Advice from a local plumber

Take some advice from a local plumber (me)…

a local plumber attempts garbage disposal repair

I’ve been work­ing on plumb­ing, heat­ing & cool­ing for more than 20 years.  Dur­ing that time  I’ve seen a lot of the same prob­lems, heard a lot of the same sto­ries and devel­oped a pretty  impor­tant check­list of things to con­sider.  Take it from your local plumber and keep a few  things in mind:

1) If you found a “plumber” on Craigslist or through the Pen­nysaver, there’s a good chance  they are licensed, bonded and insured.  If they injure them­selves while work­ing on your  busted pipes, guess who is liable?  That’s right…you are.  This is a clas­sic exam­ple of being  penny wise but pound fool­ish.  Don’t risk shoddy work or an insur­ance claim over sav­ing  $30 on your plumb­ing service.

2) To pig­gy­back off of point #1, don’t trust what you read in the Yel­low Pages either.  Any­one can write-up a com­pelling ad, or make unfounded promises.  The best local plumbers will have refer­rals avail­able and will have a good online rep­u­ta­tion.  A lit­tle home­work can save you a lot of grief!

3) If you get a plumb­ing quote or esti­mate, and it seems to good to be true…it prob­a­bly is : /  As is true so many times in life, you get what you pay for.  In the case of a trusted local plumber, you’re pay­ing for expe­ri­ence and peace of mind.  Con­sider the cost/benefit ratio before decid­ing on who is going to do crit­i­cal plumb­ing work in your home.

4) I’ve spent a life­time answer­ing calls on Mon­day from wives who are try­ing to ‘fix’ what their hus­band did over the week­end.  Some­times the dam­age has got­ten worse.  If your hubby isn’t real handy, urge him to give us a call first.  There’s no shame in hir­ing a professional!

5)  Small drips and leaks can add up fast…real fast.  A leak­ing faucet cou­pled with a run­ning toi­let can use more than 200 gal­lons of water in a 24 hour period.  That’s alot of waste!  If you can’t get it fixed quick, call a licensed plumber.  It’ll be bet­ter for you and the envi­ron­ment in the long run.

6) Please…don’t put bricks or big stones in your toi­let tank.  It’ll keep it from flush­ing cor­rectly.  Oh, and don’t use liq­uid drain cleaner…that stuff will ruin your pipes!  Just buy a plunger, and if that doesn’t work, then give us a call.

7) Tam­pons don’t flush well.  On this note, even flush-able baby wipes don’t always flush so well.  If you can, keep every­thing but toi­let paper out of the toi­let.  This video high­lights just how hard wipes can be on your plumbing:

8) If you’re one of those peo­ple who finds your­self con­stantly jig­gling the han­dle of your toi­let, just buy a new flap valve (this is the rub­ber cover over the hole in your tank).  It’s $5 and your time to fix it.  It’ll cost you 10x that just to have a local plumb­ing pro show up and look at it otherwise.

9) War­ranties and in-writing guar­an­tees mat­ter.  If you are going to have even minor plumb­ing repairs done, get the war­ranty of the work in writ­ing.  A qual­ity plumb­ing pro­fes­sional will have no prob­lem doing this, and stand­ing by their work.

10) If win­ter is right around the cor­ner, make sure to dis­con­nect your hoses and shut off the out­side faucets.  Plumb­ing prob­lems in win­ter are no fun for you or me : )

11) Don’t worry about plumb­ing mate­r­ial mark-up.  So many peo­ple ask what my mark-up is, or what I’m charg­ing for mate­ri­als.  Yes, you could buy the mate­ri­als cheaper…but what would you do with them once you have them?  Most any busi­ness marks up their mate­r­ial costs.  It’s part of doing business.

12) Last, but not least, PLEASE make a point of know­ing where your main water shut-off valve is!  So much dam­age can be avoided if you shut the water off as soon as there’s a prob­lem.  Know­ing is half the battle!

I hope you find some of this use­ful, or at least inter­est­ing.  Remem­ber, A1 Colum­bia Plumb­ing, Heat­ing & Cool­ing is here to serve you when­ever you have a plumb­ing prob­lem.  As always, we’d pre­fer that you save money and avoid a dis­as­ter.  Just know we’re here if you need emer­gency plumb­ing ser­vices!




Tagged with: ,
Posted in Plumbers, Plumbing Mistakes, Uncategorized