Don’t Hire an “Emergency Plumber”

Life sometimes throws homeowners “curveballs” in the form of plumbing emergencies. Often, these can happen at the worst time, like during a party or holiday gathering.

While there are Dallas plumbers that specialize in 24/7 service, this after-hours availability comes at a price. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that they can avoid hiring an “emergency plumber” altogether with some know-how about their home’s plumbing. 

When is it a Plumbing Emergency?

The following scenarios could all be considered plumbing emergencies. Yet, there are often ways for homeowners to act quickly and protect their house from damage by containing the issue until a plumber can come out during regular business hours. For most of these situations, the immediate call of an emergency plumber may not be necessary. 

Sewer Backup

Most houses have two kinds of water lines: incoming, which deliver clean water wherever it’s needed, and outgoing, which carry dirty water to the sewer system. When a sewer line is clogged or blocked, it can’t drain, creating a stoppage. If you keep putting water down the drain, it will either back up at that fixture or another institution that shares the same drain line under the house.

Mitigation: If your fixture is backing up, don’t continue to use it! Shut off the water to that fixture. Check out this article and this YouTube video for more information about your shut-off valves. If the home’s main sewer pipe is clogged, anything used inside the house will cause the water to back up. If you know where your main sewer line cleanout is outside the home, you can open the cap, and the backed-up water will come out there instead of inside the house. These tips may keep you going until a plumber can come out during regular business hours.

No Water Flow

The situation is annoying if a single sink or faucet in your home is out of commission. If none of the sinks or faucets in your home are working and you’re not sure why, then it can be a severe problem.

Mitigation: A lack of water pressure in the home is often caused by a failed/clogged water filter/softener system or a failed pressure-reducing valve. The outdoor faucets are often connected to the main water line before passing through either. So check all of your outdoor hose faucets. If one of them produces water, this can get you by until a plumber can come out. By filling a bucket with water and dumping it into the toilet bowl, you can manually flush the toilets in your home, too.

Burst Pipe Water Leak

Pipe breaks are most commonly caused by trapped water freezing and then expanding inside a pipe during winter. However, it can also happen year-round due to natural decay or physical damage (e.g., being struck by a nail),… If one of the incoming water supply pipes is compromised in this way, it can leak catastrophically and cause significant water damage.

Mitigation: If the water is shut off to the home, the urgency of this problem drops dramatically. If you have an excellent shut-off valve for the whole house, you can shut that off as soon as possible to stop water damage. If you do not have a reliable or accessible whole-home shut-off valve, you can shut the water off at the water meter following these instructions. Call the city utilities emergency line or the fire department if everything fails. They can come out and shut the water off to the entire property until a plumber can be contacted for a proper repair.   

Gas Leaks And Smells

Plumbers in Texas are licensed and trained to repair and fix gas leaks for homeowners. If you have evidence of a sudden and significant gas leak, your first action isn’t to call an emergency plumber. Instead, leave the home immediately, call 911, and then call your gas utility provider when outside to shut off the natural gas supply. After this step, you can schedule an appointment for a gas leak inspection and repair with a plumber.

Mitigation: Once the gas company comes out, they will confirm whether you have a gas leak and whether it is on their piping or your home’s piping. If there is a gas leak, they will shut the gas off to the house until it has been fixed by a licensed plumber and inspected by a city inspector. 

Potential Downsides to Hiring an Emergency Plumber

Plumbing companies in North Dallas that handle 24/7 emergency calls often aren’t sending the most experienced plumbers out to the jobs. The most recent hire with the least amount of experience is often who gets stuck with the midnight shift. If you are considering calling a plumber at 2 am, think about who will respond.

Moreover, Legacy Plumbing has been hired many times to fix past repairs of other plumbers. Few people can perform their best work at 3 am, mistakes are more likely to happen by hiring an emergency plumber.

If you think you will be able to pay a standard rate for emergency plumbing repairs, think again! Most plumbing companies charge extra on top of hourly rates. You may be surprised at the final bill.

Emergency plumbers are often incentivized on one outcome, eliminating your plumbing emergency as soon as possible. Getting to the cause of the problem is often out of scope. A bandaid plumbing repair is often what you pay for by hiring an emergency plumber. 

Most homeowners would benefit from a comprehensive inspection of the problem to avoid emergency leaks and problems in the future.

A professional plumber can help you find a permanent solution to a plumbing emergency, instead of simply offering a temporary fix.

Just because a faucet or toilet isn’t working properly doesn’t make it an emergency. Check the list above, but understand that most plumbing emergencies can be solved by shutting off the water. Once that is accomplished, a plumber can be hired to more reasonably respond first thing in the morning vs at midnight. 

DIY a Home’s Plumbing Emergency

One of the best ways to hit the breaks on a plumbing disaster is by cutting the water supply at the source. Locate your shut-off valve and make sure that it can be easily and safely accessed in a pinch. Shut-off valves are usually located near your home’s water meter, but we created an entire guide on how and where to locate. Check this area periodically to ensure easy access and make sure there is nothing in the way that would make reaching the valve difficult when you’re in a hurry. Older homes may need a shut off valve replaced 

If your shower’s hot water knob is stuck on, toilet is running or kitchen sink is spraying, you may be able to shut off the water to just this fixture. Check under the cabinet or behind the toilet for the shutoff. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all the other cut-off valves located throughout your home. Once you have located all the extra valves, make sure they are loose enough to open by hand.

Clogged toilets are a common occurrence that sends water rising to your toilet bowl’s rim. Waiting for an emergency plumber will take too long anyway.

Hold the panic and act quickly to stop rising water and prevent a messy overflow situation. Following previous instructions, you will have already located and made accessible both your toilet’s shut-off valve as well as the main water line valve. You’ll need to think fast and attempt to shut off the toilet’s valve immediately. If the toilet’s cut-off valve is inaccessible or you are unable to close it, open the tank and lift the float ball. This should cut the water flow to the bowl. Send someone to cut your main shut-off valve, stopping water flow to the bowl. Once the water is off, you can check the toilet tank to ensure the rubber flapper is not propped open. If it is, return it to the closed position.


At Legacy Plumbing, we pride ourselves on providing fast, convenient assistance for clients from Frisco to McKinney. So much so that, in many cases, we offer same (business) day services during emergencies in our service area. Give us a call early in the morning, and we’ll dispatch one of our technicians ASAP—often as early as that afternoon. And any service calls received outside of our regular hours of operation will be returned first thing the next business day.

The next time you find yourself in hot water (or with no hot water at all!), call Legacy Plumbing at (972) 801-9798! We offer reliable, quality plumbing services throughout North Dallas and Denton!