How would you describe your last plumbing emergency? A minor drip or the worst episode of Dirty Jobs? Dealing with plumbing problems is never fun no matter what level of trouble it might be. Aside from the inconvenience and possible smell — yuck! — there is always the cost associated with the repair.
Plumbing is one of those fixes that can’t be put off. It has to be taken care of ASAP. For some folks, that means being at the mercy of a plumber. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are six ways to save on plumbing repairs.
Compare and Save
If you’re going into a plumbing situation without the benefit of already having a trusted plumber on your side, then you’ll be shopping for a new service tech. Different plumbers have different specialties. Some are great with the exterior pipes while others focus on the interior and remodeling. You might be looking for a general contractor type of plumber, someone who is good at all areas. Time to start dialing.
Every plumber is going to charge a baseline rate just for walking through the door. That price should give you a good indication of their level of expertise and trustworthiness. You might find it’s only a few dollars separating most plumbers. That’s when comparing their prices with customer reviewers will be a big help. Keep in mind that every business will get at least one negative review. You want to look for a plumber with a majority of positive comments.
Save up on Your Jobs
In your search for a plumber, you’ll discover most charge by the hour. It might only take five minutes to put in a washer to stop a drip, but you’re still going to get clipped for the whole hour. That is why you should save up your jobs. Obviously, you can’t wait if your toilet is overflowing, but if you need to replace a showerhead and flush handle, try to do that in a single job. The fewer times the plumber has to travel to your place, the less you’ll pay.
That seems like a no brainer but you would be surprised to find out what kind of things people attempt to flush down their toilets. Actually, the list of what you shouldn’t flush isn’t that complicated, and it starts with diapers. That’s a big no-no.
Heading over to the kitchen, you should avoid putting things such as rice, coffee grounds, veggie peelings and pasta down your garbage disposal. A general rule of thumb — the less you can put down your drains, the better off you’ll be.
Buy Your Own Fixtures
Just because you’re hiring a professional plumber to make a repair doesn’t mean you have to turn the entire job over to them. You could save money by buying your own fixtures. Everything your plumber carries on their truck is stocked at your hardware store. All the valves, washers, faucets and toilet parts can be picked up for a lot less money than what the plumber would charge.
Stick With Quality
The goal is to have a comfortable living space. A lot of that starts with the air you breathe around your home. That why items such as carbon monoxide alarms and air purifiers are so important. You wouldn’t cut corners when it comes to your indoor air quality. That same rule applies to your plumbing. If you have to replace parts and pipes, stick with quality. You want to make sure these things last a lifetime.
Perform Proactive Maintenance
When was the last time you had your sewer lines flushed? If the answer falls between “I don’t remember” and “never,” then you could be long overdue. It is recommended you flush your sewer lines every six months. This will prevent the buildup of clogs and keep encroaching tree roots at bay. It is better to spend a little on proactive maintenance than a lot on massive repairs.
6 Ways to Save Money on Plumbing – Final Thoughts
Finally, the best time to search for a new plumber is when you’re not standing in a foot of water. Do the research now and put their number aside. As for minor fixes, get over to YouTube and see if a DIY video can help. The best repairs are the ones that don’t cost anything!
Anum Yoon is a personal finance blogger and writer. She created and maintains her personal finance blog Current on Currency. You can subscribe to her blog newsletter right here for her weekly updates.