Even if you are a do-it-yourselfer, there may come a time where you have a need to hire a plumber. After all, some jobs are simply too tough to do yourself or may even be unsafe for you to do without the help of a professional. If you have never hired a plumber before, however, you may need some guidance in how to find a plumber, what you should pay, and when you may need to hire one. Remember, plumbers are professionals and you are going to pay for their services, but there are ways you can still get the plumbing service you need and save money while doing it.
Decide on Ability
While many plumbers charge an hourly rate, finding the cheapest rate per hour is not the best way to decide on a plumber. It is better to choose a plumber or a plumbing company based on customer satisfaction and reputation rather than on costs alone. Ask friends and family for referrals for plumbers they have used and find out if they were satisfied with the service they received. Chances are that, if they had a good experience with the plumber, you will also.
Take Preventative Measures
Of course, the best way to save money on plumbing is to never have to hire a plumber in the first place. Therefore, the preventative care is key to saving money on your plumbing. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take in order to maintain your plumbing and reduce the need for hiring a professional. So, here are some things you can do to take care of and maintain good “pipe health.”
Clogged drains tend to be the most common plumbing problems for homeowners. Drains usually get clogged by grease or by hair. Grease clogged drains can be prevented by treating your drains periodically with products designed to reduce grease buildups. A home-remedy option to avoid grease build-up, on the other hand, is to pour boiling hot sudsy water down the drain periodically to reduce grease buildup. You should also take steps to avoid pouring grease down your drain in the first place.
In order to avoid hair clogged drains, try to clean the screen or drain cover after each shower. This will help to avoid the build-up of hair in your drain and can prevent it from getting clogged. If the drain does get clogged, there are commercial drain clog products that can help to resolve the problem. In the end, if one of these products does not fix the problem then you may have to call a plumber.
If you live in an area that experiences freezing weather, another major problem you may experience is having your pipes freeze. This problem can really put a dent in your wallet if you have to call a plumber out to fix it, so the best way to avoid this expense is to avoid it altogether. There are two ways that you can prevent your pipes from freezing. First, you can make sure that your pipes are heated. Another way to prevent your pipes from freezing is to make sure that the pipes are insulated.
Right before winter hits, be sure to disconnect any outside drains and garden hoses, turn-off the indoor cut-off valve located near the faucet, and open the outdoor faucet. This helps to prevent any remaining water in the pipes that are exposed to below-zero temperatures from freezing.
Plan and Consolidate
If you do have to call the plumber up, be smart about it. Take the time to go through your home and check all of the faucets, drains, toilets, etc. Check anything and everything that has to do with your plumbing system. Make a list of all of the problems so when the plumber comes to your home you can get the plumber to take care of all the problems at once. This will help you to avoid additional trip charges that may come with having to schedule multiple visits. The act of organizing the list will all reduce the plumber’s chargeable time because you already have a list of the symptoms, which will help him diagnose the problem faster.