A burst pipe leaking or spraying water all over the home is most disturbing for a regular homeowner.
Nothing says emergency like a pool of water about your ankles and you have no clue on how to stop it!
In addition to that, there's also the fear of the amount of resulting damage as well as the increasing bill.
Emergency Plumber Guide: What to do?
Become acquainted with how to employ the services of a plumber in the case of an emergency.
If you can't afford the steep plumbing charges, then the only option available to you is to learn what to do in such emergencies.
Regrettably, most plumbing emergencies send homeowners running to the phonebook on a holiday weekend or at midnight calling the first plumber who responds to their desperate cry for help.
This is always going to end badly, and not referring to the plumbing issue.
Different plumbers bill in different ways (either by the job or by the hour), and most plumbers charge much higher when you come calling at such times.
It is important to stay relaxed and calm in the event of a plumbing emergency.
Stop, take a deep breath and keep away from your phonebook.
Here we have a few tips for you to follow before searching for a qualified plumber.
Emergency Plumber Guide: Do This First
It is natural to first try to contact a plumber to help stop any more damage.
Even though that thought may be right, the execution isn't – especially when you're not looking to pay the plumber's retirement.
As a homeowner, the first thing to do whenever there is a plumbing emergency is to shut off the water supply line to your leak.
Doing this buys you more time to examine several plumbers towards deciding on the right one for you, rather than simply picking the first one who responds and having to pay whatever bill he brings up.
Emergency Plumber Guide: Where's my Valve
The best thing you can do in the case of leaks in the home is to turn off the primary water supply line.
Every regular home has a shut off valve installed which can be used just for this purpose.
This valve is normally found right under a rectangular lid which typically also houses your water meter.
Many modern homes these days have their water meter situated in front of the house around a pavement or sidewalk to the street.
A wrench will be needed to shut off this valve, and mostly a crescent wrench is enough.
Alternatively, if there is a leak in your water heater or toilet, then those can be shut off individually.
Emergency Plumber Guide: What Next?
After shutting off the water supply, the next thing to do is ensure that the leak has been stopped.
Once this is confirmed, you can then seek and employ the services of a qualified plumber.
The best way to achieve this is to evaluate various bids from different qualified plumbers.
We advise you begin with about 3 to 5 plumbers.
Beginning with more plumbers than necessary is essential since you will surely have to eliminate some in time.
Many people look to their families, neighbors and friends to build up this list, and that's alright.
The internet has also become a useful tool to search for trustworthy plumbers around.
However, ensure you verify their backgrounds and compare their bids with a few others to make sure you get a good price alongside a good plumber.
You can also get referred to plumbers from general contractors and real estate agents, and even the local house enhancement store or a supplier of plumbing materials in the area.
We strongly advise you to make use of the Handy American contractor manual.
Besides being free, all the reviews on the website are verified 100% for authenticity.
Emergency Plumber Guide: Hiring a Plumber
Time is essential when hiring a plumber during emergencies, therefore all available resources must be used to pre-qualify them before selection for bidding.
The internet is one of these resources.
Thousands, and even millions of reviews exist online for different home repair and home enhancement contractors like plumbers.
You simply need to input the name or business name of the plumber into Google's search engine and see the results.
These results are sure to contain reviews as well as feedback from previous users of such services.
If the results are too many, then you can be more specific as to inputting the name of the plumber and words like feedback, review or complaint.
Reviews for plumbers can also be found on local websites such as Yelp.com and Insiderpages.com but note that, as much as we do know, these sites don't authenticate reviews so be cautious if something doesn't look right.
Sadly, more plumbers and contractors are noticing the effect of having positive online reviews so they are getting their family members and friends (and even paying people in some cases) to give them positive online reviews.
Emergency Plumber Guide: Final Steps
For the plumbers who have made it to this point, you should check for complaints. You can start from your local state licensing board and the Better Business Bureau.
And finally, when the plumbers submit their bids to you for the repairs ensure to ask for references. Many good plumbers have several references which you can contact – and you should, as it is a great way to make sure you're hiring a plumber who can execute your project properly.
What About Plumbing Rates?
Before deciding to hire a plumber, you should also consider the plumbing rates. Since different billing systems are used by different plumbers, you may want to discuss this with your potential plumber.
While some charge per job, some others charge per hour.
And though some may charge a high rate per hour, it may be only for the duration in which he's working at your house, while others may charge a lower rate per hour covering the time he leaves his house and all through the journey to your house.
As such, it may be good for you to determine your billing system so as to best decide the best plumber for the best price.
Understanding the process of hiring a plumber during emergencies draws the line between executing the job properly at a rational price and getting overcharged for a job which won't last and by a plumber who you can't contact anymore.
Following the above steps will significantly boost your chances of hiring a great plumber during an emergency.
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