What to Do: Plumbing Emergency In The Middle of The Night
Imagine you wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of gushing water. You get nervous, get out of your bed, and start going down to the basement….maybe it isn’t so bad. As you get to the top of the stairs and look down, already you can see that there is water in the basement, far too much water on the floor.
Or imagine you come home and find a toilet flooding everywhere. Or are getting ready to get to bed and a pipe bursts, spraying water everywhere?
You now have a plumbing emergency.
What do you do?
There are some people who are both handy and have experience with plumbing systems. If you are a do-it-yourself personality like this, then you may already know what to do. But what do the rest of us do?
First Things First – Where is The Leak Coming From?
The first thing to do is to determine if the leak is coming from the inflow or the outflow. Meaning, is the leak coming from pipes that are bringing water INTO your house, your water supply pipes, or is the leak coming from pipes that are taking wastewater OUT of your house?
Plumbing Emergency with Inflow Water
If the leak is coming from inflow pipes, find a water shut off valve (see photos to see what it may look like) and turn it off. Every plumbing system has multiple water shut off valves for just such a reason. The goal is to find a valve that is earlier in the system (closer to where all of your water comes in) from wherever you are having the leak.
If you aren’t sure, you can always turn off the main shut off valve for the entire house and just shut off the water for the whole house. This is only temporary, until your emergency plumbing team shows up and takes care of the plumbing problem, or at least finds a shut off valve that is closer to the actual water issue.
In case you aren’t sure, the way to remember which way to turn the shut off valve is righty-tighty, lefty-loosy – in this case, tightening the valve (turning to the right, or clockwise) will close the valve.
Plumbing Emergency with Outflow Water
aka Sewage Backup Plumbing Emergency
If your plumbing emergency is happening because there is a sewage backup, meaning one or more of your sinks or toilets is dumping waste water BACK into your house, there is not really much you can do to stop it on your own. You will need a damage restoration company which does biohazard cleanup and mitigation.
PLEASE USE CAUTION: Sewage water is a biohazard and it can be dangerous to work with it on your own without the proper safety equipment and mitigation gear.
Something you SHOULD know is that a sewage backup is often covered by your insurance, so while this may be a nightmare, and it will be a major pain to deal with, financially, you should be fine, without having to delve into your savings or your emergency funds.
For a sewage backup, whether it is active or if it already happened and now you have to clean it up, you should call a 24/7 emergency plumber like Rubber Ducky Plumbing so they can help you figure out your next steps and make sure it is less likely to happen again.
Additionally, once you found a reputable plumbing company like Rubber Ducky Plumbing (servicing the Richmond, VA area), you will need a disaster restoration company to help deal with the sewer water damage. Most or all Plumbers can recommend someone for you, or you can do your own search.
As an example, here are some local search results for the Richmond, Virginia area. The image is linked to the top result shown in the search results below, a reputable disaster restoration company in the Richmond, Virginia area.
Finding a Reputable 24/7 Emergency Plumber
There are many plumbing companies that say that they offer 24/7 emergency plumbing services. There are also some that will actually show up for you at the wildest times, like 3am on Christmas Eve, when no one else will even pick up the phone for your plumbing emergency.
Rubber Ducky Plumbing is such a company – we specialize in around the clock emergency plumbing, and we are proud of our Courtesy Above All Else promise.
Call with a plumbing emergency on New Year’s Eve, Christmas, tax season, in the middle of the football game – if you have a water crisis, we’ll be there. So if there is a major mishap with your plumbing system, and you need a plumber in the middle of the night – call Rubber Ducky Plumbing. That works IF you live in the greater Richmond, Virginia area.
What if you live outside of the Richmond area and need an emergency plumber?
Your job is to quickly find an emergency plumbing company that will actually answer the phone and is local for you. You also want to know that they are legitimate and highly rated.
Check their Google Reviews, or their Facebook reviews, or their Angie’s List reviews, or similar hard-to-cheat systems. Each company will often only concentrate on reviews on one or some of these systems, so if you see a company with many reviews on one system, and no reviews on other systems, that is probably not a reason to worry.
Then start calling. This may be the hard part; each call you make may have you frantic with worry about if they will actually come out.
Inquire about their plumbing emergency service fees, if they have any. Ask how much it costs for them to walk in the door. Find out if they work with your insurance company to help you file a claim. Discuss if they have a reputable water damage restoration company they can recommend as well.
Plumbing Membership / Preferred Customers Program
If you are reading this post because you are in the middle of a plumbing emergency, it is already too late for you.
But if are reading this post because you want to be well prepared if there IS an emergency, and you live in the Richmond Virginia area, you should know that Rubber Ducky Plumbing has a very popular plumbing membership program. Among other things, we offer an annual inspection as well as waive our emergency fee if there is an issue.
It’s almost like having a plumber in your back pocket, ready and waiting to help you if you ever need it. And all for only about a quarter per day.
24/7 Emergency Plumbing
To sum up, having a plumbing emergency in the middle of the night, or at any other time, can be wildly inconvenient. But if you work together with the right plumber, that inconvenience may not be as bad, and working together with a great team (like the team at Rubber Ducky Plumbing) may even help you put a smile back on your face.
Given that you don’t know who to call for water damage restoration that is reliable and can get there right away, we can easily recommend one of our vetted central Virginia 24/7 disaster restoration companies that is vetted while we are working with you.
Having one of these companies on beck and call can make your life easier and if the need arises would be easily fixed. If you don’t have a service like that it would significantly damage your home and would amount to a much more troublesome task the longer it takes to be fixed.
To sum it up, knowing when to do it yourself and when to seek professional help is key to a well maintained household. Calling a professional may be pricey for some but would be essential in the long-term sustainability of your at-home plumbing.