Plumbing repairs cost a lot of time and money. Hiring a plumber means paying a fee for the visit, plus the cost of labor and materials. Even what looks like a small job can climb to hundreds of dollars in no time. There are two basic ways to save money on plumbing repairs, the first is taking preventative action and the second is learning to do plumbing yourself.
It’s never possible to prevent all possible plumbing problems, but there are plenty of ways to lessen the likelihood of a plumbing disaster happening in your house. If you live in a cold climate, one of your major plumbing risks is a frozen pipe. When a pipe full of water freezes, the water expands, potentially leading to a burst pipe. To prevent this from happening, you can buy specialized freeze prevention sleeves to put over pipes which are exposed to the cold. Second, be sure to let water slowly drip from a few sinks on particularly cold nights. Another way to prevent a disaster is to turn water off to the house when you go away on vacation. Even a small leak that runs unnoticed for two weeks can cause widespread damage. When you cut off water to the house, be sure to turn off the hot water heater as well so that it won’t overheat.
Some smaller steps you can take to prevent plumbing issues include putting screens over all your drains so that hair doesn’t get into them and never putting anything in the toilet beside toilet paper. These two easy practices will prevent most household drain clogs. If a drain does clog, do not try to unclog it with Drano or similar products. Drano is an incredibly harsh combination of chemicals that can compromise the integrity of your pipes, making them susceptible to cracking and a whole lot of damage and repair expenses.
Learning to do basic plumbing is another great option for saving money on plumbing repairs. Most community colleges offer plumbing classes and the few hundred dollars it costs to take one will pay for itself quickly. If you don’t have time or money to take a class, then get a good book on plumbing repairs. Use it at first for really basic jobs like fixing a leaky faucet or assembling the hardware in a toilet tank, before moving on to more complicated or higher stakes work.
For the DIY plumber it’s important to invest in a nice set of tools. These can be second hand as long as they are high quality and able to get done any job you need them for. An adjustable wrench, a hacksaw, pliers, and pipe cutters, are a few of the basic tools every DIY plumber should have. It’s also very important to practice. You don’t want to have to get a plumbing job right the first time. Buy scrap pipes from a local plumber or second hand store. Practice cutting and assembling pipes and patching holes. Until you can do a job right while practicing, don’t try it on the house.
If you aren’t the DIY type. Be sure to hire a reputable plumber to work on your house. Don’t look for savings by hiring the guy or gal with the best price. Instead, be sure the person you hire is qualified and committed to getting it right the first time. The greatest savings lie in durable repair work.
WhoKnowsaContractor.com provides advice and tips on how to save money on plumbing repairs. If you can repair the plumbing problem yourself, find a local plumbing contractor to help you with the repair.