How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

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Ependytis
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How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Ependytis »

I dread looking for a plumber. I always feel like I'm going to be ripped off since they frequently will not provide a quote for the work or even an estimate based on what it might be. Also, they want to charge for the visit without you knowing the possible costs. I'm OK being charged for the visit, but at least give me estimates for what it could be, so I can compare your cost to another plumber.

One plumber tried to tell me a leak in the garage ceiling might be due to a leak in the plumbing going into the house from the ground. It was just ridiculous. I ended up fixing the leak myself using a shark bite connection. It seems like every time I have called a plumber, it has been ridiculously expensive. I understand they have to make a fair wage, but when they're more expensive per hour than a Lawyer- to me that's not reasonable.

I have a leak in my upstairs bathroom tub. The leak presented itself when the shower was being used and water droplets were coming down from the ceiling downstairs. I assume it's from the drain. Any suggestions for finding a plumber at a reasonable cost?
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Riprap
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Riprap »

Word of mouth usually works best. Get a referral from a friend or neighbor.
turtlebug
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by turtlebug »

You might want to check nextdoor and ask friends/family/neighbors for recommendation(s). I find that nextdoor is a helpful source.
Joyful
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Joyful »

Have you considered selecting a plumber from various companies like angie's list (Angi.com) or home advisor in which you would at least have an entity to complain to if things don't go well and you can also receive quotes from multiple competing companies.
Kagord
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Kagord »

Good luck. With pretty much everything, I usually get a quote or two, and then just DIY it (plumbing, cars, decks, remodeling, painting...etc) because of quote shock.
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lthenderson
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by lthenderson »

Ependytis wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:57 am I dread looking for a plumber. I always feel like I'm going to be ripped off since they frequently will not provide a quote for the work or even an estimate based on what it might be. Also, they want to charge for the visit without you knowing the possible costs. I'm OK being charged for the visit, but at least give me estimates for what it could be, so I can compare your cost to another plumber.

I have a leak in my upstairs bathroom tub. The leak presented itself when the shower was being used and water droplets were coming down from the ceiling downstairs. I assume it's from the drain. Any suggestions for finding a plumber at a reasonable cost?
You should look at it from a plumber's point of view. It could be anything from a dried out piece of plumber's putty on the drain to a crack in the bathtub. The water could have been leaking only recently or for many years doing lots of damage in the ceiling before it made it's way out. So if a plumber gave you an estimate of $50 to $10000 depending on those scenarios, how are you going to make a decision? Would you rather the plumber that gave you a high quote to cover all possibilities even if they ended up only replacing a few cents worth of plumbers putty? I'm guessing then you would be on here griping about the plumber that gave you a high quote for such a simple job.
aas
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by aas »

Facebook Neighborhood groups are very helpful in recommending a reliable and reasonable plumber.
Californiastate
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Californiastate »

I'm a retired commercial plumber. Forget about your definition of a reasonable cost. Find a qualified honest contractor. Look to your local social networks.

The shower leak could be.

Caulking at shower valve escutcheon
bad shower valve
cracked FIP joint at shower head
caulking at shower head escutcheon
nail hole in pipe
shower drain caulking
cracked shower drain
hole in shower ptrap
shower door leak
caulking at shower pan
caulking where shower meets floor

What repair would you like to be priced?
Last edited by Californiastate on Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Broken Man 1999
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Ependytis wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:57 am I dread looking for a plumber. I always feel like I'm going to be ripped off since they frequently will not provide a quote for the work or even an estimate based on what it might be. Also, they want to charge for the visit without you knowing the possible costs. I'm OK being charged for the visit, but at least give me estimates for what it could be, so I can compare your cost to another plumber.

One plumber tried to tell me a leak in the garage ceiling might be due to a leak in the plumbing going into the house from the ground. It was just ridiculous. I ended up fixing the leak myself using a shark bite connection. It seems like every time I have called a plumber, it has been ridiculously expensive. I understand they have to make a fair wage, but when they're more expensive per hour than a Lawyer- to me that's not reasonable.

I have a leak in my upstairs bathroom tub. The leak presented itself when the shower was being used and water droplets were coming down from the ceiling downstairs. I assume it's from the drain. Any suggestions for finding a plumber at a reasonable cost?
Word of mouth, trial and error....

