A leak from a pipe fitting that costs under a dollar can quickly build up thousands of dollars in water damage, interrupt your household routine for weeks, and throw your remodel schedule in disarray. Simply put, hire a licensed, insured and bonded plumber each time a plumbing problem crops up.
For ordinary drips and clogs, you may save the cost of a plumber by pulling a DIY. For anything more than this, accept that you need a pro, and hire one for your own benefit. Plumbing isn’t tough, but it calls for so much knowledge. Code requirements are only a limited part of it; you have to master materials as well, especially how to use them. For instance, when you work with PVC, you should know when to stop cranking on so it doesn’t crack. If not, what would’ve been a $10 repair can cause a barrage of issues.
Be ready for an emergency situation by starting a relationship with a plumber before need. If possible, have him do non-emergency fixes or installations within business hours. It’s easier to hold a plumber’s attention if you’re a well-known customer as opposed to a panicked stranger who wants a gushing waste pipe fixed at 9pm on a Saturday night.
When choosing a plumber, ask for proof that they are licensed. Plumbers need a license in most states, and a number will usually be provided for consumers to see whether or not the license is current or valid and has no active complaints. Any plumber you’re eyeing must have a valid current workers’ compensation policy and no less than $500,000 worth of liability cover.
The cost of emergency plumbing almost always comes as a shock. Are plumbers simply taking advantage? Are plumbers just taking advantage of consumers? Are plumbers simply taking advantage of helpless consumers? Occasionally, if you end up with a cowboy, but in general, the high rates are explained by the short duration of the job. Even if the plumber only spends thirty minutes in your home, you pay will be paying for his time: driving to the job site, getting some parts, returning to the site, driving back to his house or shop, etc.
For a drain-clearing specialist, expect to pay no less than $70 hourly for drain lines and some $125 hourly for sewer lines. Problems can often be resolved in an hour’s time. If you call on a weekend or at night, expect a higher charge.
On the other hand, basic plumbing services, like leak repair or new trap installations, prepare from $45 to $65 hourly on top of parts, which the plumber will mark up depending on his wholesale price. Weekend or night calls may cost as much as $100 only for the call and $75 for the following hour. At these rates, do take advantage of the plumber’s time by asking for options are and advice preventing the same problem from recurring.