12 Things Your Plumber Doesn’t Want You To Know
A plumber isn't obliged to tell you it's an easy fix...
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You Should Shop Around for a Plumber
If you have a major fix to deal with in your home, shop around for a plumber to do the work. Obtaining at least three bids helps you determine the range of the project, so you can weigh the pros and cons of price and the reputation of the plumbers. Get references and contact them. Also, a good plumber knows his craft and won’t nickel and dime you.
Turn Off Outside Faucets for the Winter
Want to avoid frozen pipes? Prevent them easily (and and expensive call to a plumber) by disconnecting your outside hoses in the fall. Make sure to shut off the water from the inside as well. Drain the hoses and store them until the following spring.
Replace the Toilet Handle: No Plumber Needed
If you constantly fuss with a loose toilet handle, it means the flap valve needs to be replaced. Instead of a plumber charging you $100 for the job, you can get the part at a hardware store for a mere $6 and install it very easily yourself. See how to fix that flap.
Plumbers Need a License
No plumber will admit that they don’t have the required license to work for you. So if you know a great plumber, but doesn’t have a license, hire them at your own risk. Licensed plumbers have proven knowledge of the local building codes and regulations, have completed a certain number of hours on the job and are insured.
Plumbers Don’t Clean Up
While their job involves making sure your pipes work like a well-oiled machine, it doesn’t include rebuilding the wall they had to demolish to make that happen. So, while you’re going to get that water problem fixed, you’ll want to discuss in detail what kind of “mess” they might leave behind prior to the start of the project so you can plan accordingly.
Where to Find a Quick Plumber Recommendation
If you need a plumber stat, don’t just go with the first person or company you come across on Google. Call a plumbing supply or fixture store, as they usually refuse to work with bad plumbers.
Your Plumber Might Not Have the Right Part
Need a quick fix? If a plumber tells you he needs a week to get the part to fix your toilet or sink, don’t be too amenable if you can’t wait. There’s no shame in working with another plumber who can get the part and do the job when you need it.
They Can Move That!
Plumbers may not go out of their way to let you know that a toilet or sink can be moved. But if you’ve been working with them on a renovation and they tell you something can’t be transferred to a new space, ask them to explain to you in detail why not.
You Have a Choice With Parts
Some parts cost more than others to do the same job. If a plumber doesn’t give you an option, ask—or better yet, do your own research if you have the time. Chances are, you can use PVC pipe instead of copper and save some money. If you’re DIYing, here’s how to connect a PVC pipe to ABS pipe.
Fix a Running Toilet Cheaply by Yourself
Help! The toilet won’t stop running. It’s a bummer, sure, but not something you need to call your plumber about. In fact, DIYers should take note that this quick fix costs you just $5 in parts and materials. For instance, solve a sticking handle by spraying some lubricant where the handle meets the porcelain.
Spend More Now, Save a Lot Later on Plumber Work
Not all plumbers deliver the message that installing better fixtures reduces the likelihood of future house calls. Case in point: Rubber washing machine hoses burst far more frequently than the more expensive and durable stainless-steel ones.
Keep That Allen Key
Garbage disposals usually come with an Allen key. Find a good place to store it. When the disposal jams, you can follow the directions in the owner’s manual to fix it yourself. It’s as simple as inserting and twisting.