How to Find an Emergency Plumbing Service

Becca Stokes
Written by Becca Stokes
Updated November 11, 2021
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Hiring a pro to do a job around the house is a process that doesn’t just happen overnight—except when you find yourself in a state of plumbing emergency. If, say, the sink won’t turn off, and your kitchen is flooding, you’ll need to hire an emergency plumbing service. Our guide will make sure you ask the right questions and hire the right pro for the job without breaking a sweat.

How to Find an Emergency Plumbing Service

If you need to find an emergency plumber as quickly as possible, the internet is a great resource. Search for local plumbing pros and get a sense of their work via reviews. You can also see if any plumbers you’ve worked with in the past offer emergency plumbing services or can refer you to someone who can. And, as always, word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends are priceless.

Before Hiring an Emergency Plumbing Service

Time is of the essence when it comes to fixing an emergency plumbing issue. However, keeping a clear head and doing the prep work ahead of time to find the right pro for the job will help you in the long run.

Interview Your Emergency Plumbing Pro

You’ll want to act quickly, but unless you already have a plumber on speed dial, you should ideally speak with more than one local emergency plumber about your issue. These conversations will not only allow you to find the perfect pro but will give you a better understanding of their availability and the type of fix you may need.

If you’re in a serious bind and need someone right away, at least read online reviews carefully and ask plenty of questions (more on that in a second).

Gather Information About Your Plumbing Issue

The more information you can provide to any plumbers you speak with, the better. Do you spy any holes or damage? Where is the issue in your home? When did the issue start? Narrowing down these details can help save your plumber some time when they come to the rescue.

Check Your Emergency Plumber’s Qualifications

Plumber fixing a broken kitchen sink -

Check if the pro you’re considering has a plumbing license. Not all states or cities require their plumbers to be licensed, so do some research to determine the requirements near you. 

Don’t get confused in the heat of the moment and accept a business license. You want to see proof that the pro is licensed and experienced in their field, and a plumbing license is proof of this. 

You should also make sure that they have insurance policies; that’s right, plural! The pro you hire should have both workers’ compensation insurance and liability insurance. Workers’ comp covers the pro and their team should they experience any injuries on the job site.

Liability insurance covers any damages made to your home in the course of making plumbing repairs. Both forms of insurance indicate you’re dealing with a pro who wants to protect their interests as well as yours.

Questions to Ask Your Emergency Plumbing Pro

When you get an emergency plumber on the phone, ask these questions before hiring them:

When Are You Available to Work?

When you start looking up different emergency plumbing services, you will quickly notice that several companies offer 24/7 support, and that’s great since you never know when a leak will strike. 

But it doesn’t matter how late they are open if they are far from your home or dealing with a backlog of emergency jobs. Ask for an honest timeframe and use that to factor into your hiring decision.

Do You Offer Warranties?

A plumbing professional should offer you a warranty for their work, and most plumbers work with manufacturers who offer warranties on the parts they use in the process. Even though you’re hiring a plumbing pro in an emergency, you should still make sure your financial bases are covered.

How Do You Handle Parts?

If a plumber doesn’t have access to the part you need and has to leave your home to go and find the part in question, find out who covers that time if you are paying an hourly rate. This info is less important if you are paying for the job itself rather than by the hour.

Do You Get Permits for Me?

While not every emergency job requires that you get permits issued before completion, some might. In those instances, most plumbers will take on the responsibility of getting the permits, but that isn’t a guarantee, so it’s always good to ask.

Get a Contract and Arrange Payments With Your Emergency Plumbing Pro

While it’s important to find out how much a plumbing pro will charge for emergency services, it’s going to be hard for them to give you an accurate estimate over the phone. If they can’t nail down a price just yet, find out how much they typically charge just for a service visit. 

Once the pro has arrived at your home and assessed the situation thoroughly, they will let you know how much the repair will cost. Make sure to get a breakdown of the costs in writing, including what’s going towards new parts and what’s going towards labor. 

Plumbing services range in cost from $45 to $200 per hour or more, depending on the job, timing and location.

Keep Records of Your Emergency Plumbing Project

Take photos of the issue before your plumber arrives, especially if you have water damage and may need info for a homeowners’ insurance claim. Be sure to ask for receipts once you issue any payment and keep a copy of any contracts you sign.

After Your Emergency Plumbing Pro Has Finished

Once the issue is wrapped up to your satisfaction, pay based on your payment terms, and discuss what to do if the issue arises again soon. If you’re happy with the work your pro did to get you out of your plumbing-related bind, leave them a great review. You can even offer to be a reference for any future customer who finds themselves with a leaky pipe or broken toilet.

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