Monthly Archives: June 2022

How Long Will It Take An Emergency Plumber to Get Here?

young man holding buckets under a leak

Dealing With Emergency Issues

Emergencies of any kind are not pleasant to deal with, and emergency plumbing is especially challenging. There never seems to be a problem with plumbing until there is an inopportune time!  But we all have a different opinion of what constitutes an emergency when it comes to plumbing. 

So, what counts as a plumbing emergency?

The following are typical examples of what a plumber will regard as emergency plumbing needs: 

  • Flooding 

Water damage is going to be considered a plumbing emergency when there is a heavy storm, and the sump pump fails. If that isn’t addressed immediately, your basement could flood, costing you more than an emergency plumbing service call. 

Pipes that aren’t insulated and bust when frozen can cause flooding is considered an emergency plumbing situation. To prevent this, investing in a leak detection system is recommended. 

  • No Water

When you realize that you do not have any water available, check with the utility company to make sure it hasn’t been cut off at the main for repairs. If that isn’t the issue, Is no water an emergency? Yes, if all is clear with the utility company, then you have an emergency plumbing issue. The plumber can inspect the issue and then provide a repair solution that gets your water flowing again.

  • Drains Clogged

A typical slow drain is not a plumbing emergency. However, if basic home remedy efforts do not open the clog and get your drain flowing again, you may have a major clog in the sewer line and that can create emergency plumbing problems. 

Is an overflowing toilet an emergency?

If there is an epitome of an emergency plumbing issue, an overflowing toilet would be the one! Who wants to clean up the bathroom after the toilet has overflowed, right? Not to mention the water damage that is being done while the floor is underwater. 

If you have another bathroom you can use, then wait to call the plumber during normal business days and hours. If you only have one toilet and everything you’ve tried has not unclogged it, then yes, you have an emergency plumbing problem. 

Is a leaking pipe an emergency?

It will depend on the size and location of the leak that determines if it is an emergency plumbing issue. Often, even the smallest of leaks can be because of a larger problem that isn’t visible. If you have noticed water stains on the ceiling or wall but there isn’t any water coming through, this plumbing matter can wait for a business day and business hour phone call. 

If water is coming through the area that is stained, then yes, you have an emergency plumbing situation that should be addressed immediately. What do you do in a plumbing emergency like that?  Find the main water cutoff and turn the water off to the entire house, then call an emergency plumbing service. 

As you wait for the plumber, take pictures in case you’re able to file this on your homeowner’s insurance.  Then use towels to soak up as much water as you can, or a wet/dry vacuum if possible. Place fans around the wet area to get dried out as quickly as possible to minimize the water damage. 

Should I call a plumber or do it myself?

It will all depend on the type of emergency plumbing issue and your ability to work with the tools needed to fix the problem. A clogged drain or toilet, try to plunge the clog yourself and save the emergency plumbing charges. If there is water everywhere and you don’t know anything about plumbing or have any tools, then you’ll too call an emergency plumbing service. 

Can you call a plumber in the middle of the night?

Yes, there are many plumbers and plumbing services that offer after-hours, holidays, and weekend emergency plumbing services. It is recommended to have one on your speed dial in case of an emergency plumbing need. If you don’t know a plumber to all, knowing how to get emergency plumbing service is all on the internet these days, or if you still have yellow pages, look one up! Be sure to let the plumber or plumbing service know where you got their number.

young woman plunging a clogged sink

In Closing 

Is emergency plumbing more expensive? You can expect to pay up to three times what a plumbing service call would be on a normal day during business hours. But, if you don’t call for an emergency plumbing service, the damage that could happen while you’re waiting for Monday morning could be more expensive. As we mentioned earlier, considering making the investment in a leak detection system could save you those expensive and unwanted emergency plumbing service calls when it comes to busted water lines. 

What is the most common problem with water heaters?

close-up of a hose being attached to a water heater

The water heater was invented somewhere between 1868 and 1889, it depends on who you ask. But like most things we take for granted today, the water heater wasn’t available to every until the 1940s. Today, we take the water heater for granted and when it isn’t working, we don’t hesitate to have a water heater repair or replacement – same day if possible! 

