Many people hold off on hiring a plumber to repair the running toilet, leaky faucet, or even the water heater that hints it might explode. They fear pandora’s box will show up in their plumber’s toolkit unleashing an alternate universe where sound reasoning and judgment make way for the mind-bending experience of dealing with sneaky plumbers and their version of reality.
Tool yourself to thwart pandora’s box before it opens on your home’s plumbing. Learn to identify and run if you notice any of these 5 signs of not-so-honest plumbers.
Topping the list is the worst of the worst. It is hiring an uninsured plumber who is not licensed. It is like a double whammy of a disaster that is waiting to happen. A tell-tale sign is that they are willing to do the work for far less than any other plumber. You run the risk of having to explain to your homeowner’s insurance that your sink doused your whole second floor in water while an unlicensed plumber who has no insurance was working on your guest bathroom. Good luck getting that claim paid, or on getting another homeowner’s policy. Would you be in breach of your mortgage without insurance? Probably, and that means you would have to sell your home, possibly, all because Mr. Wrench Man was not licensed or insured.
Even if they do not flood your home, if you have a building inspector coming by, they can require you to have all the shoddy plumbing work pulled out and re-done. Plumbing is costly enough without having to pay for it twice. Make life simple, and ask for proof of their insurance, and plumbing license. You may want to double check with your state’s insurance commissioner and licensing agencies to verify their credentials.
Crystal Ball Estimating Practices
The other curiosity of plumbers who have delved into pandora’s box is crystal ball estimates. It’s as if they pick a number out of thin air to provide an estimate sight unseen. Never accept a quote if the plumber has not taken a look at the job first. Always get estimates in writing. If you are calling around to different plumbers, find out their hourly rate and minimum charge. This will shed light on potential costs and give a basis for comparison before you have any estimates. You might get an estimate of how long the job might take. Do not balk just get the information. Plumbing is complex and may be more involved than it looks.
While an estimate that is from thin air is useless, so is a low-ball bid. Again, plumbing is expensive and the price ranges vary depending upon the plumber. You might part with anywhere from $75 to $250 to unclog a drain, depending upon the plumber. The trick of the low-ball bid is usually that it leaves out the labor charges. Of course, the labor is not free. But before the plumber completes the work, you will be hit with the labor charges. It is an uncomfortable situation.
Never let a door-to-door “plumber” who begs you to hire them into your home. It may be a sign of where burglars are looking to hit next. Call the cops instead.
Those are the basic tricks in plumbing. Avoid them to get your plumbing repaired more quickly and in peace.