Understanding Plumbing Emergencies: When to Act Fast

plumbingWhen faced with a late-night dripping sound, it can be challenging to determine if it’s a plumbing emergency or a problem that can wait until morning. While panic might tempt you to reach for the phone immediately, it’s essential to stay calm and assess the situation rationally.

Here are some key questions to help you determine whether it’s a plumbing emergency that requires immediate action or a situation that can wait.

Identifying Common Plumbing Emergencies

Differentiating between a minor drip and a burst pipe is crucial, as even a small issue can escalate rapidly. If you suspect a plumbing emergency, act quickly by turning off the affected fixture or, in severe cases, the main water line to your home. This helps limit water damage. Here are some common plumbing emergencies to watch out for:

Burst Pipes: A burst pipe can result in a rush of water from walls or ceilings, but it can also be more subtle. Regardless, it constitutes a plumbing emergency as it can cause structural damage like collapsed ceilings and weakened walls. In such cases, immediately shut off the main water line and contact an emergency plumber, particularly if you live in a cold climate where pipes are prone to freezing.

Water Heater Leaks or Failure:

Water heater leaks often go unnoticed until they become major issues, leading to significant water damage. Signs of a water heater emergency include significant leaks, living in a cold climate, or detecting the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs, indicating a gas leak. Monitoring your water heater for signs of failure can help you address the problem before it becomes an emergency.

Overflowing Toilets:

Most overflowing toilet situations can be resolved with a plunger or by using an alternate bathroom until a plumber can be scheduled. However, if the clog persists, you lack a second bathroom, or the toilet continues to overflow, it’s advisable to shut off the water supply valve at the base of the toilet and contact an emergency plumber in Myrtle Beach.


Sewer System Backups:

Sewage backups pose health hazards and require immediate attention. Clogs are often the culprit, caused by items like feminine hygiene products, wipes, and paper towels. Additionally, tree roots can grow through old pipes and create blockages. Warning signs include the smell of sewage permeating your home, gurgling sounds from plumbing, or water pooling in the shower when flushing the toilet.

Sump Pump Failures:

If you live in an area prone to flooding or heavy rainfall, a failing sump pump can leave your home vulnerable to water damage. Unusual noises, vibrations, irregular cycling, or continuous running indicate a sump pump issue. Address the problem before it fails completely, or seek professional help if troubleshooting doesn’t resolve the issue.

Major Leaks:

While minor leaks can often be managed temporarily, significant leaks can cause substantial damage, including electrical hazards, weakened walls and ceilings, and mold growth. If you observe signs of water damage or suspect a major leak, contacting an emergency plumber is essential.

Determining When to Call an Emergency Plumber

When facing a potential emergency, take a moment to assess the situation. Ask yourself a few crucial questions before contacting an emergency plumber:

Is immediate use of the affected plumbing necessary? While a basement that’s flooded requires an emergency call, minor issues like a broken toilet or clogged sink may be addressed during regular business hours.

plumbingCan you shut off the fixture? If a minor leak is localized, and you can shut off the water supply to that specific fixture, it may not require emergency assistance. Locate the shutoff valve under the sink or behind the toilet. However, for more significant issues, such as a burst pipe, shutting off the main water line to the house might be necessary.

Consider the weather: Extreme weather conditions may affect the urgency of plumbing services. For instance, lack of water supply on a hot summer day poses health concerns, while difficulties with a water heater in freezing temperatures require immediate attention.

Will delaying repairs cause further damage? Temporary measures like using buckets or rags to collect water can help manage slow leaks until regular business hours. However, if the leak is significant and has the potential to cause substantial damage quickly, it’s crucial to contact an emergency plumber promptly.

Is it your responsibility to address the problem? In certain cases, your water company may provide assistance for sewer main issues, blocked sewers, or problems with the main water line. Contact them before calling a plumber in Myrtle Beach to determine if the responsibility lies with them.

When calling an emergency plumber, aim to stay calm and mitigate the situation as best as possible. Familiarize yourself with the location of shutoff valves and describe the issue accurately when discussing it with a plumbing company like Blue Ribbon Plumbing LLC. Asking for a cost estimate before agreeing to emergency service is essential to avoid surprises. Keep in mind that the cost may increase once the plumber assesses the extent of the problem.

Remember, research and compare local plumbing services to ensure you find a reputable company. Contacting multiple companies for estimates can help you gauge a fair price.

Call Blue Ribbon Plumbing LLC now if you’re looking for a reliable plumber.

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Blue Ribbon Plumbing LLC
4201 Carolina Exchange Drive Suite 202
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
(843) 267-9733

Serving all of Horry County including Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachLittle RiverMurrells Inlet/Garden CitySurfside BeachCarolina Forest/ForestbrookConway/Aynor


Plumbing Tips – Are Burst Pipes Covered By Homeowner’s Insurance?

plumbingA homeowners insurance policy often covers accidental water damage that results from an unexpected plumbing issue, such as a burst pipe. A homeowner’s insurance policy typically covers the cost of cleaning, repairing, or replacing wood flooring, drywall, or furniture damaged by water from a burst pipe. If you ignore a leak or other long-standing problem, your claim may not be covered.