For something that we don’t display in the living room or carry with us to show off, it is an invaluable part of our homes today. There probably isn’t a day that goes by that you don’t depend on your water being heated for something. From bathing to cooking to doing laundry, we need a water heater in our home. Many people don’t realize that a water heater can be repaired. 

Can you repair a water heater?

Sometimes, yes, water heater repairs are possible. It will depend on the problem and the age of the water heater. In many cases, a professional plumber can replace certain parts and get a few more years from a water heater. 

When is water heater repair an emergency?

A water heater leaking gas is a definite emergency. You should shut the gas off to the water heater and call a plumber immediately for water heater repair. 

A water heater leaking water from the water line and valve is typically not an emergency if you can tighten the connection. If you cannot tighten the connection or the water heater is leaking from the tank, that would be considered a water heater repair emergency. 

What are the signs of a water heater going bad?

 The more you know about the parts in a water heater, the better you’ll be able to diagnose problems. You’ll also know whether you can fix the matter yourself or if you need somebody that know how to fix a broken water heater, aka, a professional plumber. The following are signs that your water is going out and which is the better option – water heater repair or replacement. 

Water Leaking

This is the most common water heater problem because at some point, they all will begin to have a water leak. Why? Because they are made of metal and water is not friends with metal. It causes them to corrode and rust, develop fractures and microscopic cracks in the tank. 

However, the tank isn’t the only part of a water heater that can begin leaking water. Water leaking from the top of the tank could be that the water connections need tightening. Check the cold-water inlet pipes and hot water outlet pipes are solidly connected and aren’t loose or rattling. 

If water is leaking at the bottom, it is probably condensation, and that water repair is done simply by turning the thermostat up. Water that is spilling out of the overflow pipe or PRV (pressure relief valve), a water heater repair is possible. 

No Hot Water

“Why is my water heater not getting hot?” This is a common complaint that plumbers are called to fix. If the tank appears to be full of water but isn’t getting hot, checking the power source should be the first step. An electric water heater could have a thrown breaker and a gas water heater may be a pilot light problem. Both are water heater repairs you can do yourself. If the breaker isn’t thrown or the pilot light won’t stay lit, you need to call a professional plumber. 

Strange Odor in the Water

If there is a strange odor coming from the hot water, it is probably a bacterium building up, and turning the thermostat up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit will usually kill it. Never use the water when it is at 140 degrees, it can scald the skin. Wait an hour or longer and let that heated water kill the bacteria then turn the thermostat down and wait 4 to 6 hours before using it. If this didn’t get rid of the odor, you need to call a plumber for a professional water heater repair service.

Taking Too Long to Reheat

If your water heater is starting to take longer and longer to heat the water, try moving the thermostat up higher. If that doesn’t help, it could be either a dirty burner orifice or dirt vent flue that isn’t letting the gas flow. Simply clean these two parts and you’ll have a water repair done! If that doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to replace your water heater with a larger capacity. 

Low Hot Water Pressure

A common problem in older homes is the water pressure because the plumbing pipes installed were ½” size and today the standard is ¾” size plumbing. The allows a greater water throughput, and the only water heater repair that will fix that problem is replumbing the entire house. 

In newer homes, a water heater repair for this problem is to check the sink aerators aren’t clogged. The water inlet valve can be accidentally closed may be the problem. 

Too Hot or Too Cold

If your water heater has inconsistent water temperature and you’ve moved the thermostat with no success, it could be the thermostat is going out. A water heater repair for this problem is to clean or replace the thermocouple. 

What is the average life of a water heater?

A water heater can last between 8 to 12 years on average. The brand and quality of the water heater are a factor, the quality of the water where you live is a bigger factor, and if you follow routine maintenance of flushing the tank periodically will factor into the lifespan. If you need water heater repairs by the 8th year, replacing it is recommended. 

water heating in a storage room

In Closing – Who do you call to repair a water heater?

A professional plumber is the person to call for any water heater repairs or replacement. If you don’t a plumber you use, you can find several with an internet search. Advise them of the problem that you’re having, and they can give you an estimate of a possible water heater repair.