We had a leak similar a couple of years ago. It turned out to be caulking around the tub that needed to be redone. Plumber drilled a small hole in the ceiling inside a cabinet in the kitchen and used a tiny camera to look around. Nailed it.

We have used the same company for years, and the same plumber at the company for about the same amount of time. So far so good. First name basis.

I do think even for infrequent repairs that establishing a good rapport with a company and not nickel and diming them goes a long way with any trades. Some plumbing companies post their rates for certain activities on their website.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go." - Mark Twain
homebuyer6426
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by homebuyer6426 »

To confirm that it's the drain, pour water directly down the drain without spilling it anywhere else in the bathroom, and then see if it leaks.

My gut feeling is it's more likely to be the caulk around the tub that other people mentioned, or water getting onto the bathroom floor outside the tub, or water getting on a bathroom windowsill and going down the wall. The drain is a smaller point of failure so it's less likely.
tibbitts
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by tibbitts »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:20 pm We have used the same company for years, and the same plumber at the company for about the same amount of time. So far so good. First name basis.

I do think even for infrequent repairs that establishing a good rapport with a company and not nickel and diming them goes a long way with any trades. Some plumbing companies post their rates for certain activities on their website.
Usually when I find a contractor who does excellent work for a very reasonable price, the contractor goes out of business before I can use them again. Sometimes they get hired by some other contractor that can pay them more than they made on their own by charging a "less reasonable" price for the same work.
bsteiner
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by bsteiner »

Ependytis wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:57 am I dread looking for a plumber. ...
... I understand they have to make a fair wage, but when they're more expensive per hour than a Lawyer- to me that's not reasonable.
...
Homeowner: you get more than a doctor.

Plumber: yes, I didn't get as much when I was a doctor.
kevin99
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by kevin99 »

For me, references from trusted friends and neighbors have worked out the best. That way you can get a good idea about their workmanship, cost, and reliability. I've used sites like Home Advisor, ThumbTack,...etc and what I've found is that very often folks on these sites are not able to get enough jobs because they don't do good enough work to get referred by word of mouth. I've had very substandard work done every time I used one of these home help type sites (and was even scammed once from a 5 star reviewed contractor) and I won't use them again. Most reputable contractors, plumbers, electricians are so busy now they barely need to advertise anywhere, let alone have a large portion of their income eaten away by finders fees from these sites.

That's just been my experience. I'm sure there are good tradespeople on these sites. I just haven't found one yet.
barnaclebob
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by barnaclebob »

Is it a fiberglass tub, and does it creak? If so you may have a crack in the tub.

Othe other suggestion of putting water into the drain only was good. If that causes the drips then you may as well start cutting the ceiling open yourself to find the leak.
Broken Man 1999
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

tibbitts wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:29 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:20 pm We have used the same company for years, and the same plumber at the company for about the same amount of time. So far so good. First name basis.

I do think even for infrequent repairs that establishing a good rapport with a company and not nickel and diming them goes a long way with any trades. Some plumbing companies post their rates for certain activities on their website.
Usually when I find a contractor who does excellent work for a very reasonable price, the contractor goes out of business before I can use them again. Sometimes they get hired by some other contractor that can pay them more than they made on their own by charging a "less reasonable" price for the same work.
I have used the tradespeople who worked for the GC we used for our kitchen remodel with very good results. The one drawback is the GC keeps them very busy, so it takes some time for a small job like ours to bubble up to the surface. Things like painting generally requires no immediate action, works out fine. We get in line and they do their excellent job for us. Well worth the wait.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go." - Mark Twain
Broken Man 1999
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

barnaclebob wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:45 pm Is it a fiberglass tub, and does it creak? If so you may have a crack in the tub.

Othe other suggestion of putting water into the drain only was good. If that causes the drips then you may as well start cutting the ceiling open yourself to find the leak.
Instead of cutting your ceiling open, you might try this:

DEPSTECH Wireless Endoscope with EVA Case, IP67 Waterproof WiFi Borescope Inspection 2.0 Megapixels HD Snake Camera for Android and iOS Smartphone, iPhone, Samsung, Tablet -Black(11.5FT) $54.69 $ 54 . 69 $75.98 $75.98

Small drilled holes instead of big openings. They work great.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go." - Mark Twain
adamthesmythe
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by adamthesmythe »

Kagord wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 12:09 pm Good luck. With pretty much everything, I usually get a quote or two, and then just DIY it (plumbing, cars, decks, remodeling, painting...etc) because of quote shock.
You do realize that this helps drive up prices?
Topic Author
Ependytis
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Ependytis »

Californiastate wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:08 pm I'm a retired commercial plumber. Forget about your definition of a reasonable cost. Find a qualified honest contractor. Look to your local social networks.

