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What To Do Before the 24-Hour Plumber Arrives

Aug 30, 2023 | San Francisco Plumbing

What is Considered A Plumbing Emergency?

If you own a home, any plumbing issue can worry you. Whether it’s a small leak or a big problem like a water heater breaking, having an emergency plumber you can rely on gives you peace of mind. But what is considered a plumbing emergency? And, until your plumber arrives, what steps should you take to reduce the risk of water damage or worse?

A plumbing emergency is when something goes wrong with your plumbing and it could hurt you or damage your stuff. A leaky tap isn’t an emergency, but bigger leaks like a burst pipe are. Think of it this way: can the problem wait to be fixed tomorrow? If not, you’ve got a plumbing emergency on your hands. 

A plumbing emergency means something is really wrong with your plumbing and needs quick fixing to avoid big problems, danger to health, or upsetting your daily routine. If a plumbing issue right now could hurt you, your things, or the environment, it’s an emergency and you should get a plumber fast.

Common Plumbing Emergencies

Frozen Pipes

Pipes can freeze a lot during cold winters. Even though many plumbing systems can handle the cold, your pipes might not be well covered with insulation, or the outside weather is just too chilly. If this is the case, don’t panic! Start by calling a plumber and, in the meantime, turn on your taps to relieve any pressure built up within the pipes. If you find the frozen pipe, you can use heat like a hairdryer to unfreeze it and stop it from bursting. But don’t ever use fire or a blowtorch – that’s really dangerous!

Burst Pipe or Water Leak

If you couldn’t stop a frozen pipe in time or a leak got worse, a burst pipe is a plumbing emergency that needs quick fixing. When a water pipe bursts, it pours out water really fast. If you don’t fix it soon, it can wreck your home. If you suspect a burst pipe in your home, contact your local plumbing company immediately. 

Some signs of burst pipes include: 

  • Fluctuating water pressure
  • Sounds of running, gurgling, or bubbling water
  • Hissing or grinding pipes
  • Water marks on the walls or ceiling
  • Discolored, smelly water
  • Mold problems
  • High water bills

Leaks from water supply lines aren’t the only plumbing emergencies to be concerned about. If your water heater starts leaking, call an emergency plumber immediately, as this could lead to a complete breakdown of the unit.

Water Heater Breakdown

Living in a house without hot water is really tough. It messes up your cleaning and daily tasks, and it’s not nice to live like that. If you ever don’t have hot water, ask for emergency plumbing help right away. The sooner we figure out the issue and fix it, the happier you and your family will be.

Clogged Drains

You’ve probably had a blocked drain before, maybe even multiple times. So you might be wondering, “Is a blocked drain actually considered a plumbing emergency?”

Most of the time, the answer is no. A slow or clogged drain usually doesn’t need fixing during odd hours. But if a blockage makes your toilet overflow or causes flooding, call an emergency plumber right away.

Sewer Problems

Your sewer pipe can handle a lot, but sometimes it faces things like tree roots that need expert help. This is more likely if you don’t get regular sewer cleanings. 

A blocked sewer is a plumbing emergency you shouldn’t ignore. If you wait too long, you might get bad smells and backups at home.

Remember, it’s essential to address these issues promptly to minimize damage and risks. If you encounter any of these emergencies, contacting a professional plumber is crucial.

Steps To Take

Shut OFF Water Supply

The first thing you should do is find the main water valve and turn it off to stop the water and avoid more damage. If you can’t locate the main shut-off valve, then you will need to turn off the water at the valve closest to the leak. This will lessen the water going through the pipes and stop more harm. Remember, the more water you lose, the bigger your water bill gets.

Turn OFF Electricity

Sometimes, water from plumbing leaks can get to your electrical appliances. This can be dangerous as electrical appliances and water do not mix. If water is close to plugs or devices, switch off the power at the main breaker to stay safe.

If your electrical devices were harmed by the leak, make sure to have a skilled electrician inspect them before using them again. Also, check your fuse box or circuit breaker for water damage. If it got wet, have an electrician examine it too.

Drain Liquid from Lines

Once the water is turned off, there may still be water in the lines. To prevent this water from causing further damage or leaks, you will need to drain the lines. To do this, turn on taps and flush toilets to get rid of extra water and lower pressure in the pipes.

Remove Standing Water

The next thing you should do is remove any water that’s not flowing in your house. Standing water can damage your floors, furniture, and walls. It can also lead to the growth of mold and mildew. You don’t need to wait for the plumber to come before you start getting rid of the water. Use towels, a wet vacuum, or a mop and bucket to remove the water. To make the area dry faster, open windows and doors, and turn on fans.

Diagnose the Urgency

Check how bad the problem is. If it’s too much for you or seems really risky, call a plumber right away.

Move Furniture to a Dry Area

If there’s still water or wet spots, move your furniture aside. Water can harm furniture, so it’s crucial to do this quickly. Take down paintings or artwork from wet areas too.

Take Photos/Video

If the emergency plumber still hasn’t arrived, then you should take some time to document the damage. This means that you should take pictures of the damages as well as write down a list of what was damaged. If you can, figure out how long the water was flowing and what caused the leak. This helps with your insurance claim.

What to Say When You Call a Plumber

When you call a 24-hour emergency plumber in San Francisco, tell them what’s happening and give all the details about the problem, like burst pipes, leaks, or backups. Say it’s an emergency and ask for help right away.

Don’t Try to Fix It

While you wait for the plumber, don’t try hard fixes if you’re not used to it. You could accidentally make things worse.

Having a plumbing emergency in your San Franciso home can be a stressful experience. But, if you know what to do while you wait for the emergency plumber, then you can help to prevent further damage and make the process go more smoothly. Remember, your safety is a top priority. If the situation is too severe or you’re unsure about what to do, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber to handle the emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take for the plumber to arrive?

So instead of waiting for 30 to 90 minutes for a plumber to arrive, it might take 1 to 2 hours, or even up to 3 hours during busy times like Christmas. The time it takes for an emergency plumber to come to your place depends on various factors.

What should I do if the problem gets worse before the plumber arrives?

If the problem worsens before the plumber arrives, try to contain the situation by turning off the water supply and minimizing any further damage. You can also consider reaching out to the plumber to inform them of the urgency.

Can I still use the water in other parts of the house while waiting for the plumber?

While you wait for the plumber to arrive, it’s best to remove as much water from your home as possible. That way, you can prevent water damage, mold, and mildew buildup. Depending on the severity of the flooding, the clean-up process may be extensive.

Is there anything I can do to temporarily fix the issue before the plumber arrives?

Use A Pipe Bandage

Using a pipe bandage is a good temporary fix while waiting for the plumber. You can find them at any hardware store. Just remember to turn off the water, dry the area, and apply the bandage.

Do I need to be present when the plumber arrives?

It’s a good idea for you to be there during the appointment so you can show the plumbers where they need to go in your home.

Can the plumber provide an estimate over the phone?

Every legitimate Plumbing contractor in San Francisco knows he will not be able to evaluate the best value for anything for his valuable and respected potential client over the phone.

What forms of payment does the plumber accept?

The plumber’s accepted forms of payment can vary. It’s best to ask the plumber directly about their preferred payment methods.

Does the plumber offer any guarantees or warranties on their work?

Usually, a plumber will give a one-year guarantee for their work, but there are exceptions. For instance, drain cleaning is usually covered for six months. However, some plumbing companies offer a 30-day warranty if you just call them to clean the drain again.

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