Dripping taps, broken faucets and blocked pipes are among the most common – and irritating – plumbing problems.
If not properly handled, the cost of repairing these problems can cause a serious dent in your family finances.
To minimise the cost of plumbing repairs, here are some key tips to bear in mind before you pick up the phone:
Get several quotes
It’s recommended that you get at least three quotes from reputable plumbing companies, so you can compare prices. A caveat, though – the cheapest option is not always the best. It’s important to ask for references from each company and enquire with customers who have used their services.
Get your paperwork right
It’s important to think about the design and general layout of the repairs that you envisage, especially if the renovations are major and far-reaching. You may also be required to seek permission from relevant authorities before embarking on certain types of repairs.
Confirm that your plumber is licensed
Most work needs to be carried out by qualified plumbers; it’s important that you confirm their qualifications before engaging them for a task. Check their license and ask to see some of their previous work so you can gauge their capabilities.
Clear the working space
Most, if not all, plumbers charge by the hour, so ensure that their working space is clear and clutter-free to minimise the time it takes to complete the works. The last thing you want is for the plumber to spend the first hour or two trying to get to your pipes.
Purchase the spare parts yourself
If you know what spare parts are required, it’s a good idea to purchase them yourself – provided you take care to purchase the correct part size and make. This is best done by having a plumber advise you on what parts to buy. You can save considerable cash with this approach.
Continuously maintain your plumbing works
Preventative maintenance usually involves some basic and generally quite simple tasks, which in the long run can save you a lot of time and money. It’s recommended that you keep your plumbing systems clean and clear by removing soap scum and hair from wastes (the drain and plug parts of the basin) and traps (the pipework underneath the basin). You should also pour water on the wastes on occasion to clear any blockages that may be building over time.
Combine the plumbing tasks at hand
Because the charges are usually billed per hour or 30 minutes, it’s a good idea to have some extra work lined up for the plumber if they finish their work early. That way the plumber can use the extra minutes to undertake some maintenance work or perform some minor repair work.
This article first appeared on Simple Living Australia.
Grace Sumrall is a freelance writer with a passion for saving money.