Some Common Plumbing Scams and How to Spot Them

It’s an unfortunate reality that any time you hire a contractor for any type of job in your home, you need to be careful that you don’t get scammed. The plumbing world is no exception—there are unscrupulous individuals just waiting to take advantage of clients who don’t suspect a scam, and don’t have the knowledge about the industry that’s necessary to spot the warning signs.

It’s important to ensure you’re only hiring San Antonio’s best plumbers when you need help with your plumbing system. With this in mind, here are just a few examples of some of the most common plumbing scams and what you can do to spot and avoid them:

  • Sudden price hikes: Some plumbers might attempt to suddenly jack up their prices if they believe they’re dealing with a wealthy homeowner, just because they feel like you can afford it and will not question it. This is one of the reasons why it’s a good idea to get estimates for a job from multiple plumbers ahead of time, so you can get a sense of the going rates and what a fair price range is for a quote.
  • Low-quality materials: High-quality plumbing materials can be quite expensive. It makes sense as a homeowner to put a bit more money into materials you know are going to hold up over time—in the long run, they’ll pay for themselves. However, some shady plumbers know homeowners are willing to pay for quality, and will replace those quality materials with cheap, bargain-barrel options when performing the work. Make sure you get a list of the parts from the plumber, with details. If you have any reason to suspect wrongdoing, you can take the list to your local hardware store to get a sense of the actual costs.
  • Subcontractors: In some cases that involve larger plumbing projects, plumbers might need to bring in subcontractors to assist with some aspects of the work. However, if these subcontractors are just friends or family helping out with simple tasks that should be able to be performed by a single person, this could be a red flag. The plumber might try to charge you extra for the “essential” help they brought in. If a plumber says they will need to bring in additional people to work on the job, make sure you get a reasonable explanation as to why it’s necessary, and get that in writing. Otherwise, opt for a different plumber.
  • Get quotes in writing: Speaking of getting things in writing, anytime you get a quote from a plumber, make sure it’s in a written document. Some scammers might attempt to conceal actual costs until it comes time for you to pay. You should get a quote for the job in advance, and then any additional expenses would have to come in the form of change orders or contract amendments that will need your approval before the plumber goes ahead with the extra work.

For more information about some of the most common plumbing scams, contact the team at Big City Plumbing, LLC. San Antonio’s best plumbers are eager to work with you!

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