Does home insurance cover frozen pipes?

Your homeowner’s policy typically covers water damage and cleaning costs due to a burst pipe. Your claim may not be covered if you turn off your heat while you are away from your home for a few days. This could have caused the pipes to freeze when outside temperatures dropped. You can prevent a freeze-related catastrophe by taking smart steps to protect and maintain your pipes. When you are away from home, replace the thermostat’s battery. Set your thermostat to a minimum temperature of 55 degrees. Consider asking a friend or relative to inspect your home and ensure that the heat is working properly if you are away for a long time. Winterize your home if you plan to be away for the winter. This involves draining all of your home’s plumbing system and shutting off the water supply.

Is Homeowners Insurance able to cover water line breaks?

Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover water line damage unless the line has suffered severe, sudden damage. Plumbing repairs and cleanup may be covered if you accidentally damage the water line that runs from your meter. Your regular coverage doesn’t cover water damage caused by age, regular wear and tear, poor installation, shifting soil, pests, or tree roots invading your property.

Your city or town will fix a water main break. However, you are often responsible for the repair or replacement of the water main supply lines that connect to your home. Your municipality and your insurance company should be contacted if your home is damaged by a public water main break.

What coverage do you need for broken pipes?

Water damage can often be covered under dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, and/or loss-of-use coverage. Talk to your agent to ensure water damage is covered under each component of your home insurance policy.

Insurance for your home

A home insurance policy should include dwelling coverage. It can pay for the repair or reconstruction of your home’s physical structure in the event of a fire, water damage, severe weather, vandalism, or other covered loss. Your dwelling coverage limits will be determined based on the cost of rebuilding your house. It is a good idea, especially after any improvements, to check with your agent about the replacement cost of your home. Even small improvements can have an impact on the cost of rebuilding your home.

Property coverage

Personal property coverage covers your belongings such as furniture, clothing, and electronics in the event that they are damaged at your home, apartment, or anywhere else in the world. If accidental water damage occurs due to a burst pipe, this covers professional cleaning and replacement of personal belongings. Many policies cover personal property at actual cash value, not replacement cost. You might be able to increase your policy by adding full replacement cost coverage.

Loss of use coverage

Additional living expenses insurance, also known as loss of use, helps you pay for additional housing and living expenses in the event that your house is temporarily uninhabitable due to a covered event. If your home has been damaged by a burst pipe, you may be eligible for this coverage to cover expenses such as lodging and pet boarding while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

What water damage is not covered by homeowner’s insurance?

Your homeowner’s policy may not cover water damage if it is:

  • Backed-up sewage
  • Sump pump failure
  • Flooding

You can purchase additional insurance policies to protect yourself from flooding, backup, and sump pump failure. Plumbing maintenance falls under the homeowner’s responsibility.

In the event of a plumbing emergency, remember to keep calm. Do what you can to mitigate the damage and call Blue Ribbon Plumbing right away!

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Blue Ribbon Plumbing LLC
4201 Carolina Exchange Drive Suite 202
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
(843) 267-9733

Serving all of Horry County including Myrtle BeachNorth Myrtle BeachLittle RiverMurrells Inlet/Garden CitySurfside BeachCarolina Forest/ForestbrookConway/Aynor

plumbing emergency


If you are a homeowner, chances are you will need plumbing services at some point. But do you know what you need to do during a plumbing emergency? Listed below are a few tips to help you handle the situation and prevent any further damages to your property while waiting for a plumbing emergency contractor.

Shut It Off!

If you discover a plumbing concern or a leak, the first thing you need to do is turn off the water so you can stop further damage. Even the smallest leak can cost you thousands of dollars worth of structural damage if you ignore it. If the leak is found in the faucet, toilet, or other fixtures, be sure to shut off the water that runs to the fixture. In case you can’t locate the source of the water, or perhaps you’ve tried to shut it off but it still didn’t stop the water, your next course of action is to turn off the main water supply to your house and it is usually located close to your water meter.

Evaluate The Damage

Try to evaluate the extent of the damage before contacting a Myrtle Beach emergency plumber. Whatever information you’ll be able to give the plumber over the phone will provide him a good idea of what the problem is. It will also be easier for the plumber to fix the issue quickly and correctly.

Contact The Water Company

Never assume that you will be responsible for the repair without getting in touch with the water company. In case you have problems with the main sewer, the main water line, or a blocked sewer, the water company may be able to provide a plumber in Myrtle Beach who can assist you with your plumbing emergency.

Contact A Plumbing Emergency Contractor

It is crucial that you call a plumber that offers a 24-hour emergency plumbing service. Don’t forget to give the plumber as much information as you can regarding your plumbing emergency, the affected fixtures, the extent of the problem, and what you have done so far to address the issue.

