Not every disaster happens at a convenient time, in fact, they virtually never do!
If you're on the hunt for emergency plumbing services, you probably can't afford to choose a cowboy company. You need a good team and you need them now!
But it isn't always easy to find the right people for the job, especially when you're in a stressful situation. Luckily, this guide is here to help you.
If you're looking for a reliable emergency plumber, here's how to find one fast.
When Do You Need Emergency Plumbing Services?
There are lots of types of plumbing services, one of which is emergency plumbing. It's basically what it sounds like - plumbing in an emergency!
If you have a job that just can't wait, emergency plumbers are on hand to come out and fix it. They can fix anything related to your water, gas and heating, helping you get back to normal as quickly as possible.
A burst water pipe? A toilet that's not flushing? Whatever your emergency, they can deal with it.
A lot of emergency plumbers are available 24/7 too. So whether your problem happens at 3 am on a Sunday or on Christmas afternoon, you'll have a team ready to come round and help. It's comforting to know there's always someone there!
But if you have an emergency, it can be easy to make an impulsive decision on who to call. More often than not, it'll simply be the first company you find! But that isn't always the best option.
Rather than rushing into it, take a little time to find a company who can fix your problem properly. Here are some useful tips to help you.
Forget Cheap Fixes
It's normal to think of the cost first. When an emergency happens, the first response is usually how much will this be?. It's actually best to stop thinking about cost in an emergency and focus instead on getting the problem sorted properly.
There will probably be a cheap emergency plumber out there who can do a quick fix, but is that really what you want? It won't be a job that's made to last and will probably lead to the same problem happening again. Over time, you're likely to spend more money than if you just get it done right the first time.
A cheap solution today usually means a more expensive fix tomorrow. Focus on quality rather than price and you'll thank yourself for it.
Ask the Right Price Questions
Now that the cheap fix companies are out of the way, it's time to further consider the price. Emergency situations are always difficult because it's hard to give a quote over the phone. The situation you describe could be very different from reality, and without an on-site evaluation it's almost impossible to quote accurately.
Your problem could also deteriorate between the time you call and the time your plumber reaches you. Remember that quotes aren't fixed!
Ask the company whether they'll charge money if the work is more complex than they expected. You could also ask if they'll sort the emergency problem now and make it safe, before returning to completely fix it in normal hours when costs are less. This could save you money, but it isn't always possible.
If you're worried, ask for a worst-case estimate that can give you an idea of how much the job could end up costing if it's much worse than first thought. You should also ask what their call-out fee is, as this will be added to the overall cost.
Finally, remember to ask about payment norms. An emergency plumber will usually ask for a fee upfront, which is normal. They won't ever ask for full payment before the job is completed, though.
Look for 24/7 Customer Service
If you're looking for an urgent plumber, make sure the company you're checking out has 24/7 customer service. This is a must before looking at anything else! If they don't have 24/7 service, you might not be able to reach them at strange hours making them less reliable in emergencies.
Being able to get in touch with a company around the clock is essential if you want a team you can rely on. Even if this job is at normal hours, your next emergency could be during the night or on a weekend, meaning you'll have to search for a new team all over again. Make this the only search and find a 24-hour plumbing company.
Make Sure They're Licensed
When you're looking for a solution fast, any plumber seems like the right plumber. But in reality that definitely isn't the case.
Take your time to check out the company when choosing a plumber. You may be in a rush, but this is definitely worth it in the long term.
The first check is to make sure they're licensed. All plumbers in Ottawa have to be licensed if they're installing fittings and fixtures, or if they're working in the kitchen or bathroom. In fact, the whole industry is very closely regulated, and your company should comply with the rules.
Your plumber must either have a certificate of qualification or be registered as an apprentice. Check that your company meets these standards before hiring them. If they say they don't need them, find someone else!
To get their license, your plumbers will have had to pass exams. These prove they can do their job properly, know how to keep themselves and you safe, and have had the right training. Find out more about how to become a plumber to learn what your plumber requires in order to work for you.
