It’s a horror story that any Melbourne homeowner or renter can relate to – you have a flood in the night, a sudden leak, or a toilet emergency, and you call an emergency plumber to help — but they take forever to show up.
By the time they arrive, you’re panicked, the damage is done, and you’re left wondering what you could have done differently (not to mention there’s a significant repair bill on the way for a problem that might have been avoidable).
More than a nightmare, slow-moving service providers are a reality that you need to avoid at all costs. To keep you protected, here’s everything you need to know about how long it takes an emergency plumber to arrive (and what to do while you wait).
Is an emergency plumber worth the call?
Not all plumbing problems can be classified as an “emergency” — so getting your emergency plumber on the phone might not always be the most appropriate choice.
That said, there are certain situations where an emergency professional is certainly required. This includes:
- If you notice a serious water leak: An extensive leak can seriously impact the structural integrity of your home, encouraging mold and mildew growth while making your home’s foundation unstable. Translation? It can be a serious health and safety hazard, and it might be difficult for you to be able to deal with it on your own. If you notice a large leak in your bathroom or kitchen, then, it’s important that you call for help right away.
- If your ceilings are sagging: Sagging ceilings are usually a sign of massive leak or a pipe explosion. Your whole ceiling could collapse — so you need to call an emergency plumbing team ASAP.
- If you notice water stains: In the same vein, you may notice water stains and think that they’re not a big deal. This is wrong. Water stains don’t usually appear until the leak has been there for quite some time. If you’re seeing stains, then, you have a deeply established problem.
- Very low water pressure: Suddenly getting a trickle out of your sink or bath and don’t know why? It’s best to call your local expert and have your pipes check, as they could be bursted somewhere you can’t see.
- A broken water heater: In some instances, this isn’t a big deal. However, if you live in an area that gets extremely cold (and Melbourne winter certainly ticks those boxes), a broken water heater can be the quickest way to ruin your day so this would definitely classify as an emergency.
How long after I call will an emergency plumber arrive?
Any professional worth their salt will try their best to get to your home as soon as possible. However, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours for your local expert to arrive, particularly if you live further from busy metropolitan centres or you’re requesting an emergency plumber during a major storm (when demand for them is high).
What’s more, the amount of time it takes to fix the problem could be even longer if you have an extensive issue like a burst pipe. This is important to keep in mind because you’re not just looking for speed of arrival, but speed of repair too.
What should I do while the plumber is on his way?
Don’t panic! While you wait for the plumbing cavalry to arrive, there are steps that you can take to mitigate the risk and start to deal with the problem yourself. We recommend that you:
- Shut off your water main: This can limit the damage and prevent flooding of your home.
- Turn off the gas: If you’re dealing with a problem with your gas water heater or a potential gas leak, you may have to also turn off the gas.
- Take photos of the emergency: If you send this to your service provider, they can make sure to bring the right materials and help talk you through what to do until they arrive. These photos will also be useful for your insurance company to have.
- Call your water company: If you suspect the problem has to do with deeper pipes or a water main, you’ll have to get the water company involved.
- Deal with the damage (as best you can): Use a bucket to catch leaking water, clean up any leaks, plug in a fan to help with drying, and do anything else you can think of to stop the damage from getting worse.
Will I need to schedule ongoing maintenance after an emergency plumber comes?
This depends on what’s going on. If you’re dealing with a straightforward issue like a broken pipe in your home or a clogged toilet, the plumber will be able to fix the problem in one visit — and you shouldn’t expect to see them again. That said, if it’s a bigger issue, like a burst main or water damage in your home, you will likely need more extensive repairs and this will take more time.
What’s the best way to maintain my plumbing?
To prevent a plumbing emergency from happening or recurring, make sure to:
- Keep hair, paper products, and foreign objects from falling down your drains. These can cause obstructions, so keeping them away will prevent an emergency
- Avoid flushable wipes, as these often get caught in pipes and cause a major clog.
- Avoid hanging things from your exposed pipes. This can cause the pipes to break and leak.
- Use your garbage disposal judiciously.
- Know where your water and gas shut off valves are (and how to turn them on and off).
- Have the contact information for a reputable emergency plumber available (like ours – 9331 6633).
- Get your pipes and water heater checked and maintained regularly.
How do I find the best emergency plumber in Melbourne?
It’s always better if you have an emergency plumber’s contact information ready just in case (and that you’ve properly vetted the professional before you’re in a jam). To make sure that you find the right person, you should:
- Ask for proof of license
- Ask about their liability insurance
- Consult friends and neighbors to see if they have someone they recommend
You can — and should — also bring the service provider in for regular work and routine maintenance before you have an emergency. This helps build a relationship while allowing you to really see the quality of work they provide.
Unsure how to choose the best plumber? Click here for our quick and easy guide to choosing a local pro
Final thoughts (and where to find reliable emergency help)
A plumbing emergency is never fun, and it’s ten times more stressful if you don’t know how long it’ll take your emergency plumber to come or what you should do in the meantime. Make sure that you:
- Have a reputable plumber ready to go in your contacts
- Know where your main water valves are and how to shut them off
- Have basic emergency cleaning supplies
- Know the signs of a plumbing emergency
Follow this simple checklist, and you should be good to go. Curious about where your house stands and if you need any routine maintenance today? Contact us and we’ll be happy to come take a look.