Emergency Plumbing Calls Spike Amid Stay-at-Home Orders

April 20, 2020

On March 23, 2020, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all non-essential businesses and organizations to close their physical buildings and workspaces. The governor did, however, encourage such businesses to continue their operations remotely.

According to Mass.gov, an “Essential Services List” was issued to designate the businesses and organizations shall continue operating their brick and mortar facilities during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

Under “Construction-Related Activities” on the “Essential Services List” it says the following workers are essential: “Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, builders, contractors, HVAC Technicians, landscapers, inspectors and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, businesses, and buildings such as hospitals, health care facilities, senior living facilities, and any temporary construction required to support COVID-19 response.”

Emergency Calls Have Increased

Since plumbers and HVAC technicians are considered essential workers during Boston’s stay-at-home order, we’ll say that we have seen our emergency call volume increase. But why the uptick in emergency calls? At Winters® Home Services, our emergency call volume has increased since the stay-at-home order was issued. The reason is that with so many people staying home all day, every day, their plumbing systems are being used much more than usual.

We’re seeing a lot of clogged and backed-up drains because residential plumbing systems are doing all the heavy lifting while people are forced to stay home, but it goes beyond that. With toilet paper shortages, people are flushing the wrong things down the toilet. People are putting the wrong things down the garbage disposal, they’re turning the water on and off, and small children are flushing toys and other random items down the toilet.

Keeping Our Customers Safe

Since our workers are going in and out of our customers’ homes, we are taking special precautions to keep our customers and workers safe. We also have advice for our neighbors: If you’re stuck at home all day, keep a close eye on your kids. Educate them on what can and cannot be flushed down the toilet and on what can’t be put down the garbage disposal.

One more thing: Do you know where your water shut-off valve is located? If you do have a plumbing emergency and you need to call a plumber, you want to shut off the water to your home before the plumber arrives to avoid costly damage.

For all of your emergency and non-emergency plumbing needs, contact Winters® Home Services at 617-221-5899.