If your sewer is backed up, then it is important to call a skilled plumbing company right away to help keep the problem contained. However, it is important to first get a better understanding of what the services will cost so that you are prepared to pay and can easily make price comparisons between competing plumbing companies.
It can be difficult to get a good estimate over the phone because the total cost will depend on the severity of the problem. The only way that your plumber can determine which services are necessary (and the inherent cost of those services) is to diagnose the problem in person.
Typically, plumbers charge on a flat-rate or hourly-rate basis. A flat rate is a standard charge that is discussed before the project. An hourly rate is based on an hourly price range that is set by your plumber and can range anywhere from $45 to $150.
If you are choosing between two plumbers based on price, then make sure to consider all aspects of the price before making a decision. For instance, a low hourly rate is not necessarily cheaper than a low flat rate. If the plumber is taking hours to complete the work, the hourly fees can quickly add up.
When you call for a price estimate, ask about how long the services are expected to take so that you can make a fair comparison between several competing plumbing companies. Also ask if there is a minimum of hours. For instance, many plumbing companies have a two-hour minimum, so even if the services take 20 minutes, they will charge their minimum of two hours.
Typically, a sewer line replacement can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $20,000, so it is important to carefully weigh your options so that you can find the most affordable plumber, who also offers the quality services you expect. A sewer repair is less expensive than a replacement and typically costs several thousand dollars. Simply cleaning out the sewer should only cost several hundred dollars.
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