Make Sure They Have Insurance
Every plumbing company should have insurance. Even in an emergency, make sure the team you pick have their own!
Their insurance should cover any accidents that happen to them on your property. It should also cover any damage they might do to your house while trying to fix a problem. There are plenty of risks associated with plumbing work and making sure they're covered is essential.
If the team doesn’t have insurance, it's best to steer clear. Not only is it going to be a disaster if things go wrong, but it also shows they're not very professional or legitimate. It's a big red flag, so stay away!
Do They Offer Warranties or Guarantees?
Not every company will offer a warranty of guarantee. While this isn't always a huge problem, it can be nice to know that your company will help you if they don't get the job done right the first time.
If they don't offer guarantees or warranties, ask if they'll at least come back if the problem persists over the coming days. A fix that breaks after a day should always be repaired by the same team! Of course, if there are clear signs it wasn't their fault, it's unlikely any team will do the repairs again free of charge.
Ask for References
Ask if the company can send you references from past customers. Every company should have a stack of these to hand! They may send them to you directly over email or messaging services, or they might direct you to a page on their website.
If a company happily gives you references, it's another sign you can trust them. It's also a great way to get more information on the company and check that they're the right team for you. If their references are positive, they're much more likely to get the job done properly!
On the other hand, if they refuse to give you references of any kind, it's another red flag.
Check for Online Reviews
When choosing a plumber quickly, online reviews are amazing. All you have to do is type the company name into a search engine and you should be able to find real reviews from past customers.
These reviews are a source of honest information about the team without their input. You can find out everything from how well they can fix problems to what the team members are like. If you're looking for a friendly, fast, and reliable team, reviews will be a big help!
You can also check out reviews on social media. If the company has a Facebook page, check out the review section for customer feedback.
You should also look at the comments on their page. If people are interacting with them positively and liking their posts, it's more likely they're reliable. If the comments are full of complaints, it's time to look elsewhere!
Look for Pictures of Past Work
If you're looking to hire a plumber, finding pictures of past work can be useful. It helps you see that they are a legitimate company and also gives you a better feel of the work they do.
Ask the company directly for pictures of past work. They might direct you to their site, just like references, or they might send them to you directly.
You can also check their social media pages. If they're on social media, it's likely they'll show off work they've done by sharing pictures of completed jobs.
Look for quality, detailed shots that show off their work. If the pictures are blurry, dark, and don't fully show the work they've done, it's best to find someone else. They might just be bad photographers, but they also might be covering up dodgy work with bad photos.
What Happens Next?
Once you've chosen your plumber, book them in straight away! The quicker you book, the quicker they can send someone out to fix your problem. If it's a big emergency, like a flooding bathroom, make sure they know and they can send someone out straight away.
Make sure you give the plumber all the information they need to help them get to you as quickly as possible. Let them know if there will be any difficulty getting to your property and where's best to park.
To get the right help, make sure you properly explain the problem. Identify the source of the issue, how long it's been going on, and any other sources for concern. For example, if your hot water isn't working, let them know if there are also strange noises coming from your heater.
If you can, try and find out as much as possible about the area that needs fixing. If you have the names of any fixture and the model types, make a note of them to tell your plumber. They'll be able to bring the proper tools and might even have dealt with a similar model before, making the job easier to solve.
The more information you can give, the better! Your team will be able to pair you with the right plumber, best equipped to fix your emergency plumbing situation.
Once the work is completed, always get a written invoice. This will help you if there are any future problems. Though with all the research you've done you should be fine and the problem will hopefully be solved without hassle!
Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa’s Emergency Plumbing
If you're in need of emergency plumbing services in Ottawa, be sure to contact us with our team. We offer 24/7 customer service to make sure we're always there when you need us. Our Ottawa plumbers are all fully licensed and you can rely on us to solve any emergency plumbing problems you have.