Plumbing problems are an unfortunate fact of life, but dealing with them can be a confusing minefield for any homeowner. Sometimes you really do need to call in an emergency plumber, even if it is half past eleven on a Sunday night in late December. But how can you tell which times those are? Read on to learn more about three of the most common domestic plumbing disasters and what you need to do about them, including when you need a plumber ASAP and when it's safe to go it alone.
Pipes can spring leaks or burst open, particularly in very cold weather or in buildings with antiquated plumbing. In some cases, you can use duct tape to deal with the leak on a temporary basis well enough to wait until ordinary business hours to call in the plumbers. If the leak is very bad, is underneath flooring you can't move or is close to any wiring or electrical outlets, however, it's best to get an emergency plumber in right away. You should also turn off the water mains and, if necessary, your home's electricity supply.
Boilers can be highly temperamental, and going without heat or hot water can be a serious issue,especially in cold weather. In most cases, boiler errors can wait until morning, but there are a few circumstances in which you should call for an emergency plumber, primarily if someone in your household has a medical condition that will be severely exacerbated for a night without central heating or if you can smell gas in the boiler cupboard. If you have reason to believe that there could be a carbon monoxide leak (because your detector has signalled it or because your boiler is making a noise signified as a red flag by your manufacturer), you should evacuate the property immediately and follow the official advice in your area for what to do in this situation.
Plumbers don't just deal with water, of course. Gas is their purview too, and it's plumbers who install gas cookers. Generally speaking, you shouldn't call one out in the event of a cooker problem; however, it's much more likely to be an electrical issue or a problem with the cooker itself than something a plumber can fix. The one exception to this is if you can smell gas, in which case you should contact either an emergency plumber or your local gas board ASAP.
For more information, contact a local emergency plumber, such as those found at Sam's Local Plumbing.