If a plumbing emergency strikes, it’s easy to panic. The most important thing to do is contact an emergency plumber as soon as possible, who’ll be able to come out and assess the situation. But how do you decide which plumber to hire? What are the key things to look for in an emergency plumber, and how can you be sure they’re a reliable pair of hands?
There are five situations which class as plumbing emergencies. They are burst pipes, overflowing toilets, water heater failure, frozen pipes and if a vital water outlet breaks and starts to leak.
Aside from ringing a plumber as soon as possible, there are things you can to do mitigate the damage to your property.
Turn off the valves to your toilet and sinks if they have individual service valves to the appliance. If they don’t have a service valve, you may have to turn off your mains stop tap, so be sure to know where this is in your property. If you can’t locate this, you may have to turn off the water at your boundary stop tap outside.
If electrics meet running water, it can be very dangerous. If the water is running through the ceiling, it may be necessary to turn off the electricity at your consumer unit (fuse box). If the leak is coming from central heating pipework, ensure you turn off the electricity to the heating/hot water supply. Switch appliances off at the wall to be safe, but only if there is no water at the switch because electricity travels through water.
After turning off the water supply, there will still be some water left in the pipes. To drain them, turn on your taps allowing the pipework to empty.
In an emergency, you’ll need to contact a plumber quickly. But you shouldn’t rush to ring the first plumber you find online or in the Yellow Pages – take the time to do your research.
Contact friends and family living in the local area and ask if they’ve ever used an emergency plumber before. If so, query how quickly they can attend, their quality of service and how much they charge.
Broaden the net and find out what strangers say about the people your friends and family suggest. Facebook and Google allow customers to leave reviews and detail whether a plumber is Gas Safe registered. Check if a plumber has a social media account to tell you how their most recent customers felt about their service.
Ask your chosen plumber if they provide guarantees. Those most confident in their work will offer you cover for anything upwards of 12 months. The plumber should also have an up-to-date insurance policy – if they don’t, and something goes wrong, you might not be covered for subsequent repairs.
It’s important to note that if you’re aware of any pipework in exposed places, roof space or outside the property that isn’t insulated, get them lagged before they freeze! Pipe lagging is always cheaper than a plumbing emergency call out.
Emergency plumbing costs vary. Usually, the quote will be split into two parts – a call-out fee and the repair work charge. However, unlike most plumbing companies, Metro Plumb do not charge a call-out fee.
Most plumbers will charge for a minimum of one hour’s work, and this will likely be at a higher rate than usual as they’ve come out on short notice. You should always request a written quote that itemises all parts of the job, ensuring you won’t be asked to pay any more if the plumber has overlooked an element of the repair.
Whatever the cost, investing in an emergency plumber’s services is worthwhile; leaving standing water to fester can lead to rot and mould and uncomfortable living conditions, which will cost more to repair in the long run than the initial problem.
No matter the problem, whether it’s a faulty tap, burst pipe, damaged toilet or water heater failure, Metro Plumb has got you covered. Our expert plumbers are available to repair and service all emergency plumbing issues, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
You can talk to an emergency plumber local to you by visiting our Find a Local Plumber page. Alternatively, if you require additional information on how we can help you with all your emergency plumbing needs, contact us on 0800 415 514.