The shower leak could be.

Caulking at shower valve escutcheon
bad shower valve
cracked FIP joint at shower head
caulking at shower head escutcheon
nail hole in pipe
shower drain caulking
cracked shower drain
hole in shower ptrap
shower door leak
caulking at shower pan
caulking where shower meets floor

What repair would you like to be priced?
Of course I don't expect them to provide a quote for all the potential issues. However, given they're an expert, they can pick what they think is the most likely and provide an estimate for the services. For example, a nail hole in the pipe is probably not very likely given I've lived in the house for 20 years and haven't seen this before. This way, I can ask another another plumbing company how much their services for the same thing are and compare based on price. Without this information, I would just be shooting in the dark.

Better yet, just post the price for common services, so that the customer can compare prices for services. Plumbing companies purposely don't do this, so that they can take advantage of customers not knowing what is a reasonable cost. For someone that has already paid the fee to have the diagnosis, they feel stuck to go with the company that did the diagonsis. There is even a radio ad for a company locally that says this very same thing.
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MrBobcat
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by MrBobcat »

Californiastate wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:08 pm I'm a retired commercial plumber. Forget about your definition of a reasonable cost. Find a qualified honest contractor. Look to your local social networks.
This, IMO way more important than price.
DN28
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by DN28 »

I don't know if my plumber's prices are "reasonable," but he does very good work, and is transparent about his hourly rate(s) and estimated completion time.

The last time I hired a "cheap" plumber, he tried to charge me for 2 more hours than he actually worked.
KneeReplacementTutor
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by KneeReplacementTutor »

I agree with others who said things like hire a qualified, honest contractor (not necessarily the cheapest) and find them by word of mouth.

My barber recommended an independent plumber to us almost twenty years ago. We've used him since then. He's probably not the least expensive, but he tells us up front what the will cost will be and does things "right" the first time. Someone at your local church, barber, workplace, local hangout, gym, etc. surely knows someone like him they could refer.
Zubs
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Zubs »

As a former residential plumber I would keep the following in mind:
  • Bigger companies will have a wide skill range of plumbers and usually higher prices
  • If you can, find a smaller business especially if the owner is working as well
  • All plumbers should tell you their hourly rate, possible flat rate for drain cleaning, and whether they will charge for smaller time increments. You can at least get an average hourly cost for your area.
  • Estimating costs over the phone is tough because plumbing is installed behind drywall, in attics, and other places with little to no visibility. Until the plumber starts troubleshooting and demoing anything in the way they won’t know how bad the issue is.
tibbitts
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by tibbitts »

KneeReplacementTutor wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:54 pm I agree with others who said things like hire a qualified, honest contractor (not necessarily the cheapest) and find them by word of mouth.

My barber recommended an independent plumber to us almost twenty years ago. We've used him since then. He's probably not the least expensive, but he tells us up front what the will cost will be and does things "right" the first time. Someone at your local church, barber, workplace, local hangout, gym, etc. surely knows someone like him they could refer.
I'm pretty sure you would find zero support here for the "friends and neighbors" approach if you were seeking a financial adviser (unless you count people who post on Bogleheads as "friends and neighbors", maybe.) Overall I've had results from asking friends and neighbors that are probably similar to random selection, yet I still ask.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

In my experience seeking plumbers I almost always rate expedient, dependable, and quality service far above reasonable cost.

That may not apply to OP's instant case, but it may be something to consider if seeking a long-term relationship.
Big Dog
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Big Dog »

Ependytis wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:35 pm
Californiastate wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:08 pm I'm a retired commercial plumber. Forget about your definition of a reasonable cost. Find a qualified honest contractor. Look to your local social networks.

The shower leak could be.

Caulking at shower valve escutcheon
bad shower valve
cracked FIP joint at shower head
caulking at shower head escutcheon
nail hole in pipe
shower drain caulking
cracked shower drain
hole in shower ptrap
shower door leak
caulking at shower pan
caulking where shower meets floor

What repair would you like to be priced?
Of course I don't expect them to provide a quote for all the potential issues. However, given they're an expert, they can pick what they think is the most likely and provide an estimate for the services. For example, a nail hole in the pipe is probably not very likely given I've lived in the house for 20 years and haven't seen this before. This way, I can ask another another plumbing company how much their services for the same thing are and compare based on price. Without this information, I would just be shooting in the dark.

