Q: How do I request a service call (visit) to my house?
A: The best way to request service is by phoning us at 813-310-8018, and, if appropriate, sending a picture or short video attachment that demonstrates the problem. Don’t forget to text us your name, address of job site, and the ideal date and time (or time range) for a service call visit. If noone answers the phone, leave a voice or text message and we will get back to you shortly. You can also request service by email.
Can I schedule a service call for the evening?
A: Our normal business hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A 30% surcharge applies to evening (5:00-9:00) calls. After 9:00 p.m. we take only emergency calls.
Q: Do you offer weekend and holiday service?
A: Yes. We serve our customers on Sundays and on holidays. A 30% surcharge is assessed for work done on weekends and major holidays. We are closed on Saturdays in observance of the Sabbath.
Q: When will you arrive at my place?
A: The nominal appointment time you receive is the start of a one-hour window. Unless told otherwise, a 9:00 a.m. appointment is for any time between 9:00 and 10:00. You will normally receive an ETA (expected time of arrival) text message once the plumber is on the way.
Q: What is the soonest I can schedule an appointment for?
A: If you call in the morning we can usually get you an appointment for the same day, if urgent. If we cannot serve you on the same day, we are usually still able to serve you within 24-48 hours, most of the time.
Q: Do you provide emergency service?
A: Yes. If you request “emergency service”, we will prioritize you call above all others, but it would most likely be subject to a 30% surcharge. (The charge may be waived if it’s a slow season or we happen to be slow when the call comes in.) Emergencies can typically be attended to within 2-3 hours.
Q: What if I need to cancel or postpone my appointment?
A: You should notify us at once if you must change the appointment. If a plumber is already on the way, you may be charged a (full or partial) trip fee.
Q: Does an adult have to be present for the appointment?
A: Yes. In occupied units, there should be an adult present during the service call. Unoccupied properties (e.g. a vacant rental property) do not require the customer’s presence.
Q: What if you cannot finish the job in one session?
A: In rare cases, unexpected developments will force the plumber to make a return trip to finish the job. Timing of the return trip will be coordinated with the customer. There is no extra charge, and you don’t pay until the job is complete (unless stipulated otherwise for a multi-day project).
Q: I am a property manager requesting service for my client who will pay the bill. Can you bill my client directly?
A: No. We can not bill a third party without his ordering service from us directly. Therefore, if you are not paying the bill, then you should not be the one requesting service. Conversely, if you do request service, then you are responsible for payment, even if it’s on behalf of someone else.
Billing and Payment
Q: Is there a fee for you to come over to my house to diagnose and fix a plumbing problem?
A: Yes. We charge a $80 trip fee to travel to your job site. This fee covers the cost of the van, gas, insurance, and the time (an hour on average) it takes to travel to and from the job site. This fee is meant to cover the expense of the trip, as well as some of the administrative overhead. Note that you don’t normally pay the trip fee as a standalone fee; rather, it is rolled in to the overall service bill.
Q: Why should I pay you just to come to my house? I know another plumbing company that would come to me for $29.99 or for free!
A: A plumbing business that agrees to send over a plumber for $29.99 or for free is obviously losing money on the trip. The only way they stay in business is by charging a higher price for the job if and when they do earn the customer’s business. Moreover, such companies will be quite offended if they don’t get hired for the job or if “there’s nothing to do”, and will try to manipulate you into purchasing some service from them in order to justify charging a repair fee.
At Zach’s Plumbing we harbor no grudge if, for whatever reason, we do not perform any work on a service call: we will not invent bogus reasons to perform work. We will simply charge you the trip fee and be on our merry way.
As part of our “price transparency” value here at Zach’s Plumbing, we do not obscure the way jobs are priced; everything is straightforward and transparent. If it costs us to get to your place, you are charged for that. If there is any further transaction, you are charged for the plumbing work at a lower rate than other companies charge, because our trip cost is already accounted for.
Q: If it turns out that no repairs are necessary, will you charge me any more than the $80 trip fee?
A: As a courtesy, we will perform certain quick and easy fixes (especially ones that don’t require the use of tools) without charging you anything extra. For example, if while diagnosing a “no water pressure” problem we discover (within a couple of minutes) that the supply stop has been turned off and that turning it back on resolves the problem, we will not charge you any labor fee. However, extensive work (lasting more than 5 minutes), work that requires the use of tools, and difficult work (e.g. crawling into an attic or crawlspace, etc.) is billable.
