Insider’s Guide to Saving Money on Plumbing
Plumbing products include everything from that designer faucet you want to install in the bathroom to a low-flow toilet to the pipes that connect to your hot water heater. These items break and need replacement from time to time, and both the labor and materials involved are expensive. Here is an insider’s guide to save money on plumbing.
Choose Plastic Pipe
PVC pipes are durable, lightweight, easy to install, and resist water scale. They don’t create as much noise when water is flowing through the pipes, and the plastic can insulate water inside the pipe from temperature swings better than metal pipe. We’ll say that PVC pipes are the ideal choice for 90 percent of homes. You can use adapters to connect them to existing steel and aluminum pipe in your home, though you should leave the design and installation of such extensions to the professionals.
Skip the Premium Fixtures
There is very little difference between affordable plumbing fixtures and premium plumbing fixtures. There are low cost and medium range products that have a similar appearance and may even be made of the same materials as the name brand plumbing fixtures. There just isn’t much value in paying three times as much for a water faucet or shower head. The only caveat to this may be your next toilet. There are people who require a deeper seat or appreciate higher end features like a built-in bidet. However, you don’t have to buy a thousand-dollar toilet to enjoy these little amenities.
Research Your Options Before You Go with the Most Expensive Solution
Before you pay a plumber to move your sink, can you get by with a larger, deeper sink installed where the current one is? Rather than adding a second showerhead, could you install a large overhead showerhead off the current fixture?
Bring in the Pros for Anything You Don’t Know How to Do Well
There are few projects that the average homeowner can do themselves. Pulling out a plunger or rented pipe snake to clear a drain is one, assuming the clog isn’t too severe. Most people can replace the handle on the toilet if it breaks. Replacing an existing plumbing fixture like a kitchen faucet can be done by those who are somewhat handy. The problems begin when amateurs attempt projects best left to the pros. You’d be surprised how often a plumber in Texas gets called in to fix the result of someone’s attempt to do it themselves. They may fix leaks caused by someone replacing PVC pipe without using pipe cement or replace entire plumbing sections because of incorrectly sized pieces that ruptured.
Know that it is illegal to rent out a space or sell a home if there is unlicensed plumbing or electrical work in the home. Don’t attempt a DIY conversion of the garage into a granny flat or add a half bath under the stairs. Call in a plumber to do the work right the first time. It is cheaper than being fined for unlicensed work and even being forced to rip it all out if you want to sell the house.
Keep the Spare Parts when You Buy Plumbing Equipment
Keep the Allen key that comes with the garbage disposal when you have a new one installed. This tool makes it a snap to open up and unclog the garbage disposal, though you still have to turn off the power to the unit to be safe. If you buy a new toilet, save any extra seals or chains that come with it.