Time to Call the Plumber
Probably one of the most important lessons to learn as a home owner is when to throw in the towel or the plunger, in this case, and call for professional help. Seeking professional help does not mean you are stupid or ignorant. It just means you know when to cut your losses. In fact, it is the truly wise among us who know when to give up and stop killing themselves over trying to do it yourself. Many people believe that calling for professional home repair help is a last resort and many times it should be. One reason why it should be a last resort is because plumbers are generally overpriced and you pay for travel time and several other hidden fees. So make sure that you absolutely have to call a plumber before you do. If you do have to call a plumber to take on a repair or home improvement project, there are a few things you can do to keep some of your money.
The first thing most people do is look for the plumber with the lowest rates. While this does sound like the smartest thing to do, it is not always the best course of action. The reason is because hourly rates are difficult to compare since some plumbers charge travel mileage. Other plumbers start charging as soon as they start the car on the way to your house. Some plumbers even charge by the minute. Some charge by the quarter hour. While other plumbers charge by the half hour.
To choose the best plumber, you want to look for a plumber that has a good reputation for customer satisfaction. So you always want to ask if the plumber has any references for satisfied customers. However do not just settle for a list of references, be sure to call a few of the references to ask about their experience with the plumber. In addition, ask your family and friends if they know of anyone who has recently hired a plumber and ask if they were satisfied. Customer satisfaction is important when choosing a plumber. You probably will spend more at first, but you will only pay for one visit as opposed to several visits to get the job right.
REDUCE THE NEED FOR A PLUMBER:
One of the best ways to avoid spending too much time and money on a plumber is to avoid having to call one in the first place. The number one reason why most people call a plumber is to fix drain backups and other drain problems. You can usually fix these yourself at a lower cost than calling a plumber.
Grease clogs are the most common drain problem. A best practice is to prevent grease clogs to begin with if possible. A good way to prevent grease clogs is to pour some hot water and vinegar down the drain on a daily basis. But if your drain is already clogged from grease, try pouring some hot vinegar down the drain and letting it set for about 20 minutes and then follow that with some boiling water. This will usually clear the grease clog from the drain. Be sure to pour the water and vinegar slowly so that it has a better effect on the clog.
The other main clog problem is hair clogs. Usually a mesh net over the drain will catch most of the hair and prevent this problem to begin with. However if the drain is already clogged, then a professional strength drain cleaner from your local grocery store or home improvement store will fix this problem. You will need to let the drain cleaner soak for fifteen to twenty minutes to dissolve the clog. The use of drain cleaners is easy, just follow the directions on the package.
BUY YOUR OWN FIXTURES:
To help you save money when you have to have a plumber install a plumbing fixture, such as toilets and sinks, is to buy the fixture in advance. Plumbers will sometimes try to sell you what they have in-stock at inflated prices. So by buying these in advance you will save a lot of money. Nevertheless you may want to check with the plumber in advance to see what brands are the best to buy to minimize any confusion later. The reason being is that some products are made cheaply and many plumbers will not use them or work with them. Discussing this with your plumber in advance will ensure you buy the best item.
REDUCE YOUR NEED:
One of the most overlooked ways to save money on a plumber is to simply check all your fixtures and make sure everything is tightened and attached properly. Sometimes simply checking these things yourself will save you from having to call out a plumber. If there are any leaks or clogs that need to be fixed, make a list of all of them. When the plumber arrives give him the list. Tell him this is exactly what needs to be done. He will get right on it, rather than trying to access the problem. He will be in your home for less time, hence saving you your very valuable, hard earned money.