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How To Determine If You Should Call A 24 Hour Plumber In An Emergency

How To Determine If You Should Call A 24 Hour Plumber In An Emergency

Plumbing issues tend to need an immediate resolution. But it can be hard to pinpoint what constitutes a plumbing ‘emergency’ as opposed to something that can potentially wait a little longer. 


We’re going to take a look into whether or not you need to call a plumber for an immediate callout. The fees will be increased with the emergency rate, but you may not have much of a choice. You need to correctly identify the situation first before making the phone call. 

The most common plumbing problems

First, we’re going to look through some of the most common plumbing callouts. The most common reasons for residential plumbing callouts and their associated costs are:


  • Leaking pipes: $140 – $220.

  • Broken toilet replacement: $120 – $220.

  • Drain unblock: $120 – $200.

  • Toilet unblock: $80 – $160.

  • Broken/leaking faucet replacement: $120 – $220.


You might notice that all of these costs are pretty similar. And the reason is that the fee is made up of the callout fee and the hourly rate. The callout fee will be around $60 – $100 and the hourly fee will be around $60 – $80. These jobs take less than an hour to complete, so you are always going to pay around $150 or so for the completion of basic plumbing tasks. 


But for the emergency call out that cannot wait, the hourly and callout fee might be increased, or doubled. What typically costs $150 might now cost $300. Which is only fair, given that a plumber has to be on call and work at 3 AM, much to the detriment of personal health and wellbeing. 

What is a plumbing emergency?

Given that it can be nearly double the price to call an emergency plumber, how can you know whether to call one or not? Well, it’s more simple than you might think. You will definitely have to call an emergency plumber in the following situations:


  1. You have a burst pipe.

  2. You notice water dripping from a certain area.

  3. Your home is flooded.

  4. There is a sewage backup.

  5. There is a gas leak.


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 plumbing scenarios. 

Of course, 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 will 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 plumber to diagnose the problem. Then, they may later  apply a patch until a different date where they can repair/replace components of the water supply system. 

24 hour emergency plumber costs: table

What are the 24 hour emergency plumber costs? To make things a little easier to understand in terms of the cost, we have presented the typical prices in a table. This table includes emergency plumbing prices and typical plumbing prices so you have a means of comparison. This does not include any costs for materials, which will be added. Many plumbing agencies now have fixed prices, so you can just ask what the cost is or view them online. 



Typical Fee

Emergency Fee

Hourly Rate

$60 – $80

$120 – $160

Call out fee

$60 – $100

$120 – $200

Leaking Pipe



Drain unblock




When choosing 24 hour emergency plumbing 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 plumbing costs?

There is a range of factors that affect the cost of 24 hour emergency plumbing. These factors include:


  1. The quality/experience of the 24 hour emergency plumbing service. 

  2. The distance away from your home. 

  3. The nature of the plumbing emergency. 

  4. The extent of the damage. 

  5. The sophistication of the equipment used. 


I have a blocked drain – Is this an emergency?

Well, it can be. It’s definitely not something you want to wait too long for. What could be really damaging is if you have to wait for a callback from a busy plumber that does not know how to juggle tasks well. Sadly, some plumbing companies will fail to show up when they said they would. 


If you have a burst pipe, then it is certainly an emergency as you need to contact a plumber that will come to you immediately. This is because a burst pipe will have water flowing everywhere. In a surprisingly short space of time, you may have irreparable structural damage. 


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 and it assists in pinpointing the exact area of the blockage. You 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 to clear a drain for around $300. This includes 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 price for the service, or a callout fee and hourly rate. They 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.


As always, don’t leave anything to chance. Ring them up and get a final quote, or find a different 24 hour emergency plumbing agency. 


How can I prevent emergency plumbing situations?

Well, the thing is that you can’t really predict an emergency – this is what makes them emergencies! What you can do, however, is conduct some preventative maintenance at regular intervals. This should prevent the common issues of burst or leaking pipes. If you can a plumber for preventative maintenance, you can catch problems before they grow into real emergencies. 



You can also do some things yourself. There is little harm in putting a homemade DIY remedy down the major drains once a month. This should clear things out. The main thing to be aware of is that oils are not meant to go down the kitchen drains and the toilet is not made for many kinds of items, such as diapers and sanitary products. This will 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 plumbing agency?

Make sure you ask the basic questions, such as how long until arrival and what the costs are. Most plumbing contractors will now charge fixed quotes for specific jobs, as both parties understand payment terms beforehand. It eliminates the ambiguity – customers hate having to pay more than expected. 


Also ask what the typical solution is for the issue. You might want to know what tools and technology the plumbing agency uses. There are many different kinds of leak technology toolkits and drain camera inspection gadgets. And they often come with varying price tags!



However, the whole point is that you need to get a problem resolved immediately. So don’t be too concerned if the price is higher than you expected. After all, they are agreeing to come to your home at a moment’s notice and need to be on-call during the night. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to ensure the safety and functionality of your home. What good is money if it isn’t spent on emergency situations?


How can I find a reliable 24 hour emergency plumbing service?

There are definitely some questions you need to ask if you are truly looking to find a reliable plumber. Such questions include:


  1. How many people are in the business?

  2. Does the plumbing service have good online reviews?

  3. Do they actually operate a 24 hour emergency plumbing service?

  4. 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 plumbing service, and have a team of over 20 qualified and dedicated plumbing professionals. 


How else would we run a superb 24 hour emergency plumbing service at such a great price?


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.

certified license plumber reed
If you think we can be of service, please give us a call on 9331 6633, book online through the website (book online here), email us ( or reach out on our social media social media, etc.

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.

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