How to Choose a Family Plumber
Hiring a licensed, insured master plumber is a no-brainer, but you have to remember that not all plumbers handle all kinds of work. If you’re in search of someone who can address your family’s day-to-day plumbing needs, read on.
The Family Plumber
Plumbing isn’t calculus, but it does require lots of knowledge. It takes a professional, for instance, to crank on PVC as much as necessary without causing it to crack. Expertise prevents a $10 job into a myriad of compounding problems.
Be ready for a more urgent scenario by starting a relationship with a plumber before you even need him. If possible, make him do non-emergency repairs or fixture installations within regular business hours. Plumbers usually favor regular customers over panicky strangers who want them to work on a Saturday night.
Prior to picking a plumber, have them show you proof of a license. In most states, plumbers have to be licensed, and they typically provide a number which you can call to check if their license is current and has any active complaints from consumers. The plumber you hire also has to hold a current workers’ compensation policy, along with a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance.
The best way to find a good plumber is through personal recommendations from friends and relatives, neighbors, etc. After you find a good plumber, keep his contact information handy for emergencies.
The Cost You Pay
Your bill for emergency plumbing is often a shock. Does that mean plumbers just taking advantage? Not always. Usually, the short duration of the job is the main factor behind the high cost. Even if the plumber might only spend a few minutes to fix the issue, you’ll mainly be paying for his time driving to your home and back, buying parts at the store, and so on.
A plumber who mainly works with drain-clearing services is paid around $70 per hour for drain lines and about $125 per hour for sewer lines. An hour is usually all it takes to finish most problems. Naturally, the hourly rate is higher when you call on a weekend or at night.
For routine plumbing services, such as new trap installations or leak repair, you might pay some $45 to $65 an hour besides the parts, which the plumber will mark up from the price for which he got them wholesale. If you call in a weekend or at night calls, you’ll probably pay as much as $100 just for the call and about $75 following the first hour. At such rates, you don’t want to spend a lot of time chatting, but do ask them what the options are how you can prevent the problem from returning.