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When it comes to plumbing, some issues that crop up are true emergencies that require the immediate assistance of an emergency plumber. Putting off a true plumbing emergency doesn’t just inconvenience you and your household members; it can literally result in thousands of dollars in damage by way of costly repairs. However, some plumbing problems can wait until morning or even later, which is welcome news to homeowners who haven’t budgeted for plumbing repairs or can’t rearrange their schedules to be at home when the plumber arrives. But how do you know if it’s ok to wait or if you need to act now? Let’s find out.
(Before we get started, this seems like a good time to mention that most plumbers charge extra for after-hours or weekend calls. However, if you trust bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, TX, for plumbing services, we never charge for overtime, no matter what time you call our plumbers into action, even on weekends, nights and holidays).
When determining if you have a true plumbing emergency on your hands, ask yourself:
- Can the problem wait till morning? This is the question of the hour when it comes to deciding which problems need immediate help from an emergency plumber and which you can put off for a short time. If you don’t need to use the affected plumbing in the immediate future, you can probably delay fixing that broken toilet. However, if your pipes in the basement have sprung a leak and water is flooding in, then you probably shouldn’t wait another minute. Similarly, if you have a minor leak and you know how to shut off the main water valve to your home, then you can probably wait on repairs until at least morning. However, if a pipe has burst due to cold temps, you probably want to fix that sooner rather than later.
- Will not getting immediate help make the issue profoundly worse? If you don’t know how or can’t figure out how to shut off the main water valve, is it possible to mitigate or the damage enough to get through till morning? For instance, can you use a bucket to catch the drip from a slow leak? Or do you have a serious leak that has the potential to affect your walls, ceiling and floors?
- Whose problem is it, anyway? In some instances, a plumbing emergency, although it affects you, may be out of your hands. This is particularly true of property rentals, where you may be looking at calling your landlord or property manager to report the need for repairs.
- Am I the only one affected? Sometimes a plumbing emergency is one that is due to a utility or water company’s issue. For example, the city water supply running into your home suddenly stops flowing. Call your provider to see if the problem is on their end; if it is, chances are good that you won’t have to spring for the emergency plumber’s bill at all.
Spotting Emergency Plumbing Problems
Knowing the warning signs of an emergency plumbing problem is an important skill as a homeowner. And while you may know your way around a bottle of drain-cleaning liquid or a plunger, your plumbing expertise probably stops there. By educating yourself on the warning signals of a stopped-up drain or clogged pipe, you will know when it’s time to kick it into high gear and call your emergency plumber. Be on the lookout for:
- Gurgling noises. A compromised drain is sometimes a noisy little bugger. When you run your dishwasher or when you flush the toilet or operate the washer, if you hear gurgling, then you may have a clog. Be especially wary if you hear a gurgling toilet. This alerts you to the system trying to find air; when it does not, it will send a backflow through your pipes, which can lead to a messy (alright, downright nasty) overflow. Respond to gurgling in your plumbing system by shutting off the main water valve and calling your emergency plumber.
- The sound of water running when the water’s not in use. This is a strong indicator of a leak. Look for wet spots or even brown spots on the floors, ceilings and walls, and inspect your water meter to see if it continues to spin even when no one in the home is using water. An emergency plumber has special diagnostic equipment to help him detect hidden leaks.
- A sink or tub that drains slower than usual or a toilet that doesn’t flush as it should. This could indicate a clog or blockage in your plumbing lines or drain. Although it’s okay to try to plunge the clog away, be careful about using too much force since this can cause expensive damage to your pipes.
- Malodorous smells around your San Antonio, TX, home. If you smell rotten eggs or a sulfur-like odor in or around your home, it might be your first warning sign of a sewer pipe problem. This type of problem requires the expertise of an emergency plumber, so schedule a service call immediately to stave off even more damage.
By knowing what constitutes a real plumbing emergency and educating yourself on the warning signs of an impending problem with your home’s plumbing, you can stay on top of issues and reduce the fallout of problems as they occur. Everyone is going to experience plumbing issues from time to time and need assistance from an emergency plumber; it’s how you react to them that determines how much they ultimately cost you in the long run.
Discover plumbing services that are leaps and bounds above the rest in the San Antonio, TX area. Reach out to bluefrog Plumbing + Drain now—our emergency plumbers will hop to it when you need them.