What That Bargain Plumber Isn’t Telling You

So the drip drip drip of your faucet finally drove you crazy or you came home and the basement had turned into a makeshift hot spring…you picked the first name out of the Yellow Pages and now you’re (still) waiting on the repairman to show up and hopefully fix your issues. Don’t be surprised when you end up with another problem next month and next year and the year after that – here are a few things your ‘bargain’ plumber isn’t telling you (and a few more reasons to call in real professionals like Pell Plumbing):

 “I’m not actually a plumber, perse…” – Wait, what? You read that right: a large portion of the “plumbing” industry is made up of contractors and general handymen with a few plumber’s tools. It’s a scary thought but it’s great side money…just don’t expect them to know what they’re doing.

“Yeah, I’m not cleaning that up…” – That giant puddle of slimy green-brown goo? Don’t expect your plumber to help with the clean-up – if he miraculously stops the leak he’s getting his check and then he’s outta there.

“This was an easy fix…over the phone.” – You, the homeowner, are often able to fix the issue with a little friendly advice but hey, what kind of cut rate plumber’s making money off of free tips? The service fee alone was worth his trip out to your house.

“You’ve got a choice in all this, you know…” – When it comes to decisions about your plumbing be it ordering a new pipe or even changing the location of the whole sink, it’s up to you. If your plumber’s telling you it can’t be done or not even consulting with you when it comes to ordering parts, beware.

“Every customer’s got an ‘emergency,’ pal…” – You call in, knee deep in water expecting to incite as much alarm in your local plumber as you’re currently feeling and wouldn’t you know it you’re still 8th in line. The guy with the water heater leak is going to make your bargain professional just as much money as your tough, wet fix will so what incentive does he have to rush? Hint: none.

A plumbing problem whether an emergency or not is a stressful situation for any homeowner to be in but finding a reliable, knowledgeable Atlanta plumber is half the battle: that’s where Pell Plumbing comes in. When you trust your job to the real professionals you’re going to save yourself time and money in the long run – there are lots of home improvements it makes sense to go with the cheapest solution. Plumbing is not one of them.

Easy Money Misconceptions: House Flipping is Foolproof

It’s easy to get deceived into thinking house flipping is a quick and painless way to make tens of thousands of dollars. Just about every major cable network has a reality show touting the money-making benefits of flipping…but what’s the real story? If you’ve ever considered renovating homes in the Atlanta area for profit here’s the cold, hard truth you’ve got to accept before you dive in:

Throw Your Budget Out the Window: Even if you think you’ve saved enough, even if you’ve put in an extra 10% “just in case,” you’re still not even going to be close. The unfortunate reality of flipping is that no matter what you see on the surface there’s still all kinds of expensive structural work lurking just beneath – this is particularly true for foreclosed homes bought sight-unseen. Whether it’s mold, foundation issues or just the natural disintegration of an unlived-in house, it’s going to cost you.

You’ve Got to Know Professionals: And not just any professionals, reliable, competent ones. In a market the size of Atlanta that’s harder than you might think so start building a portfolio now if you’re still just considering the flipping game. You should have trusted professionals like Pell Plumbing on your go-to list for specific projects and no matter how tempting it sounds it’s never a good idea to hire ‘some guy your brother’s personal trainer knows’ to do a major renovation project. Trust us.

It’s Going to Take Time: Particularly if you’re new to the game the learning curve’s going to be steep. It’s going to take you months to learn the ins and outs of what’s necessary, what’s cosmetic and what’s worth spending the big bucks on and all the mistakes you’ll make along the way are going to cost you. Time means money when you’re carrying a mortgage (and paying per-hour laborers to sit around and wait on some other contractor to finish his project) so plan ahead when you’re budgeting your time and your money.

This Market Really is Tough: You know who’s still making money in the flipping game in Atlanta right now? Development companies. They’ve got the money to buy multiple homes and flip them in a matter of days – there are few weekend-warrior renovators able to squeak out a large profit in today’s market…it’s just math. If you’re itching to get into flipping now’s a great time to get a game plan together for when the market picks back up. It will and you’d better be ready and waiting.

7 Things That WILL Clog Your Pipes

Plumbers everywhere have horror stories galore of pulling full-sized action figures, Blackberrys and even clothing out of clogged drains, but what about the every day items you’re putting down your drains without even considering their impact? Your friends at Pell Plumbing want to gently remind you these items have no place in your drains but if they find themselves there anyway, give Pell a call.

Garbage Disposal No-Nos:

Pasta Noodles: Maybe you assume they’ll get chopped to bits but pasta expands in pipes just like in your stomach. It’s the number-one culprit of clogged family garbage disposals.

Bones: You’re either thinking “Bones! Who would do that?” or “Sure, why would I NOT put bones down my disposal?” If you’re in the latter group please just don’t for the sake of your sink.

Veggie Peels: Think twice about grinding those carrot peels or potato skins – they’re terrible for the gears on your disposal. Scrape into a bowl then trash them all instead to keep your sink working properly.

Toilet Troubles:

Toilet Paper: Huh? Mass marketing of ultra-soft and ultra-strong toilet paper has been great for consumer’s behinds but it’s terrible for finicky plumbing. Choose a mid-grade paper that’s not so strong it won’t dissolve easily…that’s how the toilet gets clogged.

