Monday, November 26, 2012

Plumber Hourly Rates

Ball Plumbing has totally transparent prices and they can be found on the website: Ball Plumbing Prices

We're 30% cheaper than our closest competitor (licensed and insured companies---not your 2nd cousin). Most plumbing companies in Whatcom are charging 300% more than us.

Here is the breakdown for hiring a plumber from Ball Plumbing:

Hourly: $88.00
  Charged to the quarter hour.
  Extra labor, if needed: $44.00 per hour.

Service Charge: $45.00
  This is the travel/truck charge.

Parts: 50% mark-up over our cost.

Equipment: Starting at $35.00
  If used, this charge covers the cost of purchasing/maintaining.

Estimates: $55.00

Tax: Varied
  Starts at 8.1% of entire bill.

Other charges: Please visit the website and scroll down to near bottom: Ball Plumbing Prices

Ball Plumbing offers Contract Prices that includes labor, parts, and equipment charges. Tax is separate.

We have a price book that covers most jobs.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blaine Kitchen Faucet

Finally got these Semiahoo snowbirds to replace their kitchen faucet. Mr. Snowbird didn't have much choice, as the old one was leaking into a bucket.

The drain was clogged, too, but I'll spare you the pictures of that.

Old kitchen faucet (Lowes Kohler, I think):

New kitchen faucet (Delta faucet bought from us):

The new one has a pull-out spray head with a steel braided hose:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Water Saving Toilets

Anyone older than my pipe wrench remembers when toilets usually worked with one flush. It's getting harder to find ones that flushes waste, washes the bowl, has a decent water spot (the amount of water in the bowl) and most importantly, gets the waste down the sewer.

Today's toilets offer challenges to the plumber and the consumer. We use a very basic model with no gimmicks or big price tags. It has normal, everyday parts in the tank and we get almost zero complaints.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

water leak, Mt. Vernon, Wa

It's been said that plastic pipe is easier to work with. I think this has been said by someone who hasn't had to repair it.

This leak was showing up a few feet away from the pipe through a crack in the driveway. Some-other-plumbing-company wanted to replace the whole line for a lot of money, but the building owner (commercial place) called us for a second opinion. It took him a second to hire us and we completed the repair in less time it took that-other-company to write their estimate.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Slab leak in Bellingham

Luckily for plumbers and homeowners alike, there aren't too many homes built on poured slabs. This job had an ongoing leak that was repaired---not by us--a long time ago. The repair itself leaked for years, but wasn't discovered until another leak happened.

New leak:

Bad repair:

Friday, November 2, 2012

DIY Garbage Disposers

Some sinks aren't piped correctly for a garbage disposer because the house plumbing predates them, the original builder didn't want one or the piping was installed incorrectly.

This doesn't stop a lot of people from installing one, though, and from water's p.o.v., it's like installing a tire that is a different size than the others.

This disposer is a perfect example. The installer reversed the p-trap and a few other things that are beyond me:

I took the garbage disposer out, installed a new strainer, trap, and reconnected the dishwasher: