Plumbing Advice and Quoting


Lately I have enjoyed receiving enquiries on my blog in relation to plumbing issues that have affected you, my readers. I know that some of you want reassurance that what your plumber has advised you is correct. Your local plumber is the best person to seek advice from as they know the local council plumbing laws that must be abided by in your area (ensure that your local plumber is licensed and has a gold BSA license!!). But I’m also happy to give you advice and I have a lot of colleagues and plumbing engineers who have had extensive experience (some 30+ years) in the industry who I can ask if I don’t have the answers for you.


As a plumber I love giving advice but what really irks me is when I am asked for advice on how to fix a plumbing problem, I problem solve and explain a design to the customer of how to get the problem fixed, then the customer hawks my design to other plumbers to get a cheaper price. It’s unethical and wrong. It’s using someone’s expertise for your free gain. I know I’m not alone when I say that it makes me mad, because I know other plumbers and trades are affected by this behaviour too.  Sadly in hard economic times, you can’t trust people to do the right thing by you.


Its just the way business goes unfortunately.  But it’s not right. I know that quoting is free. But what if it wasn’t? What if every job request that asked for a quote required a fee for the plumber’s time in working out the price? It means that each plumber hasn’t wasted their time on quoting and their skills and knowledge are acknowledged. It also means only serious customer’s will request quotes. Time is money, and no one wants to work with time wasters.


On commercial jobs, variations are a NIGHTMARE! They are the biggest time wasters when quoting on jobs because the client or designer has decided to choose a different fixture or add another or completely change the design. Architects and Hydraulic Engineers get PAID to design a project – even if they haven’t been to site and their design won’t work. There are only a few hydraulic consultants in Brisbane that I recommend using because of their extensive expertise in the industry and they go to site to ensure their designs will work. Sometimes, variations will come into play when using these consultants – often due to unforeseen circumstances, but their variation costs are minimal compared to a consultant who hasn’t been to site and has drawn pipes that need to be installed through a main beam of a building or air conditioning duct!! If you want to know who these companies are, feel free to email me and I will advise you who to use.


I don’t want to rant, but I do want to bring up this issue. I’d love to hear how other business’s get around this issue of having their advice and price hawked around or if they just accept it for what it is?

Do you think charging for quotes is a good idea or bad idea?