Piping issues tend to need an immediate resolution. But it can be hard to pinpoint what constitutes a true plumbing emergency as opposed to something that can potentially wait a little longer.
We’re going to take a look at which situations you need to call a professional for an immediate callout, either on short notice or in the middle of the night. While the fees will be increased with the emergency rate, you may not have much of a choice. You need to correctly identify the situation first before making the phone call.
How to know if you have an emergency?
The biggest difference between emergency and more traditional service is going to come down to price. Short notice, after hours, or weekend calls Knowing that it can be nearly double the price to call an emergency plumber.
But , how can you decide whether or not to call one? A piping mishap can be extremely inconvenient, but not every issue is an actual emergency worth paying so much more to repair. Well, it’s more simple than you might think. You will definitely have to call an emergency plumber in the following situations:
- You have a burst pipe.
- You notice water dripping from a certain area.
- Your home is flooded.
- There is a sewage backup.
- There is a gas leak.
The reason that these are emergency situations is due to the fact that they need to be looked at right away. If a pipe bursts, water is going to be everywhere. It can easily lead to structural damage. A gas leak is obviously an emergency due to the potential for catastrophe. Just make sure you are working with a plumber that is also a licensed gas fitter, as not all of them are.
Many will tell you that you should call an emergency plumber for a clogged drain. However, this is a situation that can often wait until the next day. It may or may not require an immediate callout. They are often simple fixes for plumbers who will have the correct tools. Blocked drains are one of the more common scenarios.
A real issue is if you have a major plumbing emergency late at night. Perhaps you need to get a section of pipes removed. What would cost you $500 during the day will cost $1,000 at night, unfortunately. This is rare, but it can happen.
Typically, you can pay an emergency callout fee for a professional to diagnose the problem. They may apply a patch or a temporary fix to get you beyond the emergency until they can repair or replace components properly during regular hours.
The response time for an emergency callout should be within 2 hours, maximum. Emergency units are on standby specifically for emergency purposes. You would be unlucky if the plumber was currently occupied with another emergency late at night, but it can happen.
To make things a little easier to understand in terms of the cost, you can review the price ranges in the table below. This includes both emergency prices and typical prices so you have a means of comparison.
This does not include any costs for materials, which will be additional in all cases. Many companies now have fixed prices, so you may be able to ask what the cost is for a specific service.
|Service||Typical Fee||Emergency Fee|
When choosing 24-hour emergency services, opt for one that has a transparent pricing model. Even if the price is expensive, it’s always best to know these fees upfront. You will also want to look out for things like warranties, longevity, and reviews.
What factors affect 24-hour emergency costs?
A range of factors can affect the cost of 24-hour emergency service. These factors include:
- Quality and customer experience
- Distance from your home
- Type of plumbing emergency
- Extent of the damage
- Sophistication of the equipment used
How to decide if your piping problem is a true emergency
Having seen the costs that can come with calling a professional on short or overnight service, you might wonder how to be sure of an emergency versus what can wait until the next morning.
As a homeowner, you should do what feels best for you, your home, and your peace of mind. But there are a few tell-tale signs to watch for with the most common services that may help you decide whether to call for help now or wait until tomorrow.
Is a burst pipe a plumbing emergency?
Most likely. The first thing to ask is where is the pipe and where is all of that water (or sewage) going? A burst pipe can cause massive damage to your home if the water continues to pour out and flood your space and belongings. You can also be at risk of fire, electrical damage, and all sorts of bacteria if the water is allowed to build up.
If you are able to safely access a water shutoff valve, do so to stop the water from pouring everywhere. Then call a plumber to fix the situation as soon as possible.
Is a dripping faucet a plumbing emergency?
Probably not, but it is certainly annoying for a number of reasons. You’ll be wasting perfectly fine water and allowing for residue build up.
Also closely examine exactly where or what kind of faucet is actually leaking. If it’s a kitchen or bathroom faucet, you’re probably fine to wait until morning to call a professional if it’s a slow drip. You can even place a bucket underneath to collect the water and water your plants later.
If the faucet is outside, like a garden spigot, make sure that the leak is not too close to your home or building up water against your foundation or other materials. This can cause damage over time, but it can probably wait until the next day, too.
Is a leaking pipe a plumbing emergency?
In contrast to a burst pipe which is probably pouring rushing water all over, a leaking pipe can be less damaging but still cause for concern. Consider where the leak is and what the water is running over. Are you able to shut off the water supply to temporarily stop the leak? This could help you get to the next day without an emergency plumber call.