Better yet, just post the price for common services, so that the customer can compare prices for services. Plumbing companies purposely don't do this, so that they can take advantage of customers not knowing what is a reasonable cost. For someone that has already paid the fee to have the diagnosis, they feel stuck to go with the company that did the diagonsis. There is even a radio ad for a company locally that says this very same thing.
We lived in our house for 18 years (it was 10 years old when we purchased it) and experienced a pin-hole leak in a copper pipe. The plumber found that the pipe was not covered/protected as it came thru the wall and surmised that was rubbing against concrete for years after the house settled -- hot and cold expansions. Finally wore a hole in the copper.

Just an example of 'stuff' happens.

We found both of our plumbers thru neighbors/friends.
Californiastate
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Californiastate »

Ependytis wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:35 pm
Californiastate wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:08 pm I'm a retired commercial plumber. Forget about your definition of a reasonable cost. Find a qualified honest contractor. Look to your local social networks.

The shower leak could be.

Caulking at shower valve escutcheon
bad shower valve
cracked FIP joint at shower head
caulking at shower head escutcheon
nail hole in pipe
shower drain caulking
cracked shower drain
hole in shower ptrap
shower door leak
caulking at shower pan
caulking where shower meets floor

What repair would you like to be priced?
Of course I don't expect them to provide a quote for all the potential issues. However, given they're an expert, they can pick what they think is the most likely and provide an estimate for the services. For example, a nail hole in the pipe is probably not very likely given I've lived in the house for 20 years and haven't seen this before. This way, I can ask another another plumbing company how much their services for the same thing are and compare based on price. Without this information, I would just be shooting in the dark.

Better yet, just post the price for common services, so that the customer can compare prices for services. Plumbing companies purposely don't do this, so that they can take advantage of customers not knowing what is a reasonable cost. For someone that has already paid the fee to have the diagnosis, they feel stuck to go with the company that did the diagonsis. There is even a radio ad for a company locally that says this very same thing.
The best you'll get is a qualified quote. Only a fool would provide a quote for the best possible scenario without exclusions. Some shops have flat rate fees for routine installations like faucets, water closets, etc. You won't receive a good price if you demand a price for concealed unknown work.
I've seen nails that have pierced copper lines and self sealed for years. I've seen unsoldered joints holding for years with just the flux. You don't know until you expose the area. Like I posted before, look for the best honest plumber in your area. Don't shop for the least expensive.
KneeReplacementTutor
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by KneeReplacementTutor »

tibbitts wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 3:06 pm
KneeReplacementTutor wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:54 pm I agree with others who said things like hire a qualified, honest contractor (not necessarily the cheapest) and find them by word of mouth.

My barber recommended an independent plumber to us almost twenty years ago. We've used him since then. He's probably not the least expensive, but he tells us up front what the will cost will be and does things "right" the first time. Someone at your local church, barber, workplace, local hangout, gym, etc. surely knows someone like him they could refer.
I'm pretty sure you would find zero support here for the "friends and neighbors" approach if you were seeking a financial adviser (unless you count people who post on Bogleheads as "friends and neighbors", maybe.) Overall I've had results from asking friends and neighbors that are probably similar to random selection, yet I still ask.
Well... it is bogleheads... Most of us here aren't looking for how to find a financial advisor, but rather how to get rid of one! Plumbing, on the other hand...
Friend and neighbor contractor recommendations have been all over the board for us as well. That being said, our plumber recommendation turned out to be a one of the best. I personally don't have any of those who came from google, next-door, etc.
Last edited by KneeReplacementTutor on Wed Aug 03, 2022 4:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
valleyrock
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by valleyrock »

I'm a big fan of Nextdoor.com. You can search previous posts in the search window, or post a query that you're looking a specific type of contractor.
With Nextdoor, you can stay in your immediate zipcode or branch out a bit, as well. One good thing about Nextdoor is that it is not Facebook. :?
carolinaman
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Location: North Carolina

Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by carolinaman »

Many plumbing issues can be done by someone with little skill and knowledge of plumbing. The Internet and Youtube provide a wealth of knowledge. Save the hard plumbing issues for the plumber. My son maintains a lot of rental apartments. He does most stuff himself and calls plumber when it is necessary. He rarely has to call the plumber.

