Times when you should (and shouldn’t) call out an emergency plumber

by Francesca

There is a significant difference between a regular plumber and an emergency plumber. Knowing the difference and also being aware of when to call one or the other is crucial. Nobody wants to waste a professional’s time. On top of this, it is not always apparent whether you need a professional in the first place or if the job could be effectively DIY’d.

This guide will help you to understand the following:

  • Which plumbing jobs can be sorted by yourself (with some easy-to-find tools and heading to Google/YouTube for some advice)
  • When you need to call a plumber out
  • When you need to call out an emergency plumber

Here’s Some Common DIY Plumbing Fixes

There are various issues you could fix yourself without calling a plumber. This includes installing shower heads, fixing a leaky tap or a running toilet, and unclogging showers, sinks, and toilets. Some blockages may require a plumber – it all depends on how bad the issue is. If the blockage doesn’t seem too serious, it is always worth trying a DIY fix. Unblocking products available in most supermarkets/DIY stores may fix a sink blockage.

Trying your hand at simple DIY fixes before calling a plumber is usually a good call. It is unlikely that you will make the problem worse. You should avoid touching any drastic repairs as this could result in more damage. Do not attempt to repair anything that requires the following:

  • Ripping up flooring
  • Opening up walls
  • Removing appliances

The Times You SHOULD Call an Emergency Plumber

Whilst some plumbing issues are resolved simply by using an unblocking product, others so require expert knowledge.

If you notice any flooding – call out an emergency plumber.

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Flooding is a sign of a severe leak or even a burst pipe. Flooding could cause severe damage if left untreated, so you must resolve the issue as soon as possible.

You require an emergency plumber if you have tried to unblock a toilet and failed to resolve the issue. A blocked toilet is a potential health hazard. This issue must be fixed as soon as possible by a professional. Also, an overflowing toilet could cause severe damage to your property.

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Another time you require a plumber to arrive as soon as possible is if you have no running water, as this issue is classed as an emergency.

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The issue must be resolved quickly (and correctly) to avoid future problems. On the other hand, if you cannot turn your taps off, this is also an emergency, so get on the phone quickly. Whilst waiting for the plumber to arrive, turn off your water supply.

Times When You Should Call a Non-Emergency Plumber

There is another option on top of fixing the problem yourself and calling an emergency plumber, which is calling out a regular, non-emergency plumber. Specific issues can wait. Examples of when this may be the correct decision are:

  • A clogged sink
  • A running/dripping toilet
  • A leaking tap
  • Installations
  • Inspections
  • Preventative plumbing maintenance

Always Consider Your Options

When you have a plumbing issue, remember that multiple options are available. Do not resort to calling out an emergency plumber without stopping to think about whether this is the correct decision. You do not want to waste a professional’s time, as they could have a far more critical job to attend. Attempt some DIY if the plumbing issue isn’t too severe and you feel fit to do so. If this fails, decide whether you require an emergency or non-emergency plumber. If things are bad and getting worse quickly – get on the phone and get it looked at straight away.


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