, be prepared when you do call the 24-hour plumber. Try to identify the problem as closely as you can and make a note of what is working and what is not. If the toilet is overflowing, check to see if other fixtures in the house are also affected. Have a list of questions ready before you call.
- Call several plumbers - Get several of quotes before you schedule a service call; the range in prices can be significant.
- Give specific details of the problem - The more details you can give the plumber the better they can estimate the cost of the repair.
- Ask for a quote for the service call – There will be a charge just for coming out; ask for the amount ahead of time.
- Ask for an estimate of the cost of repair – Not everyone will give a quote over the phone but you may be able to get an idea of the price. Give a scenario (if it is a blocked toilet) and ask for the cost of repair.
- Ask to speak to the plumber – If it is an answering service ask for the plumber to call you first, so you can get a better estimate.