13 Things Your Plumber Won’t Tell You
Get the inside scoop on finding a good plumber, avoiding unnecessary and expensive visits, plus secrets to successful do-it-yourself fixes.
1. Need a Quick Recommendation for a Good Plumber?
Call a plumbing-supply or fixture store. They don’t tolerate bad plumbers.
2. Monday is Our Busiest Day
That’s the day wives call us to correct the “work” their husbands did over the weekend.
4. Know Where the Main Turnoff Source Is
I can’t tell you how many calls I get from people screaming and crying that their house is flooding and they don’t know what to do.
(Photo: Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock)
5. Give Me a Break!
You’re calling to say your garage-door opener doesn’t work ever since I fixed your faucet? Get a clue-and an electrician.
7. Hold On to Your Allen Key
There’s usually one that comes with the garbage disposal. Keep it under your sink. When the unit jams, just follow the directions in the manual and I won’t need to come out.
8. Wet Clothes Can Be Very Heavy
So don’t hang them on those exposed pipes in your basement. I’ve seen them break and flood a home’s entire lower floor.
9. The Wrong Tool Can Cause a Lot of Damage
I see this all the time: Women want a new toilet seat and ask their husbands to make the switch. If the seat is old and has metal bolts, you probably need to cut it off with a hacksaw, not unscrew it. A wrenchcan slip, damaging the bowl and bloodying your knuckles.
10. Another Important Sign of Quality?
Look for a company that warranties its service for up to a year for major installations or repairs. A company that has a good reputation for quality service might charge a little more up-front, but you’ll save in the long run by avoiding call-backs and extra charges.
11. Just Ask
We’ll be happy to check those supply valves under your sink free of charge after we finish the work you’re paying us for. Same goes for checking your water pressure.
12. Shop Around Before a Big Job
Get a minimum of three bids. Estimates for an average-sized job should be within a few hundred dollars. Be suspicious of anything that is substantially lower or double the price of the rest, and watch out for hidden fees, like charges for travel expenses.
A good plumber will not nickel and dime you like this, and many of us will offer free estimates.
13. Turn Off Your Outside Faucets During Winter
It’s another way to avoid a service call from your plumber. Also be sure to disconnect the outside hoses. You need to shut the water off from the inside too. We call this valve a “tit.” Then, open the valve on the outside to let the water that’s in there drain out. So you switch both of them to the opposite direction so one is always closed and one is always open. We have to fix tons of these in the spring mostly because people leave their outside hoses connected and they freeze up. The repair could cost $100-$200 or more.
Also, if you’re going away for any length of time, like on vacation, turn off your water, and if on any of those days the temperature drops below freezing have someone check in on your house. I’ve been called to homes where the family returned from vacation and there was water flooding out from the front door.