Q: I’m trying to avoid having to pay the trip fee. Can I just call you and get advice or maybe have you guide me through the repair?
A: If the issue at hand is simple and within the abilities of laypeople to do, we will offer brief general advice upon request, time permitting, at no charge. We will always advise how to address an emergency situation until a plumber can get there to perform a repair, e.g. how to find and close a water shut-off valve if there’s a broken pipe actively spewing water.
If the problem requires substantial diagnosis, if the repair is beyond the skills of an average homeowner, or if the work may be performed only by a licensed plumber (and it’s not an emergency), then we will not provide any guidance over the phone. Bear in mind that in most cases, unless the repair is really simple, it’s actually cheaper and more efficient for a lay homeowner to have a professional, experienced, competent, and insured plumber do the work. Plumbing work, when done wrong, could cause catastrophic flooding or other damage/inconvenience, either immediately or down the line.
Q: What if you only diagnose the problem but don’t do anything to fix it? Do I still have to pay for the visit?
A: Diagnostic work is billable even if no remedial action is taken. For example, if we are called to diagnose a water leak and we discover that it’s from the A/C condensate line, then we will refer you to an A/C specialist for the repair, and you will still be charged for the service.
However, if the remedy to the problem we encounter is within the scope of plumbing as conventionally practiced, and we are unwilling or unprepared to perform the repair within a reasonable time, then we do not charge you for the diagnostic service.
Q: Will you take the initiative to tell me the price before you begin work?
A: Not usually. On small jobs, jobs for repeat customers, or jobs that do not have fixed published prices, we will not bring up pricing unless prompted. By default, if you call us and ask for service, you are agreeing to pay for the service, as per either the published price (a.k.a. “list price”) or the formula we use to determine the price of a job upon its completion.
We are happy to give you a price in advance upon request, but bear in mind that such contractual price is based on an estimate of time and material, and is not –in the long run– any cheaper or more expensive than a price that is computed upon the job’s completion based on actual costs.
On some jobs there’s a possibility that we won’t be able to give you the price in advance –even upon request– until after “discovery work” (e.g. excavating some dirt) is made. Such discovery work is considered part of the job and is billable (should the customer subsequently decide not to hire us for the repair). Also, in rare cases (where it’s nearly impossible to make an accurate estimate of how extensive the job will be), we will ask that you agree to pay actual “time and material” rather than a pre-specified “flat-rate” amount.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We prefer cash, check, or Zelle transfer. We accept debit cards, credit cards and Paypal at a 4% fee. Google Pay is also available. When paying by check, address the payment to “Zach’s Pumbing, LLC”. Zelle payments should be sent to the phone number 813-310-8018. In the Zelle app you may enter anything as the payee, and the app will then confirm that you are sending payment to “Zach’s Plumbing, LLC”.
Q: Will I ever be asked to pay in advance?
A: On small jobs, we expect payment only after the job’s completion. On large projects, however, you may be asked to make a partial deposit before work begins. A written contract may be drawn up for such projects specifying a schedule of payments that roughly corresponds to our work progress on the project.
Q: When is payment due?
A: Payment in full is generally due upon completion of the work if the customer that has requested service is present on site. Landlords and property managers have 24 business-day hours to pay once they receive the invoice by text message or email, unless stipulated otherwise in advance (e.g. net 30 for a large property management firm). If paying by check, we ask that the customer confirm to us (by text message or email) within 24 hours that the check has been mailed.
Q: Do I get a receipt or invoice?
A: An invoice is written up upon job completion and handed or transmitted digitally to the customer. The invoice includes a detailed description of the work performed and any recommendations for further work and referrals. If a price was not given in advance and the job is not listed in the published price list, then a breakdown of the charge (by trip fee, labor and material) is provided.
Q: Can I bargain with you over the price?
A: In some cultures bargaining is standard in many commercial transactions, but not so in America. The advantage of no-haggle pricing is that all customers can rest assured that they are getting the best deal regardless of their haggling abilities and their perceived need for the service.
Accordingly, we do not bargain on any service that is in our published price list or that is small enough to be done in one session.
Q: Can I provide the supplies and fixtures for a plumbing job so that you don’t charge me for material?
A: In general we recommend that the customer provide major fixtures, especially when the look/feel of the fixture is important. But we do not recommend that the customer provide small parts; it’s time-consuming and very inefficient for us to make an exhaustive list and description of all the parts to be used in a plumbing project. For example, when it comes time for you to upgrade your kitchen faucet, it’s probably best for you to pick and purchase the faucet, while we provide any additional plumbing parts that may be needed under the sink.
