SEATTLE -- Most people don't think about plumbers until emergencies. After you see the latest local customer survey, you might want to start shopping for a plumber right now.
Whether it's a simple clogged kitchen drain or something more complicated, the plumber you call can mean the difference between satisfaction, and wasted money down the drain.
Consumers' Checkbook President Robert Krughoff says if you wait until an emergency to pick a plumber, you're really rolling the dice. In the latest survey of plumbers in the Puget Sound region, Checkbook's undercover staff found huge price differences for the same service.
In one example, price quotes for installing a new garbage disposer ranged from a low of $170 to a high of $492 for the exact same equipment.
Installation of a bathroom faucet ranged from $195 to $482. The price to install a 50-gallon gas water heater ranged from $750 to $1,400 -- nearly double.
Krughoff says plumber pricing is the top customer complaint, followed by poor customer service, incorrect work and untrained workers, and attempted price gouging.
"Not showing up is a big problem," Krughoff added. "Or showing up, and even though you've told them plenty for them to have brought along what they need, they say 'Oh! I don't have that on the truck.' "
But if you do your homework, reliable, reasonably priced plumbers can be found.
Of the 88 local plumbers surveyed, Consumers' Checkbook found plenty that got excellent customer ratings, including the following five local plumbers that got top overall ratings from both the customers, and the Consumers' Checkbook team:
- Archie's Plumbing Service in Seattle
- Bainbridge Island Plumbing on Bainbridge Island
- Forest Ridge Plumbing in Bothell
- Jensen Plumbing in Des Moines
- Setzer Plumbing in Snohomish.
For limited access to the full survey results, click on the following link, follow the prompts, and enter any email address.
This link is special to KOMO viewers and will expire on November 3rd.