How to Choose a Family Plumber
Hiring a reputable plumber is a no-brainer, but note that not all plumbers will accept all types of work. If you’re looking for someone to handle your family’s basic plumbing needs, you’re on the right page.
The Family Plumber
Plumbing isn’t rocket science, but it requires a good amount of knowledge. For example, professional plumbers know how hard they can crank on PVC before it cracks. Expertise is what keeps $10 job from overflowing into a flood of problems.
You can prepare for a more urgent situation just by developing a relationship with a plumber even if you don’t need him yet. If possible, have him to work on non-emergency repairs or fixture installations during typical business hours. It’s easier to attract a plumber’s attention if you’re a regular customer instead of a panicked stranger making him work at 8 pm 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. Any plumber you consider must also hold a current workers’ compensation policy and $500,000 liability insurance worth at least $500,000.
The best way to find a good plumber is through personal recommendations from friends and relatives, neighbors, etc. As soon as you find a plumber you’re happy with, keep his contact details handy for emergencies.
How Much You Pay
Your bill for emergency plumbing is often a shock. Does that mean plumbers just taking advantage? Not always. Most of the time, the short duration of the work is the factor behind the high rates. While the plumber may only spend an hour to fix the problem, you’ll basically be paying for the time he spends driving to and from your home, buying parts, etc.
If you need a plumber whose specialty is drain-clearing services, be ready to pay around $125 for sewer lines and about $70 per hour for drain lines. Most problems are done in under an hour. As expected, hourly rates for weekend or night call will be higher.
For basic plumbing, like leak repair or new trap installations, you’ll probably pay around $45 to $65 hourly on top of parts, which the plumber is going to mark up from his wholesale price. For night or weekend calls, you’ll probably pay around $just for the call and about $75 after an hour. At these rates, you probably don’t want to keep chatting, but do ask what options are available to you and what can be done to keep the same issue from recurring.