Getting a plumber to make a house call is pretty hard nowadays. Getting a preliminary quote is an unrealistic expectation and will not happen. They will just move on to the next customer.
FCM
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by FCM »

I'm also a fan of using nextdoor.com for getting recommendations for local good, honest plumbers, HVAC, etc.
Theseus
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Theseus »

I have found some good contractors through thumbtack.com. You post a job and depending on the area a whole bunch will reply. Depending on how specific the job is they may even include the prices. I go by the past reviews. If the job is bigger then have them come and give me a written estimate. Also always ask for a licensed, insured and bonded contractor.

I found a contractor that has done almost $25,000 worth of water damage work through thumbtack. He is so good I will use him for other remodeling we are planning.

In the past I have found an electrician for a small job ($500) on Thumbtack. And very happy with the work. Just do the due diligence by checking customer references and past reviews.
illumination
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by illumination »

I do feel lucky I found an honest plumbing company.

I've given them to all sorts of friends and family, saved them an enormous amount of money when they got other quotes. Known them since the "dad" ran it and passed it on to his son.

The funny thing is, it's really not anything unusual. Basically $110 or so an hour, that seems like a fair rate to me and nobody is getting cheated. But I see people getting charged like $3,000 to change out a water heater. It's like a 2-3 hour job for a pro and under $1000 in parts.

The ones you really need to watch out for are the plumbing franchises, I have just seen so many horror stories.
The best contractors have almost always been found word of mouth. Ask around and ask people that are good judges. Sometimes I'll get recommendations and it's from someone that doesn't know they have been taken advantage of.
DetroitRick
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Location: SE Michigan

Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by DetroitRick »

While I have been able (sort of) to find decent plumbers via neighbor recommendations and online reviews, I do find those sources to be flawed. Those recommendations really require people to know the scope of the work truly needed, what constitutes a "good job", and to give a realistic evaluation of price. Easy in theory, difficult in practice - when you don't use the trade all that often.

I've found the best plumbing company ever by doing that type of initial screening, and then hiring the company to do a specific, very cut-and-dried job. Then evaluating. I found the best plumber ever, about 6 years ago (which I still use) that way. Hired for a simple sump pump replacement - costs easily comparable and easy to tell if install "successful". Then I used them for increasingly involved tasks. Now, when something comes up, I know I can just count on them. Once in a great while I might check recent reviews again to make sure nothing has changed (including Better Business Bureau). But I'm comfortable continuing to re-hire based on my own experience and don't worry about getting ripped off in terms of price or unnecessary work.

Another possibility, one that has also worked well for me, is to ask for recommendations at local plumbing supply stores and some hardware stores (ones that deal in extensive plumbing supplies and have competent, long-term staff).
irr
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Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by irr »

Do you have an experienced real estate agent in your network? They tend to have a good plumber or two in the rolodex.
Real estate, where even the most mediocre can become wealthy.
PeninsulaPerson
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by PeninsulaPerson »

What's that old rule-of-thumb about Good, Cheap and Fast - choose two 'cause you won't get the 3rd - :happy !

Right now, it is way harder to find a good plumber or electrician than a lawyer!

They are in the catbird seat and - more than ever - they know it! (And deserve it - good tradesman are worth their weight in gold!)
Last edited by PeninsulaPerson on Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PeninsulaPerson
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by PeninsulaPerson »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:20 pm
We have used the same company for years, and the same plumber at the company for about the same amount of time. So far so good. First name basis.

I do think even for infrequent repairs that establishing a good rapport with a company and not nickel and diming them goes a long way with any trades.

Broken Man 1999

This, for sure!
carolinaman
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by carolinaman »

PeninsulaPerson wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:49 pm What's that old rule-of-thumb about Good, Cheap and Fast - choose two 'cause you won't get the 3rd - :happy !

Right now, it is way harder to find a good plumber or electrician than a lawyer!

