IS IT REALLY AN EMERGENCY?
Plumbing emergency situations and what you can do
FIRSTLY…tip alert …. Know where your water meter shut off valve is and learn how to turn it off. You never know when you may need to turn your water off. This should be the first thing you do in the event of a leak or a burst and could buy some time until the professionals arrive.
As the holidays season is upon us most business’s will close up for a long anticipated break ready for the New Year with many public holiday’s over this period, penalty rates and public holiday loading come into play so we thought it would be a great time to be mindful of emergency situations when it comes to your plumbing.
It’s not uncommon for us to receive calls in the middle of the night from customers claiming they have a plumbing emergency, often these situations are not emergency and could actually wait till the next morning, saving you money.
If a plumbing problem happens late at night or on the weekend, it’s often tempting to call for emergency repairs to get the problem fixed and paying for the job to be done. Sometimes, this is necessary, but in other cases the problem can wait until business hours, and you can avoid paying for the cost of an after-hours visit.
If you find yourself in this situation there are some troubleshooting questions that you could ask yourself.
- Can the issue wait? We generally say if there is no water gushing out, sewer overflowing or any kind of gas smell, it’s generally something that can wait till morning.
- Do you need to use the affected plumbing right away? If you have a broken toilet or sink and can avoid using it until the morning or if you have a minor leak and can shut off the water valve, you may be able to wait.
- Will leaving the problem alone cause more damage? Even if you can’t shut off the water, can you mitigate the damage enough to get you through until the next day? Buckets, rags and other stopgap measures can be used on a slow leak, but never let a problem go unfixed for fear of emergency repair costs if the chance of collateral damage is high. A serious leak in a bathroom, for example, can affect the floor, ceiling and walls of not just the bathroom but any rooms adjoining it.
Ok so you have determined that it is in fact an emergency situation. What now?
We suggest the following tips when you are calling around for an emergency plumber.
- Make sure to call a licensed, experienced and trustworthy plumbing company. Check reviews, ask for referrals from those you know.
- Be sure to explain the problem in as much detail, this will give the plumber an indication of what’s happening and the advice he can offer before arriving.
- Ask the price questions – be mindful, some situations may require investigation prior to obtaining a full quote, however the call out or initial investigation costs should be discussed. Ask, how much is it going to cost? What is the afterhours call out? Will there be additional charges?
- Don’t just stick to one plumber. Call at least two to make sure you are not getting ripped off.
- Be mindful if you are calling on a public holiday or weekend, materials needed may not be readily available. In this case the plumber may offer a ‘make safe’ solution until parts can be obtained. In some cases this may mean additional charges as a return visit is needed.
- Hire a professional. Don’t try to fix this yourself. You may do more damage that will result in costing more money.
One last thing to remember. Plumbers and other trades are people too. They have families and lives outside of their job. It is important to respect their time and efforts when contacting them outside of normal hours, public holidays and weekends. Understand they are the experts in their field and will take all the necessary steps to keep you and your family safe should you have an emergency situation.There charges and rates will be indicative of their experience, knowledge and honesty.
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Until next time, keep those wipes out of the toilet, call a professional, and always
- skilled plumbers aren’t cheap
- cheap plumbers aren’t skilled
We wish you and your family and very merry Christmas and a stress free, successful new year.
Cameron & Renee, CRG Plumbing & Maintenance – your local trusted plumber.