Before You Stuff the Bird, Think Carefully of Where You Stuff the Leftovers

Whirr. Whirr. CLUNK. CLUNK. CLUNK.

Did you know one of the most popular repair calls made on Thanksgiving is made to the local plumber? It would appear that gravy, mashed potatoes, turkey bones and other items from the great feast have a tendency to do really bad things to a disposal and cause severe strain on the plumbing. But before picking up the phone, do a little research first.

Ask family and friends for recommendations when searching for a plumber.  Further your search online at BBB to assess accreditation, ratings, reviews, and complaints.

Look at Credentials — A plumber hired to do any type of work or repair should be licensed and insured. Check the plumber’s credentials with the Board of State Examiners before hiring.

Get Three Estimates — When a larger job needs to be completed, get at least three different estimates. Understand how the plumber plans to charge for the job being done. It may be a flat rate for all work or the plumber may charge an hourly labor fee.

Look into References — Ask the plumber for a list of references where they have previously completed work. Contact a few of the references to ask if the final cost was as estimated, if the job was done on schedule, and if the quality of the job has held up since the work was done. Try to contact one of the references that had a similar job done as the one being requested.

Get a Written Agreement — A contract should provide specific details of the job and should include: description of the job, materials needed, cost of the materials and labor, completion date, and any type of permits or inspections that are needed. Work out a payment system that pays the plumber according to how much work has been completed. Never make the final payment before the job is fully completed to satisfaction. Save a copy of the contract in case it is needed for future reference.

Hopefully this holiday will fill you with warm memories of laughter, good food and great family togetherness. But if the garbage disposal or plumbing has other plans, start your search with someone you can trust. Happy Thanksgiving!

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About Sandra Guile

Sandra is the PR Specialist for BBB Cincinnati, promoting BBB's message of marketplace ethics through public speaking engagements, presentations, blogging, media relations, press releases, web content and other written materials. Her goal is to connect with consumers and business owners in a trustworthy environment and encouraging best practices.