Source: Plumbing Emergency

Scams and unnecessary plumbing services can cost an unsuspecting homeowner thousands of dollars. The bad seeds are few and far between, but just one experience with an unscrupulous plumber could be financially devastating. Knowing what to expect from a plumbing service will help you detect any red flags that could mean trouble for you later on. Use the information in this article to help you find a plumbing services provider you can trust.

8 Plumbing Scam Alerts

Quoting the job without a home inspection. There is no way a plumber can determine the accurate plumbing costs without a visual inspection. Only a detailed written estimate should be accepted.

Refusal to put plumbing costs in writing. Verbal contracts mean nothing in a court of law and any legitimate plumbing company would know that.

Pressure or scare tactics. This method is often used to frighten elderly people into wasting their savings on unnecessary plumbing services. If a contractor starts talking about potential lawsuits or catastrophic damages send them on their way and get a second opinion.

Making contract changes mid-job. A little scope creep can occur in any job, but significant additions or increased plumbing costs in the middle of the job is a definite red flag. The plumber either doesn't know what he is doing, has taken on too big of a project or is trying to get away with something.

Significantly lower plumbing costs. You have likely heard the phrase to good to be true. If one contractor agrees to perform the same plumbing services for far less than any other plumbing company you should be suspicious. Just another good reason to get several quotes for any repair job.

Cash-only or under the table payments. A plumber that only takes cash or offers no written receipt is to be avoided. Chances are this company does not pay its taxes or carry appropriate insurance either.

No identification or credentials. This may seem obvious, but any contractor without business cards or proof of credentials should be taken off your list immediately.

Prepayment or high upfront percentages. Some states only allow plumbers to request 10-percent of a job upfront. Contractors that ask for more than 20-percent of the plumbing costs to be paid prior to the start of the job are probably going to take the money and run.

Typical Plumbing Consultation

Whether you have a repair situation or are looking to upgrade your plumbing equipment the project should begin with a plumbing consultation. A plumber will come to your home and talk to you about your needs and expectations. Then the contractor will perform a visual inspection to determine the scope of the project. This should be followed up by a written quote detailing all of the plumbing services required and the associated costs. The plumber will hopefully walk you through the quote and discuss any payment options. Of course, a good plumber will answer all your questions and keep a line of communication open at all times.

How Much is Too Much

Plumbing costs vary from state-to-state and from job-to-job. If you want to get a ballpark idea as to what a simple repair would cost then find out the typical hourly rate for plumbers in your area. While the average hourly rate for basic repairs is between $45 and $65, there is no way to estimate the cost of replacement parts prior to a professional quote. Emergency rates and specialized plumbing services are even more difficult to predict. There is no standard price list to go by, so the best way to get a good deal is to ask for quotes from several plumbing services.

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