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Do I have to pay to have a plumber come out to troubleshoot a plumbing issue I am having, before having to pay a fee and commit to working with them?

To answer this question, allow me to use another analogy.   When your car has an issue, does your mechanic or dealer charge you a fee to assess what’s wrong with your car?  The answer is YES.   As a plumber (or mechanic), our training and expertise to assess plumbing issues, find the problems and diagnose a solution IS THE SERVICE that you are paying for.  So, unfortunately, we do need to charge for such troubleshooting services.  This IS the job that we are trained to do, and thus has a service fee for.

Plumbing upgrades, however, are a different story.  Most plumbing companies, such as myself, would be happy to come stop by, free of charge, to provide an estimate on larger plumbing UPGRADE jobs.  This includes such things as bathroom and kitchen renovations, new plumbing rough in’s, fixture installations etc.   For smaller jobs such as fixture installations, most plumbers have a standard fixed price for installation which they can even provide on the phone – so feel free to call or email to ask!  We’ve all also done similar jobs hundreds of times so we might be able to give you a really great sense of budget for larger projects as well and tell you from our experience what to expect.

So if you have water on your ceiling for example and we have to start cutting away drywall in order to see where the water is coming from, that time and attention is a BILLABLE SERVICE.   If your toilet is leaking and you don’t know what’s wrong with it – this is billable!   If you want to do a basement bathroom rough in and want to assess feasibility and cost – this is a FREE QUOTE service.

Most plumbers like myself have a minimum service fee that you pay to have them come out.  This covers there time, gas, and kilometers to have us come to your location and assess the situation – even if it’s just for an hour or less to diagnose the problem.  As with most companies, this rate is usually worked into the final quote for your job, discounted or removed; should you choose to use our services as the company of choice.   If you chose not to use our services (which you can totally do!), well then at least you know what your plumbing issue is for further investigation into a service provider and quoting and our minimum fee for coming out is covered.   This fee is non refundable.