Save Money on Your Next Plumbing Call: Part I

At one time or another we all need to call on the assistance of a professional plumber, and we all know that plumbers can be quite costly.

And while there is absolutely no way to get around the call when you need a plumber, there are numerous ways of improving the overall value for the money you spend. The biggest mistake you can make is determining your selection for a plumber based on how much they charge per hour. It is very misleading as their per-hour rate tells you nothing of their credentials, professionalism, and capabilities. It is recommended to look at levels of customer satisfaction. While the rate may be a tad bit higher, you know you will get a plumber that is better than average.

There are two reasons why going by hourly rates are very misleading. First of all, the more experienced a plumber is, the more they will charge per hour. But because they have years of experience under their tool belt, they have encountered a variety of plumbing dilemmas and know the best cost-effective solution to fix them. They are also much more likely to apply the solution on the first go around.

Second of all, hourly rate tends to reflect the reliability of the plumber. If you need to take the day off of work or alter your schedule to meet the plumber and then the plumber arrives late, or even not at all, this will cost you. While you may not be docked for lost time at work, leaving early, coming in late, or taking the day of work will not help your chances of scoring that big raise or promotion.

Here are some more great answers to common plumber-related questions.

Q: I called up a plumber that had an hourly rate of $40. The plumber was in and out of my house in 15 minutes but I was charged for 45 minutes. Is this a scam?

A: A large part of a plumber’s day is spent driving from one job site to the next. They do need to be compensated for all the time spent on the road. Therefore, some plumbers choose to add to each bill a flat service charge. Some other plumbers choose to charge a premium during the first hour. Lastly, some start charging as soon as they leave the last job. In this aforementioned situation, the last option is probably the situation. These different methods of charging are just another reason to the list of why you should never only compare hourly rates when selecting a plumbing service. Before signing on the dotted line, ask the plumber how exactly their rates work. If the system seems unreasonable, try a different plumbing company.

Q: My downstairs shower, which is right next to my son’s bedroom has a problem draining properly. Currently, the only solution I have found is to get the drain professionally snaked about once a year. But this costs me $150 at a time. Is there a better, much more affordable option?

A: It is best to attack the cause straight on. Because it is the shower drain, the most likely culprit is hair. A drain insert or a much better strainer cover will catch a majority of the hair before it is able to make its way deep into the shower drain. Then, all your son needs to do is frequently clean the drainer, thereby eliminating the annual call to the plumber to snake the drain!

Daniel Argent is the Community Manager for, a site where contractors and homeowners can connect with each other and get some work done around the house! We make it easy to find the perfect SeattlePlumber for your home improvement project.

3 thoughts on “Save Money on Your Next Plumbing Call: Part I”

  1. I think the problem that leads to people wasting money on plumbers is that they often need them in an emergency such as a flooded basement or broken toilet. So people are in a rush and don’t take the time to research reviews online. They just assume that any plumber will do essentially the same job in approximately the same amount of time.

  2. Before you start out I think you should answer the question: do I want to save money or do I want to get the job done right? A cheaper plumber might get the job done now, but later you might need to call another one and end up paying overall much more than what you expected.

  3. Plumbing is a fulfilling career that allows one to combine knowledge and innovation with the ability to create and build with your hands. It also offers tremendous benefits and career potential.

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