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How Much Should I Pay for Plumbing Work?

How Much Should I Pay for Plumbing Work?

Many people who have never hired a plumber before may be worried that they will pay too much for plumbing services. They are not familiar with current market prices and they worry if they will be taken advantage of. So how do you know what is a fair price to pay for plumbing services? Here are some ways you can find out.

When You Are Paying Too Much

There is always a point at which you would be paying too much for plumbing services, and that point is when you receive low-quality service. If the plumber does not fully fix the problem or the problem comes back again shortly after the plumber attended to it, then whatever you paid for that plumber’s service is too much. An honest plumber will correct the problem free of charge, and should only ask for money to cover the cost of equipment for the repair work on a botched job.

Determining Fair Market Price

What you may not realize is that the price of plumbing services will vary from one area to the next. If you live in a rural area, there are likely only a couple of plumbers available. They can afford to charge low prices because they have plenty of business. Also, their cost of living isn’t very high, so they don’t need as much money to get by as a plumber in a big city.

Expect to pay quite a bit more for the same services in a large city. There, plumbers have to compete against many in their industry. While this can sometimes cause them to offer competitive prices, it most usually means that they need to charge more to make ends meet.

If you want to know how much is fair for your area, just start getting quotes from plumbers nearby. Compare rates on the same service to see what the average is. Be careful about very low bids though, as those are often provided by plumbers who offer poor quality services. To get quotes from plumbers, you can use their websites or call them directly. They should all provide quotes before actually coming to do any work for you, though the actual price may change once they do the work and see the extent of the problem.

Itemized Bills

Are you not sure how much you should be paying once the plumber starts discovering greater and great problems with your plumbing system? One way to make sure that the price you are getting is a fair one is to ask for an itemized bill. If the plumber cannot provide that, then they may be hiding charges from you. You may even ask for such a bill before work begins. You might still have to pay a flat fee for the callout (which is generally around $50 in all areas), but you should be able to receive the bill before the plumber does any work. This can save you from paying more than you can afford for services you may feel you don’t actually need.

Basic Plumbing Supplies for the Home

Basic Plumbing Supplies for the Home

basic plumbing supplies for the home
There are some tools that every home should have on hand in case of an emergency or to solve basic problems. Below are some of the plumbing tools that should be in your home. If you have these on hand and you know how to use them, you can save yourself a lot of time and money later.

Drain Snake

Just about any kind of clog you have in your sinks, tubs or showers can be gotten rid of with a drain snake. This is a long, metal wire with a loop or handle at one end and serrated edges on the other end. Once you know how to use it, you can clear out your drains quickly and effectively. When you use the drain snake, you want to make a small hook on the end by bending the wire. This helps to grab the clog and pull it back up the drain. Always remember to pull the clog toward you rather than break it up and force it further down the pipe.

Plunger

The plunger works as well in the toilet as it does in the shower. Clogs made from items that can be broken up into smaller pieces are often best solved with a plunger. Just be sure to buy one that is of reasonable quality, as it often takes very forceful use of the plunger to break up bad clogs. You don’t want it to fall apart in your hand as you try to keep your drain or toilet from overflowing.

Allen Wrench

If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, then the Allen wrench will be your best way to get the motor working again once it has jammed. You may notice that there is a star-shaped keyhole under your garbage disposal. The Allen wrench fits in there and turning it back and forth will unjam the motor and get your disposal working again.

Basin Wrench

A large, adjustable basin wrench is perfect for getting into hard-to-reach places, particularly under your sink. If there is a large obstruction in your pipe, opening it up with a wrench is often the best way to deal with it.

Plumber’s Putty

If you have a leak in your plumbing, you may not know how to fix it besides just turning off the water. Odds are that you have neither the tools nor the knowledge to fix the problem the right way. But plumber’s putty can be a great temporary fix until a certified plumber can come to fix it. Just push the putty onto the leak and you can keep running water through the pipe for a day or two, as it creates a temporary seal on the pipe.

Needle-Nose Pliers

Sometimes you need to do very detailed work, turning small screws that can’t be reached by a screwdriver or twisting small items out of the way. Needle-nose pliers are perfect for this kind of work, and they can take the place of many other more expensive tools.

Tips to Find Quality, Reliable Emergency Plumbers

Tips to Find Quality, Reliable Emergency Plumbers

When you have a plumbing emergency, you want to be sure that you can call on someone you can trust. They not only need to be reliable, but they need to be available at all hours, ready to fix your problems as they happen. If you don’t choose the right plumber, you can end up regretting it by not receiving the help you need or by paying too much for bad service. Here are some ways to ensure you find a good emergency plumber.

Start with the Basics

Before you get into any in-depth search for plumbers , you should try to find out the very basics. That means you will need to collect information on when they are available, what they charge for off-hour visits, what their rates are and what services they offer. You essentially want to make sure that you can call the emergency plumber you have chosen and that they will be able to come to your home, no matter what hour it is and have them fix your problem. You also want to be sure that they aren’t going to charge you ridiculously high prices for such a service.

Get a Referral

It is also risky trying to find a plumber that you have never used before. You simply don’t know how reliable they are or what kind of work they will do. It is always best to get someone else’s opinion first before you rely on a new plumber.

You may have friends or family members who have used an emergency plumber before. Ask them what their experience was like and whether the plumber is worth hiring.

