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Can I Use the Toilet as a Trash Can? and Other Plumbing FAQs

The answer is no; you may not use your toilet bowl as the family trash can. That might not be one of the first questions the average homeowner asks their plumber, but judging by how often we find Junior’s toothbrushes and Spot’s squeaky toys lodged in pipes, it might as well be.

There are, however, some common queries that come up again and again in this business. From questions about that terrifying smell in the sink to questions about payment options, there are a few things you have probably asked (or probably should ask) your plumbing company before they start in on that toilet repair or water heater installation.

Are all of your plumbers licensed?

It’s one of the first questions you should ask the company that is about to fix your clogged toilet or a leaky pipe. The answer should be yes. If it’s not, you might want to look elsewhere.

At Met Plumbing, we’re proud to be fully qualified. That means that each and every one of our plumbers is licensed to handle all of your plumbing needs.

Can I pour grease down my kitchen drain?

No. Don’t do it—not even if your life depends upon it. That is unless you want to clog your drains. Grease is great at stopping up your drainage system and forcing you to call a plumber in desperation at seven o’clock on a Friday evening. If you would rather not be in that position, try dumping that grease in the trash can instead.

Already clogged your drains or concerned that they may clog in the future? Not to worry – We can fix it! Call us today and schedule one of our licensed professionals to come to your home to clean, clear, and camera your drains.

How do I know if I need to replace my water heater?

There are a few tell-tale signs that you need to throw your old water heater out the window (not literally, of course). If your hot water smells like rotten eggs, turns the color of rust, or simply becomes freezing cold, you might want to investigate further. A leak or a loud rumbling noise may mean it’s time to replace your unit.

Here at MET, we specialize in Water Heater repairs and installations. Our licensed professionals will talk with you concerning the best solution for you and your home and give you prices to repair or replace your unit. We will even waive the service fee for coming to your home.

Can I fix my water heater myself?

That would be inadvisable. Water heaters are known for emitting poisonous gases. What’s worse, those toxic gases are usually odorless, so you won’t know you’re in danger.

How do you charge?

It might be good to ask your plumber if they charge by the hour or by the project.

At Met Plumbing, we offer up-front pricing to all of our customers, so you know what you’re getting before you commit to a job. Think about this: Would you go to a restaurant and order a meal without knowing exactly what you were getting and the price you were going to pay? Hiring a plumber that charges by the hour is like a customer that sat down to order a meal and asked the waiter to bring them the special without knowing what’s in it or how much it will cost after you have finished eating the meal: you will always be left with hidden and surprise fees and charges by the time they are finished with the job and you will be stuck with the bill because you committed to the work. Here at Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning, we offer up-front pricing to all of our customers – so you know what you’re getting before you commit to a job.

What do you charge?

Now that you’ve worked out the type of payment, it’s time to focus on actual numbers. What is the hourly rate? Does your plumber charge for overtime? How much do they charge for each type of project? What if the project ends up being more involved than they first anticipated? What if something goes wrong along the way? Will they charge you more?

As you can see, there is a lot more to figuring out the dollar amount than simply asking about rates. It’s best to sit down with your licensed plumber and discuss these details beforehand so you don’t get hit with sticker shock when the time comes to fork over the money (also why up-front pricing for the project and not by the hour is the recommended choice).

Do you guarantee your work against malfunctions?

Breakage, leaks, failure—they happen. The question is whether your plumber will guarantee the work or whether they will invoice you for a brand new project. While you’re at it, ask them about the time frame. What if a pipe fails six months from now as opposed to six days from now?

Other companies will warranty their work 3-6months after repairs have been made. Here at Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning, we have a standard base warranty of 2 years on parts and labor for everything we supply, install or repair. Depending on the work to be done, warranty options can extend all the way to 12  years.

What is that loud, frightening clunking noise I hear when I turn my faucet on and off?

a loose washer is most likely the culprit. You can often hear it clunking around in there when the water runs through the pipes. If you decide to fix it yourself, make certain you grab the washer before it falls down the drain.

What if my garbage disposal smells like something that just crawled out of a swamp?

First of all, don’t panic. The bad odors come from food particles that have gotten stuck in your drain. Some deep cleaning can resolve the issue. Here’s one way to really clean that sink:

Plug the drain and then fill the sink about halfway up with water. Pour in some vinegar or dish soap. Finally, unplug the drain and turn on the garbage disposal. That will drive the liquid through the drain at a faster speed than normal, allowing it to clean out those hard-to-reach places.

Another common remedy is to throw a number of ice cubes down the drain and then turn on the disposal. After running cold water through it, squeeze a lemon over the drain, and then throw the whole thing in and grind it up. That will help with the foul odor.

If you’ve cleaned your disposal every which way, and it still smells like something died in your kitchen, pick up your phone and call Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning.

Can I see references to verify the quality of your work?

Ideally, you’ll select a plumber based on references from friends or family, but this isn’t an ideal world. Chances are you found your plumbing company online. That’s a-okay, but if you’re unsure about the quality of their work, simply ask them or research their reviews online

At Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning, we’re proud of our customers’ satisfaction. Over the years, we’ve built up a loyal clientele. That’s because we care more about quality and long-term relationships than about making a quick buck.

“Not only were the most polite, courteous, and diligent, they did excellent work. They were very professional, very neat, and did not waste time!” ~Lakshmi N.

You can read more great reviews about our service at Review Buzz.

Can I use a coat hanger to unclog my drains?

That would be a bad idea. It will most likely not clear up your drainage problems, and there’s a good chance it will make them worse. You might even damage your pipes while you’re at it. The only thing worse than a clogged drain is a clogged and damaged drain with a coat hanger sticking out of it.

What services do you offer?

It’s good to know upfront what types of services your plumbing company does or does not offer. At Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning we offer water heater installation and repair, toilet repair, leak repair – for both water and gas, bathroom plumbing repair, drain cleaning, and kitchen plumbing services.

Why is my water pressure so darn low?

Low water pressure can be caused by a number of problems, from mineral buildup to shutoff valve defects. First, check your water lines and shutoff valves to ensure there are no tie-ups. If your pipes are old—say you haven’t bothered with them since you bought the house thirty years ago—you might consider replacing them with a brand spanking new ones.

Is your company insured?

In a happy world, accidents never happen. Sadly, this is not such a happy world. Ask your plumbing company if they’re insured against the possibility of something going terribly, terribly wrong (not that it ever will).

Are you accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

Met Plumbing & Air Conditioning is not only accredited by the BBB; we also received a shiny service award and an A+ rating!

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