They are in the catbird seat and - more than ever - they know it! (And deserve it - good tradesman are worth their weight in gold!)
+1. People do not appreciate the skill and knowledge they acquire over time.
GettingComfortable
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by GettingComfortable »

Most plumbing work is relatively easy. And the parts and tools are readily available. Learn to DIY! Classes on the basics are sometimes offered locally; if not, there's always Youtube. :wink:
Californiastate
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Californiastate »

GettingComfortable wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:35 pm Most plumbing work is relatively easy. And the parts and tools are readily available. Learn to DIY! Classes on the basics are sometimes offered locally; if not, there's always Youtube. :wink:
Have you ever designed and plumbed a high rise? Point me in the direction of that youtube video.
GettingComfortable
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by GettingComfortable »

Californiastate wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:38 pm Point me in the direction of that youtube video.
Good books by Harris as well as ASPE on the topic if no Youtube videos found.

P.S. A licensed plumbing engineer would be required to design for a highrise, and licensed plumbers to install.
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Sandtrap
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Sandtrap »

Ependytis wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:57 am I dread looking for a plumber. I always feel like I'm going to be ripped off since they frequently will not provide a quote for the work or even an estimate based on what it might be. Also, they want to charge for the visit without you knowing the possible costs. I'm OK being charged for the visit, but at least give me estimates for what it could be, so I can compare your cost to another plumber.

One plumber tried to tell me a leak in the garage ceiling might be due to a leak in the plumbing going into the house from the ground. It was just ridiculous. I ended up fixing the leak myself using a shark bite connection. It seems like every time I have called a plumber, it has been ridiculously expensive. I understand they have to make a fair wage, but when they're more expensive per hour than a Lawyer- to me that's not reasonable.

I have a leak in my upstairs bathroom tub. The leak presented itself when the shower was being used and water droplets were coming down from the ceiling downstairs. I assume it's from the drain. Any suggestions for finding a plumber at a reasonable cost?
As you have some DIY skills, you can best control costs by troubleshooting the problem yourself first even if it involves cutting a small square access hole directly below your tub drain and shower tree section. be sure to be anle to remove insulation and well visualize between the joists as needed. Do a need square or rectangle cut staying on center to the joists or tgi's.

No plumber can give you any but a very safe blue sky estimate based on not personally seeing what needs to be done but if you ste sble to at least text or email pictures of, for example, the leaking crack in the tub drain p trap, that would help a lot.

reasonable price is very open to interpretation and perceptions as customers, plumbers, homeowners, etc.

try this route first as most everhas a cell phone you can email or text the pics to.
and it would greatly help the plumbers as well to know that you've already provided access snd visualization, etc.

call a reputable licensed journeyman plumber.

not a handyman or wannabe
not through the big box stores

to op
actionably
visit or call the local plumbing supply center for s referral they know whos hood and whos junk and whos a jerk....
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Californiastate
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Californiastate »

GettingComfortable wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:02 pm
Californiastate wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:38 pm Point me in the direction of that youtube video.
Good books by Harris as well as ASPE on the topic if no Youtube videos found.

P.S. A licensed plumbing engineer would be required to design for a highrise, and licensed plumbers to install.
I was being facetious. I am a plumber and have ran work on high rises. I can't tell you how many times a PE or ME has screwed the pooch and a plumber caught it. Unless it's a specific engineered system that requires a ME stamp, the information to design and install a plumbing system for a house or a high rise is in the UPC. Plumbers aren't required to be licensed like electricians in California unless you're a contractor.
Parkinglotracer
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by Parkinglotracer »

Californiastate wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 1:08 pm I'm a retired commercial plumber. Forget about your definition of a reasonable cost. Find a qualified honest contractor. Look to your local social networks.

The shower leak could be.

Caulking at shower valve escutcheon
bad shower valve
cracked FIP joint at shower head
caulking at shower head escutcheon
nail hole in pipe
shower drain caulking
cracked shower drain
hole in shower ptrap
shower door leak
caulking at shower pan
caulking where shower meets floor

What repair would you like to be priced?
The correct one.

Just kidding … Good point, we realize they can’t give an accurate quote without knowing they scope of the work that needs to be done. They could outline their service call rate and their hourly rate.
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ClevrChico
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Re: How to find a plumber at a reasonable cost?

Post by ClevrChico »

Try to find an independent plumber that uses their name as their business. Someone old school, licensed, that knows code, with a beat up van was the most reasonable and best for me. That might be hard to find.

The big chain plumbing companies are the worst deal here.

Either way, it's going to be expensive. They are skilled pro's with big investments in tools and time in training. I DIY the basic stuff, but leave the complicated stuff (like main shutoff valves!) to the plumbers.
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