What is Considered a Plumbing Emergency?Cat McCarthy
How to avoid an emergency plumber call out fee
Being the victim of a plumbing emergency is about as fun as being the designated driver at the Christmas party. In the world of plumbing, emergencies can strike at any moment, leaving homeowners and renters feeling helpless and anxious; particularly if water is gushing in places it shouldn’t.
Identifying what truly constitutes a plumbing emergency is crucial to knowing when to take action. In this blog, we’ll dive into the most common plumbing emergencies, how to prevent paying after-hours plumbing rates, steer clear of dubious offers from $0* emergency plumbing companies, and ensure peace of mind with flexible payment options.
What Qualifies as a Plumbing Emergency?
Plumbing inconveniences of any kind can feel like an emergency to your family, but the following are what we consider as plumbing emergencies that need immediate rectification:
- Water Leaks That Can’t Be Isolated:
When water leaks from a source that can’t be easily turned off, it’s an emergency. This includes burst pipes/flexi hoses or damaged water supply lines. In such cases, knowing how to shut off the main water supply to your property can save you from a major disaster (learn how to do this here).
- Raw Sewage Backflow:
The flow of raw sewage into your home is not just unpleasant but also a health hazard. It’s undoubtedly an emergency that needs immediate professional attention.
- No Hot Water:
A lack of hot water can disrupt your daily routines. While it might not be as urgent as a burst pipe, it’s essential, especially in colder months or if you have someone ill in your home.
- Gas Leaks:
Gas leaks are potentially life-threatening. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, evacuate your property immediately and turn off the gas at the meter if you can by turning the handle to an ‘off’ position.
- Burst Pipes/Flexi Hoses:
Burst pipes or damaged flexi hoses can lead to significant water damage in a short time. It’s essential to address these issues promptly.
Rental Emergencies and Responsibilities
If you’re renting in Victoria, understanding your rights and responsibilities regarding plumbing emergencies is crucial. The Consumer Affairs Victoria website provides detailed guidance on repairs in rental properties. Ensure you report issues promptly to your rental provider or property manager so they can issue a work order to their plumber, or contact your provided emergency plumber in any of the following situations:
- Burst water service
- Blocked or broken toilet
- Serious roof leak
- Gas leak
- Hot Water System not working.
Avoiding Costly After-Hours Plumbing Rates
Unfortunately, plumbing emergencies can occur at inconvenient times such as late evenings or weekends. With the exception of some sole-trader operations, plumbing companies may charge higher fees for a 3am drain unblocking or a Sunday afternoon hot water system changeover. This isn’t a cash grab, but due to reasons such as having to pay overtime penalty rates to their team members (as listed in the plumbing and sprinkler fitters award MA000036) and accessing certain materials out of business hours (plumbing suppliers may charge just to open up their stores after hours for material purchases).
Emergency rectifications are often only ‘make-safe’ due to the availability of materials and to try save the client money, so an appointment to fix the plumbing issue often occurs in the days following.
Plumbing emergencies don’t adhere to regular business hours, and that’s when after-hours rates often come into play. To avoid hefty bills, consider the following steps:
Isolate the Leak: If possible, shut off the water source at its origin to minimize damage. Turning off your gas at the mains until business hours and using your microwave instead of the oven is another option.
Use Alternative Facilities: If one bathroom or sink is affected, use others that are still operational. Toilets and Basins should all have their own isolation valve fitted so you can turn this off and continue to use all other tapware without having to turn your water mains off. If the blockage is only occurring in one toilet in a 2 or 3 toilet home, and isn’t blocking up in showers/sinks or overflowing from sewer points externally, it can often save you hundreds of dollars by closing off usage to that toilet for the night and call the plumber first thing next business day.
Modify Daily Routines: Avoid activities like running the dishwasher, using the oven, or taking long showers that can exacerbate the problem. Can you use a neighbour’s shower/toilet overnight and call a plumber the next day instead of out of hours? Or boil the kettle for shallow hot baths? It may not be for everyone, and many people value convenience, but if your budget is tight you may be able to stretch out until the next business day before requiring a plumber if you’re happy to make do and not at risk of damage to your home (burst pipe) or your health (raw sewage).
Beware of False Promises: $0 Call Out Fee* Emergency plumbers lurk at the top of google in the advertisements. In times of crisis, the last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous ’emergency’ plumbers offering $0* call out fees. These offers often come with hidden charges and inflated service costs. Always do your due diligence when seeking a plumbing service, and trust locally owned and operated plumbing companies.
Our Approach to Plumbing Emergencies
McCarthy Plumbing Group understand that plumbing emergencies are stressful. That’s why we offer flexible payment methods to ease the financial burden during these challenging times. Our transparent pricing and commitment to delivering a premium service have made us a trusted choice in the Wyndham and Hobsons Bay communities. If you have a Werribee, Hoppers Crossing or Point Cook plumbing emergency, we can assist 24/7.
Recognising a plumbing emergency and acting swiftly is essential to prevent further damage and minimize costs. By knowing what constitutes an emergency, understanding rental responsibilities, and taking precautionary measures, you can navigate plumbing emergencies with confidence. And when you need reliable assistance for an emergency plumber in Point Cook, Laverton North and surrounding areas, remember to contact us on 9931 0905.