Does a pipe in your house just keep leaking no matter what? Or maybe that off smell in your kitchen sink has got you worried about a clogged drain?
Plumbing is one of those things that most home and business owners don’t spend much time thinking about until there is an immediate problem that requires a plumbing job. However, every household and business should have a reliable plumber that they can call in the case of a plumbing emergency. But how do you find a good Perth plumber?
Find out the tell-tale signs of a trustworthy plumber, the most common plumbing scams to be aware of, and what important questions you need to ask so you get the best plumbers in Perth for your individual plumbing needs, whether it’s for hot water systems, blocked drains, burst pipes, or more.
Don’t Fall Victim to a Plumbing Scam
Beyond the most basic of plumbing issues, the plumbing trade is a highly skilled and specialised area that requires a qualified professional to deal with it. Unfortunately, some scammers take advantage of the large knowledge gap between consumers and professionals in the plumbing industry for their own gain.
Plumbing scams are more common than most Perth home and business owners would imagine. These scams result in not just an extra expense to you, but often make your existing plumbing problem worse. If that plumbing deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Being aware of the main plumbing scams will help you avoid being a victim to unscrupulous plumbers, and help you find the best Perth plumber to fix your problem at hand.
Common Plumbing Scams
1. Substandard Materials
When fixing plumbing problems, most home and business owners are prepared to pay for something that will last well into the future. A plumber can tell you that they’re using the best quality materials available, only for you to find out a year later when it breaks that they scammed you.
Your plumbing system is no place for cheap alternatives. Check with your plumber what parts they intend to use and compare to the prices available online and don’t think twice about double-checking what parts are listed on the final invoice.
2. Extra Labour Costs
With larger jobs, some plumbers agree to do the work and before long, you find a team of people in your house. Be careful that your plumber isn’t subcontracting out parts of the job and absolving himself of the responsibility for the higher hourly rates that these subcontractors may charge; or using two plumbers for a one-man job and charging extra. The deal you agree with the plumber should be all you pay – and make sure it’s always in writing.
3. Inflated Hourly Rates
If you live in an upmarket neighbourhood, then it’s not uncommon for plumbers to artificially inflate their rates. The sports cars in the driveways and stylish 6-bedroom houses are often seen as a green light for silly hourly rates that are not charged elsewhere. A little research online should help you avoid this scam. We recommend that you check out three or more local Perth plumbers and gather quotes to compare.
4. Lowballing Quotes
As you gather quotes, don’t fall pretty to another common scam; providing verbal quotes that sound like great value but never actually materialise. A plumber may visit your premises, make notes and say they’ll get back to you with a quote - with a call out fee included. They call and provide an attractively low estimate.
Never accept a quote over the phone unless it is backed up in writing or you may find yourself with an eye-watering invoice at the end of the job. Before any work begins, make sure that both parties are in agreement about what will be paid and when.
What to Look For When Choosing a Plumber
Most Perth homeowners can avoid falling victim to the types of scams described above (and others) by finding a reliable, licensed and experienced plumber before they have a problem.
Gather information and do your due diligence now. Ask the right questions and request proof and documentation for all the plumber’s claims.
Until they prove to you that they are qualified and trustworthy, you should not proceed with any work. After all, if they are a professional outfit, they will appreciate you checking and doing your homework and will have nothing to hide in their plumbing service.
The following are a few helpful tips to follow when choosing a plumber for your Perth plumbing services.
1. Gather a Few Quotes
Even if you have an established and reliable plumber, it’s good to keep them honest. For jobs likely to run over the $1,000 mark, why not gather a few quotes together from other licensed plumbers in the area to see how they stack up?
Make sure you get the quotes broken down into call-out charge, labour and material costs and check hourly rates for future reference. Whether it’s for hot water system repair, commercial plumbing projects or a gas fitting, the right quote might take a few searches to find.
2. Plumbers License
A few indiscriminate scammers out there might try to pass themselves off as licensed plumbers when they don’t have the necessary qualifications. Before letting anyone into your home to check anything, make sure they are fully licensed. All Australian tradespeople must display their licence number on ads for their services, but don’t just accept that, ask to see an ID card as proof if you are unsure.