You also have to ask the plumber how much he or she charges for the service call and how much will the plumbing repair cost. Keep in mind that not all plumbers can give a quote without seeing the actual problem. However, they may be able to provide you with a general idea of the likely costs associated with specific repairs.

Call Blue Ribbon Plumbing for all your emergency plumbing needs. Our team is ready to help 24/7.

Like our Facebook page for more great info about plumbing services.

Blue Ribbon Plumbing LLC
4201 Carolina Exchange Drive Suite 202
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
(843) 267-9733

Serving all of Horry County including Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Little River, Murrells Inlet/Garden City, Surfside Beach, Carolina Forest/Forestbrook, Conway/Aynor

plumbing emergency

When to Call An Emergency Plumber?

plumbing emergencyIt can be difficult to tell if a leak is a serious emergency or something that can wait until normal business hours. You may react instinctively and rush to the phone, rather than calmly assessing the situation. Let’s not lose our cool. These are some questions that you should ask before calling an emergency plumber near to you. This will help you avoid overpaying and allow you to get back to sleep.

1. Are You Requiring to Use the Affected Plumbing Now?

An emergency call is necessary for a flooding basement. But what about a clogged toilet or sink? They might be able to wait until the morning to schedule a plumber appointment. If this happens, let your family know that they will not be using the fixture again until further notice. To avoid forgetfulness at night, tape a note to the wall or completely block the room.

2. Is it possible to turn the fixture off?

It’s not considered a plumbing emergency if you can fix the leakage at the sink. The shut-off valve is located under the sink or behind your toilet. For larger problems, you might need to shut off the main water supply to your house. You will find the main shutoff valve near the water meters on the street side of your house.

You might be able stop the leak for a few hours if the leak is less severe than a trickle.

3. What’s the weather like?

The weather can play a significant role in whether you require plumbing services immediately. It’s dangerous to not have water at your disposal if it is a hot summer day. Call a plumber in Myrtle Beach if the temperature outside drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and your water heater struggles to turn on.

4. Is it possible to do more damage if the problem is left unattended?

To stop a slow leak, you could use buckets to collect water and stuff rags into the pipes. Your leak becomes more serious if one bucket doesn’t suffice to get you through the night. A significant leakage can cause damage to your floor, ceiling, walls, and adjoining walls. It’s time for you to call 911 if the water flow isn’t stopped or the water can cause significant damage.

5. Is it Your Responsibility to Fix the Problem

Sometimes, you may not be able to fix the emergency even if it was urgent. Your water company might offer to send a plumber to fix a problem with your main water line, the sewer main or a blocked sewer. Before calling your plumber in Myrtle Beach, you might try them. You might get city employees to fix problems with your city water supply. City employees may fix problems with city water supplies for free, unless you have to pay for repairs to the main water line.

Common Plumbing Emergencies

Broken pipes: Turn off the water supply to a pipe that is spraying water. Move furniture out of the area.

Leakage or failure of a water heater: Call for assistance if the tank is making strange or unusual sounds, leaking, or making a foul-smelling odor. Water heater failures can cause expensive damage quickly.

Other major leaks include Toilet overflows, washing machine hoses and gas line leaks.

Sewer system backups. If you notice a bubbling toilet or water in your shower after flushing the toilet, it could be a sign of sewer system backups. Sewer gases can seep into a basement if it smells like rotten eggs.

What happens if you call an emergency plumber?

It’s a stressful situation. Keep calm and try to mitigate the emergency plumbing situation. Look for the shutoff valve on the fixture. Next, assess the situation and call a trusted professional emergency plumber in Myrtle Beach if necessary.

Professional plumbing repairs can still be expensive. This is especially true if you don’t have a reliable plumbing company on-call. If time permits, call three companies to get an estimate. This will help you determine a fair price.

Even in an emergency, it is important to ask questions. Before you agree to emergency plumbing service, tell the company about the problem and request a cost estimate. This includes the cost of regular service as well as any additional fees for night- or weekend calls.

While the cost of a plumbing problem might go up once the contractor has assessed the issue, it is important to be cautious of companies that refuse to provide an estimate over the telephone, even if you have provided sufficient details.

What is the Average Cost of an Emergency Plumber?

For a holiday, weekend or late-night plumbing repair, expect to pay less than a half hour. For emergency visits, companies might charge a flat fee between $100 and $350. These fees could be added to the usual $70-$400 hourly rate.

The plumbing contractor might be able to manage the problem in the evening and then return with the parts needed later. You might be charged an additional visit and the hourly rate. These details should be discussed with you when selecting a contractor.

Call Blue Ribbon Plumbing LLC now if you need the help of a professional plumber.

Like our Facebook page for more great info about plumbing services.

Blue Ribbon Plumbing LLC
4201 Carolina Exchange Drive Suite 202
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
(843) 267-9733

Serving all of Horry County including Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Little River, Murrells Inlet/Garden City, Surfside Beach, Carolina Forest/Forestbrook, Conway/Aynor