Q: Do you charge me more if it’s urgent and I am desperate, or if I’m old and vulnerable?
A: No. We are aware of some companies that strategically price jobs differently based on whether a customer is just shopping around or desperate for an immediate repair. Some companies take into account the customer’s perceived “willingness to pay more”.
We do not follow this practice. We don’t base our price on anything other than distance, labor, and materials (“the formula”). We will never discriminate in pricing based on your wealth, your neediness, your physical or emotional vulnerability, your willingness to pay more, or your ignorance of the plumbing trade. We also, of course, abide by all state- and federally-enacted anti-discriminatory laws.
Q: I need an essential plumbing service but I don’t have the money to pay for it. Can you help?
A: We work with indigent customers on ways to make a vital plumbing repair happen. Customer must demonstrate/prove their poverty or otherwise convince us of it. We will then either lower the price or work out a payment plan.
Workmanship and warranty
Q: How can I be assured of the quality of your plumbing work?
A: Zach’s Plumbing, LLC is a certified plumbing contractor in the state of Florida, license number CFC1430555. This means that the State of Florida certifies that the master plumber performing or overseeing the performance of the work, has undergone extensive testing of plumbing code knowledge coupled with ample practical experience in the field. All of our work conforms to the Florida Plumbing Code –whether the work is permitted and inspected or not.
If you wish to read reviews that customers have left us, feel free to look us up on Google.
Q: I think I can get a handyman to do the job for less than what you charge. Why should I choose you?
A: To be honest, there are certain types of plumbing work that can be done just as well by most handymen, e.g. installing a faucet. And yet, for most plumbing work, the typical handyman does not have enough knowledge and experience to perform a proper repair job. They may try to wing it instead of declining the job, or worse, they may be absolutely convinced that they’re doing it right when they’re not. Legally, someone who is not licensed (and thus certified by the state as competent), is not permitted to perform plumbing work for money. For most homeowners and property managers the wise thing to do is to hire a plumber to do all plumbing work rather than try to guess what type of problem can possibly be repaired for slightly cheaper by a handyman.
An additional advantage of hiring a properly licensed and insured company is that such companies are required by Florida law to be insured. Zach’s Plumbing, LLC carries liability insurance of up to one million dollars, in the extremely unlikely event that our work accidentally causes serious property damage or injury.
Lastly, reputable plumbing companies generally offer warranty service. Zach’s Plumbing warranties all its work for 90 days. If there’s any defect in our work or in a product that we installed, we will return within 90 days to fix the problem, free of charge. What’s more: we prioritize warranty service over regular service. So if there’s any problem with a job that we have done, rest assured that you will be the first on our schedule for a return visit.
Q: What plumbing standards do you abide by?
A: We follow the International Plumbing Code (IPC), the code adopted by the state of Florida. Moreover, even when the code permits us otherwise, we voluntarily adhere to best practices. For example, we minimize the length of wet vents, and we avoid AAVs when not too difficult. When there’s a close call and the price of the project hangs in the balance, we explain the pros and cons and give the customer a choice.
Q: I’m looking to renovate my bathroom. Can I hire you to do it?
A: A typical bathroom renovation requires demolition, tilework, and other work unrelated to plumbing that we do not do. You would typically hire a general contractor to undertake such a project, and the GC will in turn hire plumbers and other tradesmen if necessary. Having said that, if you are knowledgeable and willing to act as your own general contractor, we would be thrilled to do the plumbing components of your project –both rough-in and trim-out.
Q: Do you perform work incidental to plumbing?
A: If the plumbing job requires “opening the wall” (removing drywall) then we will endeavor to restore the removed wall section, but this is not guaranteed. If parts of a cinder-block/stucco wall has to be chipped away, we will patch it with concrete after the plumbing repair is made. Ditto after busting up a concrete floor or patio (unless stipulated otherwise).
We do not do any tiling, plastering, or painting. Thus, if we have to destroy tile we will obtain your advance consent where applicable and you will be advised of the fact that we won’t be putting humpty dumpty back together again. Even with drywall and concrete we don’t do a professional-level job at restoration: you will still need to put finishing touches on the wall or floor by applying mud, sanding, painting, etc.
In certain instances when we are forced to remove drywall for a plumbing repair we will offer the option of a plastic access panel in lieu of the removed section. This way no further repairs will be necessary after the plumbing job is complete, and the plumbing work will, moreover, be accessible in the future should a need arise.