Hair: You may think your toilet is hair free but think again. If you’ve got a small bathroom you may be shedding hair directly into the toilet and not even know it. Close the lid when you’re blow-drying or brushing your hair and whatever you do, don’t cut your hair over the toilet. That’s just asking for it.

Miscelanous Drain Pointers:

Bath Salts: Ladies, you may think they dissolve completely but many brands are so coarsely milled they stay the size of tiny pebbles – this means trouble when landing in your drain.

Washer Lint: That’s right, washer lint. Install a lint catcher (available a most hardware stores) on your washing machine drain as these kinds of clogs can wreak real havoc on your plumbing system. These are way worse than your run of the mill plunger clogs…

If you still find yourself with an immoveable clog after following these handy-dandy tips don’t hesitate to call Pell Plumbing. They’ll get you clog-free in a jiffy and hopefully identify the culprit so you can keep fighting the uphill battle that is not clogging your pipes.

9 Reasons to Love a Plumber’s Crack

Contacting Pell Plumbing the second your plumbing issue got out of hand was the right idea, but now you’re in the middle of your repair and, well, we’ve all been there, staring at the wrong side of a sweaty, tiny-pantsed man working tirelessly to fix the leak under the sink. The next time you find yourself in this predicament look at the bright side…

9. Positive Body Image: Feel good about your physique again when you at least confirm your pants aren’t working that hard.

8. Underwear…Model?: Preview different undergarments on a real live model. Are you sure you want to go with those plaid boxers after seeing them in action? Straining, pasty action?

7. Storage Facility: If you get in a bind feel free to store any manner of things in there…credit cards and even a pen to sign the check later are both fair game. Many plumbers like to be tipped this way so keep cash on hand! (Disclaimer: We do not endorse this tactic.)

6. Tan Line Inspection: The less defined your plumber’s butt-tan is the harder he’s working, right? If he’s got a swimsuit line all the way across he’s spending too much time at the beach and not enough time getting experience that will help him fix your sink.

5. Conversation Skill Builder: In a desperate attempt to think about anything other than his crack you’ll gain valuable experience making idle conversation with a stranger. Conversation that doesn’t involve anyone’s posterior.

4. Total Focus: At least you can rest in the fact that if your plumber’s working SOHARD they neglect to feel a cool breeze on their you-know-where they’re at least paying attention to your pipes.

3. Lax Dress Code: Seriously though, if your plumber shows his crack you don’t have to worry about changing out of your pajamas while he’s there.

2. Good Stories: Really, who doesn’t love a good “My plumber’s crack was so big…” story? You’ll have comedic gold to spin for at least three weeks.

1. You Hired a Plumber: The best part of being eye-to-eye with a plumber’s crack? Knowing he’s the one on his hands and knees pulling who knows what out of your drain.  Calling in Pell Plumbing to fix your plumbing issues gets you one step ahead of the game, even if it means a little more crack than you’re comfortable with.

Honey, Don’t! Home Improvements that Call for a Professional

If you see yourself as a Weekend Warrior it can feel shameful to call a professional to work on your house. Shouldn’t you know how to fix that? There’s a reason home improvement masters get paid the big bucks and also why it’s impossible to find a good contractor: no one knows how to do everything. Save yourself from a night on the couch and a pretty deserved, “I told you so” and call a professional for these common home jobs before things get out of hand…

Installing New Lights or Switches: Whether you’re thinking about adding under cabinet lighting in the kitchen or you’d like some additional can lights in the bedroom, your best bet is to call an electrician…check Angie’s List for recommended pros in your Atlanta neighborhood. One you open up walls and start stripping wires your odds of creating a new fire hazard or electrocuting yourself are, well, higher than you want them to be so bite the bullet and call a professional. It’s not worth it to get nervous every time the cat falls asleep near an outlet.

“Fixing” the Water Heater: You’ve got a leak…seems simple enough, but what happens when that leak turns into a flood of boiling water? What about switching to a tankless heater…that should be easy to do yourself: the instructions are right on the box! Think again. One of Pell Plumbing’s professionals knows the right way to diagnose, change out or even uninstall a faulty water heater and that knowledge is worth every penny you’ll save in the long run. Unless your wife happens to like really, really cold showers.

Adding Cabinetry or Crown Molding: Okay, so you took shop in high school, you KNOW how to work a miter saw thankyouverymuch. But that saying “measure twice, cut once?” It was created for home improvement novices just like you and you’d better believe there’s nothing quite as precise as woodworking. Whether you’re adding a decorative touch, an entertainment system or simply installing pre-fab cabinetry you really need someone who knows how to level and cut right the first time. You’ll be glad you did when you’re not stuck tending one very expensive bonfire…

Even if it goes against your very nature to ask for help particularly in your own home, know that some things just aren’t meant for amateurs to do. You wouldn’t try to shoe a horse or install a new carburetor without professional assistance so take it from us and don’t break your house. You’re the one who’s going to have to live with the end result and though it seems more expensive upfront you’ll undoubtedly save yourself hundreds and even thousands in the long run by calling a reputable company like Pell Plumbing right off the bat.