You can also read online reviews about plumbers on review sites like Yelp and Google Reviews. These sites offer multiple reviews from a number of different customers, and you can quickly get a sense of the kinds of experiences people have with the plumbers you are considering.

Talk to the Plumber

You also want to be sure to get information directly from the plumber. Talking with them either by phone or face to face can give you a good sense of the kind of person they are. Additionally, you can use this conversation to find out if they are certified and what kind of training and experience they have. It is best to ask certification and experience questions in their office. That way, you can see for yourself what kind of certificates they have displayed.  I recently moved to a small Island in the UK and found that the best Isle of Wight plumber, was Island Plumber.  I have used them twice now and they are very reliable.

You can also ask the plumber if it is okay to call them at any time for an emergency visit and what their policy is for such jobs. This is a good time to ask for references as well. The best plumbers will have established a good reputation with their clients and will be happy to connect you with some of their past customers. If the plumber is reluctant to let you speak to previous clients, you should be wary. They may be trying to hide a bad reputation.
 

Which Boiler Product Should I Choose?

Which Boiler Product Should I Choose?

You will find a few different types of boilers on the market. They each vary from one another in important ways, but no type is definitively better than the rest. It all depends on what you want out of your boiler. So we will look at the kinds of boilers that are available and what might make you choose one over another.

System Boilers

The system boiler lets you run hot water from multiple places at once. It is also confined entirely to a single location. Other systems may require that you run an expansion tank out on the roof, but the system boiler contains both a boiler and a cylinder.

These kinds of boilers are ideal for people who have multiple bathrooms in their house. More than one person can use hot water at the same time without compromising hot water flow or the heat of the water. It is also a great way to keep all boiler parts confined to a single room or closet. Perhaps you have no loft space, and you need everything compartmentalized to the same area. This boiler would be perfect for you.

On the downside, the system boiler is usually the most expensive boiler, and it takes up the most space in one area.

Combination Boilers

which boiler

These are very compact boilers that never run out of hot water. Like system boilers, they can run hot water to multiple locations at once, though using hot water simultaneously from several faucets can cause a drop in pressure and heat.

This kind of boiler is best for people with small houses and only minor hot water needs. While they may always have hot water and not need to wait for a tank to refill, using hot water on more than one source at a time can reduce its effectiveness.

Heat Only Boilers

This type of boiler needs two separate spaces for storage. You would have the main boiler on the ground level or basement. This is connected to a loft or attic extension tank. The water fills the extension tank and supplies water into the boiler tank.

This is typically the most economical choice for people who have the extra space in their loft and main floor for both tanks. It is also the most inexpensive way to completely replace a damaged heat only boiler.

One of the biggest benefits of this boiler system is that it allows hot water to be run from multiple sources at once. And while these multiple sources are running hot water, no drop in pressure or heat will be noticeable. That makes it ideal for large houses with extensive hot water needs.

These are your options when it comes to boiler types. As you can see, each one suits different types of houses and heating needs. Take time to look at what is available and what will work best with your needs before you make a decision. That way, you won’t regret your purchase later.

How to Solve Common Plumbing Problems

How to Solve Common Plumbing Problems

When you have a plumbing problem, your first inclination may be to call a plumber, but you can actually solve many of them all by yourself. All you need is an understanding of how to fix the problems and the tools to do it. Here are some of the best fixes for the most common plumbing problems.

A Sink That Drains Slowly

Over time, you may notice that your sink starts to drain slower and slower. Whether it is a bathroom sink or a kitchen sink, the problem and the solution are likely the same. There is probably some hair or other debris clogging up the sink. Most of the time, this debris will be right near the surface, in the pop-up. You can unscrew or pull out the pop-up to clean it out. Most pop-ups unscrew from under the sink.

If the problem is deeper down, then you will need to use a drain snake to break up the blockage. Be sure to snag the blockage and pull it back out the drain rather than pushing it deeper into the pipe.

A Tub or Shower That Drains Slowly
plumbing-DIY-running-toilet

Your tub or shower, when draining slowly, can be fixed in much the same way as the sink. Often, the problem is a clog deep within the pipe. Using the drain snake is just as effective here as it would be on the faucet. Before you employ the snake though, first check the drain grate. You may not be able to remove the grate to clean it, but you can use a wire or other long, slender tool to clear the grate of any debris.

A Faucet with Low Pressure

When your faucets have low water pressure, it is usually calcium deposits in the aerator that are the culprit. Before you try to fix the problem, you should first check to see if both hot and cold water have low pressure problems. If that is the case, then it is almost definitely the aerator. Just take out the aerator and clean it out. After being used for several years, the device will have a buildup that needs to be cleaned out if your water is going to operate at the proper pressure levels.

A Garbage Disposal That Is Stopped

Your garbage disposal may become jammed from time to time. Sometimes the problem is that you have something stuck in there that needs to come out because the disposal cannot process it. In that case, unplug the disposal or turn it off completely to prevent accidental activation. Then use a flashlight to look inside and try to free what is trapped by using a wire or grasping tool.

Sometimes the disposal itself is jammed and the problem is not caused by an obstruction. In that case, simply use an Allen wrench to free the motor by turning the Allen key hole both ways. This should get the motor working once more without the need for a plumber to come fix the problem for you.