We do minor electrical work that is plumbing-related, e.g., for a garbage disposer or water heater.
Q: Do you warranty your labor and materials?
A: We offer a 90-day warranty on parts and labor. Should anything fail under normal use within 90 days, whether due to faulty workmanship or defective materials, we will correct the problem free of charge (or give you your money back). Free warranty service will not be provided if misuse or vandalism is evident. The material warranty is not valid unless we provided the material. Warranty service does not apply to repeat stoppages.
Q: What if you accidentally cause damage to my property while doing the job?
A: Should there be any minor damage, we will repair it or hire someone to do so. In the unlikely case that a serious accident should happen that we cannot fix, we will direct you to file a claim with our general liability insurance carrier; we are covered for $1,000,000.
Q: What is price transparency?
A: Zach’s Plumbing is the only plumbing company in the Tampa Bay area that is fully price-transparent with customers and prospective customers. This means that we don’t strategically withhold price information when available. We publish the prices of “standard plumbing work”, and we readily provide non-binding job price estimates for particular jobs, by phone or email. When an exact price cannot be given, a price range is provided. Price transparency gives customers an idea of how much a plumbing job would cost them before a plumber shows up at their house.
Q: The plumbing job I am looking to get a quote for is not listed in your published price list. Can you give me a customized quote by phone?
A: Upon request, we will do our best to estimate the cost of a job before heading over to your place. In order for you to get a useful and accurate estimate we ask that you text (813-310-8018) or email a description of the problem ALONG WITH a picture or video. Remember the old adage: a picture is worth a thousand words! (…and a video is worth a million words?).
Q: Is an email or over-the-phone price binding?
A: A price given over the phone does not constitute a contract, nor do the published prices. The conditions of the job must be verified before a legally binding agreement (aka “contract”) can be made for the price provided. The price we give you over the phone is an estimate (or a range); it’s for a typical job of the type you are inquiring about. For example, if you inquire about the price for resetting a toilet we might tell you over the phone that it’s $218, but if it turns out that the closet flange is broken then that repair will be extra. In some cases, you will wind up paying less if it’s discovered on the site that the problem is simpler than it originally appeared to be.
Factors that may lead to a higher-than-expected price include: long distance travel, unusual hazard risk on site, the need for excessive discovery/prep work before the repair/install work can begin, and whenever conditions on the site are such that the job is more difficult to perform (e.g. limited access/cramped space) or a different type of repair is recommended (e.g. a full shower valve replacement is necessary rather than just a cartridge replacement).
Q: Why do most plumbing companies not give prices over the phone?
A: They don’t want to highball it for fear of losing the customer and they don’t want to lowball it for fear of being bound to that price even when it’s discovered that the job is more complicated. Many laypeople are unrealistic about the true cost of plumbing work, and plumbing companies avoid imposing “sticker shock” on the customer by being price-opaque.
Whereas there’s some substance to this rationale, we at Zach’s Plumbing embrace a different business philosophy: By readily providing pricing to prospective customers we seek to attract the discerning, price-conscious customer, even at the cost of losing some business to price-shoppers (who, dubiously, think they can get a better deal at plumbing companies that do not disclose their pricing). At Zach’s Plumbing we have adopted a customer-friendly policy of publishing standard prices, and giving over-the-phone estimates. We will always give you the standard price for a certain type of work, as a helpful guide –even if your particular job may not conform exactly to that standard.
Q: What is a camera inspection and when do I need one?
A: A camera inspection of a building drain (interior) or sewer (exterior) is necessary if the house experiences repeat and inexplicable stoppages. The camera job will identify and locate the cause of the stoppages, so that a proper repair can be made. We use a high-quality Ridgid Camera and locator system. Video of the camera inspection is narrated and recorded, and the file is shared via email with the customer within 24 hours. Be sure to download or save the file in your own account, as the files will be periodically purged from our servers.
A camera inspection can also be ordered to map out the layout of your drain system, to locate a cleanout port or septic tank, and to find out the general condition of your pipes (e.g. ensure that there is no root intrusion or corrosion) before buying a house.
The camera is affixed to the head of a cable which will typically be run downstream from a toilet drain, cleanout, or roof vent. If the camera is being run from a toilet, the toilet must already be pulled or there will be an extra charge.
Q: Can you locate the source of a leak?
