I’m driving home from a hard day’s work, looking forward to a hot shower, rest, and relaxation. I jump in the shower, and to my surprise, no hot water. I want to scream. We don’t want anything to mess with my daily routine, including a broken water heater. The big question is, “Do I have a plumber come after hours for a faulty water heater?” A service call during normal business hours may not be considered a plumbing emergency, regardless of the job. A typical plumbing emergency is a job received after regular business hours and usually costs the customer more for attending to their need during that time. Most plumbing emergencies can wait until the next business day, but there are those willing to pay the extra to get the job done now.
Why Do Plumbing Companies Charge More For A Plumbing Emergency?
Another question is, “Why do plumbing companies charge more for what they call a plumbing emergency?” There are two main reasons. The first reason is abuse. If there were no added fees, everyone would ask to have a plumber, regardless of the day or night. For example, if you have a clogged sink or toilet, it can wait until the next day. If there is no added fee, you would want a plumber on demand. Plumbing companies wouldn’t know how to staff their plumbers accordingly. The second reason is, in all fairness to the plumbers on call, they get paid more for after-hour service calls. They’re on call from 6:00 pm until 8:00 am and receive calls all hours of the night and morning.
A Small Secret About Plumbing Emergencies
If you truly have what is considered a plumbing emergency, chances are the after-hours service fee will be waived, especially if the matter is a true emergency. For example, a backed-up or broken sewer line, gas leak, burst pipe, and a slab leak are all considered a plumbing emergency. In addition, anything that puts a family or home at risk of damage or injury is considered an emergency. In some situations, your plumber will get the issue under control to the homeowner’s satisfaction and return the following day to complete the job.
The Two Most Questionable Plumbing Emergencies
There are two areas that may or may not merit an emergency plumber. The first problem is a clogged drain. While a do-it-yourselfer can usually clear most drains, there are those that require an experienced plumber with all the necessary tools and equipment. If a clogged drain has allowed sewage to back up onto a bathroom floor, then the problem has created a health issue that needs clearing and cleaning ASAP. The second issue is a broken water heater. Of course, a broken water heater would not be considered a plumbing emergency. With that said, we will have many homeowners debate you over that because, quite honestly, most of us cannot live without a day of hot water. So what is the solution when someone calls in after-hours for a broken water heater? We will always meet our customer’s demands day or night 24/7.
Know Where Your Shut Off-Valves Are
In most cases, people panic because something is leaking or broken, but you can save yourself some money if you know where your shut-off valves are. Depending on your plumbing problem, you can usually use the shut-off valve on appliances, faucets, or fixtures, especially if the problem is isolated to one area. Once the issue is under control and cannot cause further damage, you could put your issue on hold until the following day. Depending on your level of patience, there is even a shut-off valve that will shut off the water for the entire home. At Big B’s Plumbing, we can schedule an appointment for any customer after hours for the following day.
There Are Some Genuine Plumbing Emergencies
The fact is, some genuine plumbing emergencies need prompt attention. For instance, any flooded area of your home requires emergency services. Additionally, any time there is a natural gas leak, you’ll need to call 9-1-1 or your local gas service company and possibly your plumbing company. But, again, a plumbing emergency, for the most part, will depend on your level of comfort. If you want to pay the $150 service call, in addition to the cost of repairs, you can have your repair completed after business hours–––that’s completely understandable.