This is especially important for highly complex jobs. How many years of experience does the plumber have? Has the plumber worked on the type of problem you have before and have the know-how to diagnose and fix the problem?
Does the plumber have just the basic plumbing equipment or do they use the latest plumbing technology such as CCTV drain cameras and no-dig pipe relining solutions? Do they have the necessary tools for the job?
5. Insurance & Guarantees
Make sure your plumber is fully insured as plumbing work in and around your home can be high risk. Ask to see proof. You need the peace of mind that if something does go wrong, then you are covered. Also, does your plumber provide a guarantee for work, especially for new installations?
If you are looking for a plumber available at short notice, then check their availability. How busy are they? If they are fully booked out for the new two weeks then it might be better to look elsewhere, as serious plumbing problems cannot wait.
Why You Need a Reliable Plumber
Since your plumbing is one of the most integral systems of a property, ensuring it’s looked after by a reliable and trusted professional is a smart way to go. Here’s why it’s so important that you have a plumber that you can go to when you notice a plumbing emergency in your home or business.
1. Home Remedies Aren’t Always the Safest Option
Nowadays there’s a fairly simple home remedy for almost any plumbing emergency, and blocked drains are no different. From baking soda and vinegar mixtures, to snake augers and plungers, using a home remedy to treat the problem can work, but there’s always the risk that something could go wrong.
Hiring a professional local plumber over utilising a home remedy will remove any dangers to you and your pipes. To avoid causing bigger problems, use a qualified plumber who has the knowledge of the exact situation to fix the problem without putting you at risk.
2. The Problem Can Be Escalated
Sticking items down drains and using plungers all carry the risk of escalating the original problem if not done properly. Start trying to replace pipes on your own thinking it’s easy enough to work out, and you can make an already bad plumbing problem a lot worse. Not to mention it will be far more costly for you down the track.
Minor leaks, clogged drains or smelly drains can be caused by a variety of issues – some of which can’t be fixed by a simple plunge or pipe change. By dealing with a licensed plumber, they’ll be able to determine the problem and keep it from intensifying.
Plumbing problems – especially in the event of an emergency - can be quick to worsen over time and when they’re not controlled, can quickly damage the integrity of your home or business. The right drain repairs can make all the difference with a reliable plumber.
3. It’s Not Easy Identifying What the Problem Is
If you’re not trained to identify the problem, it can be a timely and costly process trying to work it out on your own. Whilst it certainly doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine there’s a water leak, a burst water pipe, a poor hot water system installation, or low water pressure; the causes that can lead to these problems vary significantly. And without a trained professional to determine it for you, the plumbing system can’t be assessed accordingly.
4. Essential Safety Considerations
Plumbing systems can be complicated things. Some of the most common and preventable accidents are caused by a lack of awareness and understanding of plumbing in general. Using a professional plumber with the right licences and safety checks will ensure that all work being made on the system is safe and covered.
Property protection is vital to think about too. Accidents caused by broken pipes can lead to massive property damage if they’re not handled correctly or quickly. Hiring good Perth plumbing services has the potential to safeguard further issues and minimise potential hazards to both the plumbing system and property. With that, costs are generally minimised too.
5. Regular Plumbing Maintenance Can Prevent Larger Issues
Whilst it seems like an easier idea to go with DIY plumbing options, regular plumbing maintenance by a professional can eliminate a lot of the bigger issues. Minor things like drain cleaning, leak detection, and tree root control can prevent plumbing emergencies and keep property costs to a minimum. It’s recommended to have bi-annual or yearly maintenance of plumbing drains, pipes and appliances to ensure that things continue to run smoothly.
Contact Tunnel Vision – Perth’s Best Plumbing Company
With Tunnel Vision on your side, there’s no need to stress about your plumbing emergencies. We’re an award-winning plumbing company that has rendered extensive plumbing work for like clients like the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Pinjarra Refinery.
As one of the most well-established and reliable emergency plumbing services in Perth, we are available 24/7 and are dedicated to bringing you peace of mind. For the best plumber in Perth, look no further than Tunnel Vision. Get in touch with us today by sending an enquiry or giving our team a call on 1800 631 799.