How To Prepare For A Visit From The Plumber

If you've had to call a plumber to fix a problem you can't take care of yourself, there are still a few things you can do to make his job easier and your bill potentially less expensive. Before you call someone for service, there are a few things you should know that will end up benefitting everyone.

Know What's Wrong

Even if you can't explain the specifics of the problem, it helps the plumber to know the general situation. For example, instead of just saying that there's a leak in your sink, be able to specify whether it's coming from the drain or the tap. Try to explain when it started happening and what might have caused it, whether it be wear and tear or something that could have been caused by damage.

If you know the part that needs to be fixed or replaced, this is even better news. Plumbers will often need to purchase replacement parts on their own, so if they can buy them on the way to your house rather than doubling back, that will save you both time.

Have Spare Parts Ready

If you want to offer even more assistance, you can have the parts you need ready rather than asking the plumber to buy them himself. If you pay for the parts yourself, that can come out of the total cost from the plumber, and it can save him plenty of time as well. If you aren't sure what you need, you can take the old parts to a hardware store and ask them to help you find a replacement.

Know How to Turn the Water Off

If you have a leak anywhere that won't stop, the plumber will need to shut off the supply of water to your house before he can fix it. You can jump ahead and do this yourself – usually from the valve just outside your house – and then empty any remaining water in the pipes by turning on the faucets in the rooms near the leak. If you can dry the area, or if you have any spare towels, this is even better.

Don't Try to Fix It Yourself

If you've already called a plumber, or are prepared to, leave the problem alone for now. It might be tempting to do what you can to help, but the plumber is a professional with years of experience. An inexperienced person trying to fix the problem, or even prevent it from getting worse, could cause more complications. Trust that your plumber knows what he's doing and will do the best job he can for you.

Communicate Any Issues Up Front

If you have any budget concerns or time restraints, tell your plumber about them when you first call him rather than after he's at your home working on the problem. This is also the time to work out roughly what the repairs will cost you; if you have a plumbing emergency and need him to see you quickly, this will likely be added on to your cost.

Understand Emergency vs Inconvenience

If you have a clogged toilet but have another one available, this is an inconvenience. If you have a pipe that is spraying water and forcing you to shut off water to the whole house, this is an emergency. Knowing the difference between the two will help you better explain the issue to the plumber and help him prioritize his jobs. It can also save you being charged for an emergency job when simply waiting a little longer could save you money. For more information, check out a site like