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Rafael, how can I  avoid a costly plumbing emergency?

Q. Rafael, how can I avoid a costly plumbing emergency?

A. First, know where your water shut-off valves are. You have your main shut-off, typically next to your water meter. Also, each fixture, such as your sink and toilet, will usually have shut-off valves for the plumbing in that section. Once you’ve identified these valves, make sure everyone in the home knows where they are and how to shut them off in case of an emergency. Shutting off the water in a timely manner can save you thousands in repairs.

Secondly, evaluate whether your emergency is really an emergency or if it can wait till normal business hours. Most plumbing companies have higher rates for emergency and off-hour calls, ranging from 50% to 100% above standard rate. If you can, try to avoid this. If you can’t, see if your plumber is willing or is able to make temporary repairs during these hours and reschedule for permanent repairs during normal business hours.

Finally, the best way to avoid costly plumbing repairs is by preventing them in the first place. No differently than getting a routine maintenance service on your vehicle every year or so, you should also be getting preventive maintenance service on your plumbing. The purpose is much the same for both. The service helps maintain optimal performance, increases the life of the parts, and most importantly, avoids costly repairs down the road.

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