The internet has empowered homeowners to take on several DIY projects that save thousands of dollars and often look great. However, when it comes to your plumbing, there are some concerns you should leave to the professionals.
But what exactly calls for an emergency plumber? Sure, feeling low water pressure for your Saturday morning shower is inconvenient, but can it wait until business hours to save on costs? What about a slow water leak that barely fills a bucket in 24 hours?
Our first piece of advice is to trust your gut and don’t second guess yourself. Taking on too much can lead to more significant problems that turn into more property damage that could be easily avoided. But how can you tell the difference between the need for speed or holding off on calling an emergency plumber until Monday morning? Read on for red flags and questions to ask yourself while assessing the situation.
Questions to Consider Before Calling an Emergency Plumber
Anything to do with your plumbing gone wrong can feel like an emergency. A clogged toilet with guests on their way can certainly feel like the end of the world. You can avoid evening, weekend, and holiday fees by waiting until business hours by asking yourself these questions.
Will leaving the plumbing problem cause more damage?
Obviously, a flooding basement qualifies for a quick call to your local emergency plumber. But what about a small water leak or low water pressure? One rule of thumb is to consider the amount of damage that will be caused by leaving it until business hours.
You should be safe until morning if you’re barely filling a bucket overnight. However, if you’re constantly replacing the water, it may be a bigger problem. Excess leaking can cause more damage to the walls, ceiling and floor in your home. Your emergency plumbing bill will be a lot less than the cost of remodelling!
Can you temporarily stop the problem?
Did you notice a water leak by your sink or toilet? You can locate the shut-off valve to temporarily stop the problem while you wait to schedule a plumber. If it’s a bigger problem, you may need to shut off the property’s water supply.
If the water leak is only a trickle, materials like tape, rubber bands, and hardware store items may be able to hold it off until a plumber can remedy the problem.
Is there a risk that a pipe will burst?
Burst pipes lead to two more significant problems – flooding or no water. If your pipe is frozen, you should shut off your water supply until it thaws enough to minimize the risk of it cracking, causing further issues.
If your home is prone to freezing pipes due to the cold Calgary winter climate, you should schedule a visit from your local plumber to show you preventative measures that can save you a lot of hassle.
Common Plumbing Emergencies
It’s tempting to try to save money by performing your own plumbing repairs. A fast web search will turn up pages of solutions from qualified experts and, often, DIY amateurs. However, if you get halfway through a repair and can’t finish it, this might wind up costing you extra money. These are the common plumbing emergencies you should leave to the professionals.
Water leaks aren’t always urgent. However, as soon as you see evidence of major leaking, contact an emergency plumber immediately.
Water leaks can compromise the structural integrity of your property. Some leaks are undetectable until it has already caused significant damage to your home. Mould and mildew can also grow, causing major health problems. It can produce symptoms like coughing, itchy eyes, and asthma. Water leaks can also quickly turn into a fire hazard because they can reach electrical wires.
To determine if a leak is worth a late-night emergency call or if you can wait to schedule it, keep an eye on how much damage is being created by the leak before proceeding.
When hair or soap scum accumulates in your home’s pipes, you may have a clog in the main sewage system, which can make your faucets and showers slow to drain. A clogged sewer line can quickly turn into a plumbing emergency if it begins to back up into the home. However, caught early enough, you can wait until the next business day to schedule a plumber.
Water heater issues.
Your water heater can cause a number of problems, from discoloured water to strange smells, and typically, a lack of hot water. Unless you’re a licensed plumber, you shouldn’t be messing with your water heater, as it can quickly rack up a hefty bill for further damage.
In rare cases, homeowners could even face a possible explosion if the water pressure has built up inside the tank. Safe to say, anything to do with your water heater should warrant a call to your local emergency plumber.
Delaying your call to an emergency plumber can quickly turn disastrous if there’s more to the problem than meets the eye. Our friendly team at Plumbing and Heating Paramedics can answer your questions over the phone and assess the issue’s urgency. We’re just a quick S.O.S. away, protecting Calgary and surrounding areas from all plumbing predicaments.
Have you ever discovered a surprise plumbing problem? How did you react? Was it easy to fix? Share your story with our readers to help them learn from your experience.