Monday, October 19, 2009

Choosing A Plumber and More - HELP!

OK I have to face it. I’ve been doing everything but facing it. I’ve tried to forget it by spending endless hours shopping eBay. I’ve tried to avoid it by spending endless hours thinking up creative blog posts and reading your blogs. I’ve convinced myself that a magical fairy will fly into my window and give me the right answer:

How do I choose the right plumber, and then, a contractor?

Here’s the deal. The plumbing in my house sucks. I mean, it’s bad really bad. And it’s not getting better. I need to get the whole thing redone. Yikes.

But here’s another thing: About 15-20 years ago, my folks did get the whole works redone, because the plumbing sucked back then too. To the tune of $4,000.

OK, as long as it worked afterwards, not too bad, right?

But after a few years went by, the same problems started to happen again: The kitchen sink stopped working (try to plunge it, and the water came out from under the wall into the garage). The shower and tub stopped draining (the bathroom sink water fills up or backs up into the shower and tub). They used to drain slowly, now they hardly drain at all.

None of the sink or tub stoppers work any more, and the sink in the bathroom, I discovered, is leaking into the cabinet beneath it.


I had a plumber here to stop the leak in the bathroom sink before, and the toilet that didn’t stop running, and got his advice on the situation. He told me I needed a whole new plumbing job, to the tune of $4,000-$5,000. Of course.

But he was a bit of a jerk who wanted to cut access holes in my kitchen and bathroom floors to access the pipes. The other guys used the crawlspace on the side of the house.

It’s not the money. $4-$5K I can deal with, IF it all worked again, and didn’t start back up in a year or three.

But here is the other thing that stops me: A few years ago, a dear friend of mine got ripped off to the tune of $30K when he had to have his home rebuilt after one of the fires here in southern California. And my friend has been a contractor himself for almost 50 years, so if it happened to him, what about me?


Friends’ suggestions have been to call in a few guys, have them do something very minor, like change a washer, and get a vibe or feel for them.

I’m quite good at getting vibes from people, so not a bad idea.

But I looked in my yellow pages and online, and funny, I can hardly find any plumbers around here. Did I look on the wrong pages?

I’m an overworked eccentric who almost never talks to her neighbors because, well, I am an overworked eccentric. And they don’t do a lot of socializing with other neighbors. We all kind of do our own thing. So I can’t ask them for recommendations.

I need both bathrooms redone by a contractor, and new kitchen appliances installed, in addition to getting all the electrical plugs changed for new ones, and a couple hanging lamps hardwired in the ceiling.

But plumbing first.

So dear friends, I thought I’d at least ask all of you, to see if you had any more suggestions. Because I can’t wait much longer.

And if you have no suggestions but read though my whole desperate post, I thank you!

Thanks in advance.

Signed, I Need A Shower and Stinky in CA. Ha ha.