13 Secrets To Avoid Costly Plumbing Bills

By Ryan Elijah

November 15, 2010 Updated Nov 15, 2010 at 6:55 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Some expensive plumbing bills are not possible to avoid, but following these tips could save you money. Reader's Digest gathered the information by interviewing plumbers in 5 states.

1. If you need a recommendation, call a plumbing-supply or fixture store. They don’t tolerate bad plumbers

2. Monday is our busiest day. That’s the day wives call us to correct the “work” their husbands did over the weekend.

3. A burst washing machine hose is a top homeowner-insurance claim. I’d replace those flimsy rubber hoses with stainless steel ones.

4. No bricks in the toilet tank. They can keep your toilet from flushing correctly. No liquid drain cleaners either. They eat away at the pipes. Try a plunger or, better yet, a $30 auger.

5. Know where the main turnoff source is. I can’t tell you how many calls I get from people screaming and crying that their house is flooding and they don’t know what to do.

6. If you’ve got a Rapunzel at home (or even a rapidly balding man), buy a drain strainer or a hair snare or tell her to use a paper towel to clear the drain. (Soap can gum up the pipes, too, so use as little of that as you can.)

7. Those “flushable” baby wipes are one of the main culprits for clogging pipes. They don’t break down the way toilet paper does.

8. Pay me by the job, not by the hour.

9. Yes, it’s against the rules to remove flow inhibitors from your showerheads, but some of us will do it if you ask.

10. I’m not a babysitter, a mover, or an auto mechanic. Don’t ask.

11. Always jiggling the toilet handle? You need to replace the flap valve. The part costs $4, and it’s an easy fix. I charge $100 just to walk in the door.

12. There’s often an Allen wrench that comes with the garbage disposal. I keep it under the sink. When the thing jams, follow the directions in the manual and I won’t need to come out.

13. I was working in one bathroom while my client was using the whirlpool in another one. And blow-drying her hair at the same time. Her husband had told her it was fine. I told her he was trying to get rid of her.

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