A: We have the competency and tools to locate all but a slab leak. If the leak is from any other part of the house we are able to find it and fix it. If the leak is coming from under a slab of concrete at ground level, then it will have to be located by a third party using acoustic technology before we can do the repair. Once the spot if located and marked you can send us a picture and description and we will be happy to give you a quote accordingly.
Keep in mind that we will break the slab to access the pipe for repair and we will lay new concrete once the plumbing repair is done, but we will not lay new flooring.
Q: Do you do hydrojetting?
A: Regrettably, we do not do hydrojetting at this time. We do, however, have quite sophisticated mechanisms to break through pipe stoppages. Depending on what is causing the stoppage/constriction in your drain pipe, our snaking equipment may be a superior solution to hydrojetting. We have numerous kinds of cable heads, each suitable for a particular stoppage type. What’s more, you can order a camera inspection in conjunction with the snaking, so that the solution can be verified and proven.
Q: Do you do new construction plumbing work?
A: We are a small plumbing company that specializes in residential service plumbing. We do not have the crew and resources to do new construction plumbing, certainly not on a large scale for property developers. Having said that, in the rare case that you are a homeowner looking to hire directly for a house that you are building yourself, we can probably accommodate you if you are somewhat flexible with the dates.
Q: Do you do repipes/redrains?
A: We have limited availability for repipes and redrains, depending on the specifics of the project and seasonal fluctuations in our workload. Please call to inquire about availability and timing. If we do undertake such a project, we will not do a complete restoration of walls or floors that are busted open in the course of the project.
Q: Do you do commercial plumbing?
A: Yes, we do commercial service plumbing. Please note that the prices may be slightly higher than residential if the customer requests onerous terms or procedures (e.g. having to check in/out at the job site, paying more than 30 days late) or if job conditions are more demanding. Before and after photos of our work is standard operating procedure; such pictures are always transmitted to the customer along with the invoice.
Q: You cleared a stoppage at my house a few days ago, and now the drains are clogged again, what can you do?
A: We will return to unclog the system once more and we will then run a camera through the drain to determine the cause. If it turns out that a plumber error or deficiency was made in the previous visit, then we will not charge you. However, if the camera inspection reveals a problem with the drainage pipe, then will we will charge you for both the repeat snaking and the camera inspection. Footage of the camera inspection will be shared with the customer.
Q: What can you do to help if a drain pipe defect is determined to be causing repeat stoppages?
A: We are usually able to offer some relief to buy you some time until a permanent and proper repair can be made. For example, if roots have penetrated your sewer line, we will apply root killer. In most cases, if a pipe defect is causing repeat stoppages then the pipe will have to be made accessible (which may involve digging or jack-hammering) and replaced. A bid/quote for such repair work will be given to the customer upon request.
Q: I am very dismayed and frustrated. You have come to my place twice to fix the clog, but I’m still having the same problem. You are charging me so much but you haven’t helped me at all!
A: We have helped you –by diagnosing the problem correctly. Diagnosing a problem correctly is indispensable before planning a solution. If we just guessed at the problem, we can trial-and-error carpet bomb you with repair work for $50,000 and the problem may still not be fixed. The more expensive the potential repair work is, the more accurate and precise the diagnosis needs to be so as to avoid unnecessary work while efficiently and effectively fixing the problem. It’s like surgery: you pay to get a correct diagnosis of a rare illness, and then you pay for a surgeon to operate on just the tissue that needs treatment. In plumbing, camera equipment is expensive, and so is the skill of a plumber to interpret footage correctly and devise a suitable repair plan. Sometimes diagnosing a plumbing drain stoppage problem and planning the repair costs as much as the repair itself!
Q: Is it possible for you to offer me a full warranty on a drain cleaning job?
A: Drain cleaning jobs are not warrantied because we may not know that there’s defect in the drain pipe unless we run a camera; but running a camera every time we clear a stoppage is not practical either because 95%+ stoppages are not caused by defects that are undetected by a typical snake job. Drain inspection cameras are expensive to procure and operate and it’s just not recommended as a default. Having said so, if you are willing to pay the additional charge for a camera inspection we will be happy to perform one, and we will then give you a standard 90-day warranty on the drain stoppage.
A: The only private information that we collect from you is your name, address, and phone number. Credit card transactions are handled securely by a third party, and we do not currently ask for your email address. The only private customer information that is stored digitally within our accounting software is the customer’s name. Your address and phone number are written up manually in the invoice but are not entered digitally into a computer.
Your name, address and phone number is never passed on or sold to a third party.