But if the pipe is slowly leaking inside or near your walls or onto your flooring, you should probably call an expert for help. The extra damage and cleanup will not be worth the cost savings that you’ll get from putting off the call.
Is a blocked drain a plumbing emergency?
Well, it can be. It’s definitely not something you want to wait too long to fix. A blocked drain means that an area of a pipe is clogged with some kind of material – debris, food, tree roots, toiletries, etc. Don’t think that this is a localised problem. A clogged drain in one area will typically affect your entire water system – you might notice low water pressure in other areas or a foul smell around the house.
The longer you wait, the worse the block is going to get. So while it might not be a 100% immediate emergency, you want to get it taken care of as quickly as possible. Why wait? It’s best to get it taken care of the minute you notice it, by calling a 24 hour emergency service.
Is a blocked toilet a plumbing emergency?
Well, are the contents of the toilet still contained in the toilet or pipes out of sight, or are you dealing with a spillover situation? Any sign of unclean water making its way out of the toilet and into your home is a reason to call for help sooner than later.
However, if the blockage is not visible and you simply cannot use the toilet in its current state, you might be able to wait until morning. That is, if you can go without it in the meantime. If your home has more than one bathroom, mark one as out of order and call a plumber the next day. Of course, if you have just the one toilet and a family that needs to use it, you’ll have to call a plumber before nature comes calling.
How do 24-hour emergency plumbers unclog blocked drains?
The first step is typically to conduct a drain camera inspection. This is a tiny camera that is inserted into a pipe that assists in pinpointing the exact location of the blockage. They can quickly know exactly where the problem is, what is causing it, and how extensive the damage is. This makes it a lot easier to simply unblock the drain.
The modern way to unclog a drain is by using a hydro jet to scour the inside of the pipe. No matter what the blockage, the pressure of the hydro jet is enough to completely free it up. 24-hour emergency plumbers will typically charge $300 to clear a drain. This includes use of the drain camera inspection and hydro jet.
If it is not an emergency, the same service would be half the price. You will either be charged a fixed rate for the service or a combination of callout fee and hourly rate. Plumbers cannot charge an hourly rate and also charge for the service (this would be a double charge). But they may charge a callout fee and also a fee for the service itself.
How can I prevent emergency situations?
You can’t really predict an emergency. This is what makes them emergencies! What you can do, however, is conduct preventative maintenance at regular intervals to lessen the chances of an emergency popping up. This should prevent the common issues of burst or leaking pipes.
You can hire a professional for preventative maintenance, or you can keep up with things yourself. There is little harm in putting a homemade DIY remedy down major drains once a month to clear things out. The main things to remember are that oils are not meant to go down the kitchen drains, and toilets are not made for many kinds of items such as diapers and sanitary products. These can immediately result in a clog and a potential emergency callout, costing you up to $300 for basic negligence.
What questions should I ask a 24-hour emergency provider?
You might be in a hurry to fix an issue, but you should still ask the basic questions such as how long until arrival and what the costs are. Most contractors will charge fixed quotes for specific jobs as both parties understand payment terms beforehand.
Also, be sure to ask ahead of time what the typical solution is for the issue. You might want to know what tools and technology the service provider uses. There are many different kinds of leak technology toolkits and drain camera inspection gadgets, and they often come with varying price tags.
Don’t be too concerned if the price is higher than you expected. After all, this is an emergency situation, and they are agreeing to come to your home at a moment’s notice or on call during the night. The most important thing is to ensure the safety and functionality of your home.
How can I find a reliable 24-hour service?
There are definitely some questions you need to ask if you are truly looking to find a reliable plumber:
- How many people are in the business?
- Does the service have good online reviews?
- Do they actually operate a 24-hour emergency service?
- Are they licenced and insured?
You don’t even need to ask these questions if you use the services operated by Reed Plumbing & Drainage. We have 5-star reviews on both Google and Facebook, operate a 24-hour emergency service, and have a team of over 20 qualified and dedicated professionals.
How else would we run a superb 24-hour emergency service at such great prices?
Call now on 9331 6633 for a rapid response unit that will promptly resolve your plumbing emergency.
Hire a Good Plumber in Melbourne
The factors that make an excellent plumber include a considerable portfolio of services, five stars Google ratings, as well as being easy to communicate with.
At Reed Plumbing and Drainage Solutions, we are fully licensed and certified, have more than 15 years of experience.
We are experts in all areas of plumbing, so give us a buzz and we’ll able to discuss the options with you to find the best solution in the quickest time.