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Plumbing Tips That Can save you Money

Most homeowners will be aware that plumber costs can be a regular expense and in some cases, a costly one. Wear and tear on your property along with the fixtures and fittings is a normal expense, however most of us don’t think about it until there is a plumbing problem that needs to be fixed urgently. This usually results in ringing the first plumber from the phone book and getting the job done.

A little research before the problem occurs can save you money in the long-term and will save you on costs. In many situations, a little regular work and knowledge will avoid most small plumbing expenses. If you are still not sure that plumbing costs can be expensive, think about this: There are five times more claims made on house insurance policies relating to water damage than related to fire, theft or vandalism.

1. Buy your own plumbing fixtures

Eventually your plumbing fixtures will need to be replaced and this gives you the opportunity to save some money in two ways. First, try to buy water saving fixtures for your shower, toilet and sink. This will cut down your water consumption, which is not only good for the environment but will reduce your water bills, saving you money every month. Another reason for buying your own plumbing fixtures is that you will get them cheaper direct than buy through a plumber. Most plumbers or plumbing companies will mark up the price so you can save here too. If a plumber comes to inspect a job in your house, ask him what fixtures are needed and then buy them yourself. Go for quality here as bad quality fixtures can cost you more in the long run as they will require additional maintenance and are more likely to cause problems.

2. Fixing small problems yourself

Most homeowners shirk away from DIY but many small plumbing problems can be solved very easily and with minimum cost. At the very least, it is advisable to have some idea how to do the simple jobs. A leaking faucet is one of the most common plumbing problems and a plumber can charge a lot for something that can be fixed in 5 minutes. A blocked drain is also quite common and can be fixed very easily. There are many resources and videos on the internet that can show you how to do many of these small plumbing jobs.

4. Get quote details in writing

This may seem like an obvious tip but many people are initially happy to accept a figure over the phone or during a conversation, leading to problems when the job is completed and the bill being different than expected. Many plumbers will insist that it is not possible to give you a concrete figure due to unexpected complications. In this situation, ask what their hourly rate is and keep a record of time spent on the job. If you have any doubts once the bill arrives, don’t be afraid to question it.

5. A little knowledge goes a long way

Although many homeowners will avoid the DIY route as mentioned previously, this is the next best option. Understanding the basic principles of the plumbing in your house will put you in a better position when dealing with a plumber or when having to choose one to work in your house. There are many guides available that allow you to learn the basic principles quickly which is very useful if you are presented with some options or choices by your plumber as well as helping you recognise a good plumber from somebody chancing their arm. This knowledge will also be prevent you from becoming vulnerable to unscrupulous plumbers during a crisis in your home.

6. Get a professional

So the time has come to call the plumber, you have checked everything and decided the job is necessary to call in the professionals. Ask friends, family members and neighbours if they can recommend someone with good experience. There are many plumbers and plumbing companies in most metropolitan area so making a decision can be difficult but with plumbing, experience is essential due to the many different problems that can present themselves. Remember, cheap and inexperienced plumbers may sound like a good idea initially but will most likely cost you more money long term.

7. Saving time = saving money

You’ve called the plumber and are waiting their arrival. This is the time to prepare your house for the work as most plumbers will charge per hour so cut down on any obstacles that can result in one hour becoming two hours. Check that the pipes are easy to get to, move anything out of the way. Remove everything from under the sink if that’s where the problem is. If you have a basement and the plumber will need to check the pipes, make sure as much is moved out of the way as possible. You are paying the plumber for plumbing work, not to move your stuff out of the way before doing the plumbing work. Check that the lights work in your basement and that any trap doors can be accessed easily.