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Plumbing Mistakes Homeowners Make

Flat Rate University FINAL colorNew Berlin, WI, December 28, 2015:  Everyone has experienced plumbing problems; and throughout the lifetime of your home, those problems are bound to happen again.  A local plumbing company, through their informational hub, wants to educate homeowners on how to repair, replace and, most importantly, prevent these problems.

“On a daily basis, we see plumbing issues that could have easily been prevented.  The problem is, most plumbers don’t take the time to educate homeowners on how to prevent future occurrences.  We saw a public need and asked ourselves ‘What can we do to help?’ And that’s how Flat Rate U was started.” said Ryan Gumieny, Vice President of Flat Rate Home Services.

According to Flat Rate, there are 5 common plumbing mistakes that you didn’t know you were making.

  1. Improperly Cleaning Drains

This is one of the most common types of plumbing mistakes homeowners make.  From hair clogging a shower drain to holiday plate scraps overflowing from the kitchen sink.  When this happens, it is time to take action.  More often than not, homeowners run out and grab a bottled drain cleaner.  Excellent company commercials and branding have made these dangerous and toxic liquids a go-to solution for drain clogs.  The chemicals in these cleaners can make clogs worse, eat holes right through your pipes and even cause health hazards.  The best solution is usually the use of an electric cable or high pressure water jetting, as well as natural enzyme drain products used as preventative maintenance.

  1. Garbage Disposer 101

The basic understanding of a garbage disposal isn’t all that complicated.  Food pieces are put down and the disposer cuts them up into fine pieces and down the drain they go… simple.  However your poor plumbing system is probably not happy with most of you.  Too often not enough attention is put on the amount of water that is needed to carry food waste.  HUGE HOMEOWNER TIP!!  After each use of the garbage disposer, plug the sink with the stopper, fill it all the way up to the rim with warm water, turn on the disposer and pull the plug.  This creates a huge flushing of the drain line and may prevent you from having to call a plumber.

  1. DIY Temporary Fixes

We hear it every single day…. My husband’s sisters’ friends’ neighbor is a plumber.  Or we checked out YouTube and attempted a plumbing repair…again.  “A” for effort and we never judge.  When plumbing problems arise its best to hire a professional.  The state of Wisconsin requires plumbing applicants to complete a 5 year apprenticeship followed by a challenging journeyman’s exam.  Hiring a company and their licensed employees can save you a ton of time, frustration and money.  Reputable companies pull city permits to ensure your safety.

  1. Forgetting Your Lawn Hose

A very common plumbing emergency call is when spring has sprung and homeowners begin using their outdoor watering hoses again.  An often forgotten step before winter hits is to remove your hose from the actual lawn spigot outside.  Newer style lawn faucets need to be able to drain out after they are turned off.  By keeping the hose on this makes it unable to drain remaining water out thus causing them to freeze and split.  Its recommended to contact a professional to help you determine which type of lawn faucet you have and explain the necessary steps to take to help you avoid this messy

  1. How do I turn my water off?

It is actually quite shocking to hear how many homeowners do not know how to turn off the water supply to their home.  It is something every homeowner should know and also show everyone living in the home.  When the need to turn off your water during a plumbing emergency happens you will want to act quickly.  Contact a professional plumbing company to have them walk you through this easy to remember task.

Misconceptions of DIY Shows

Inspired by a Home Improvement Show?  Do Your Homework.

New Berlin, WI, November 30, 2015 – Every homeowner has been there.  You watch a home improvement or do-it-yourself reality show and see a bathroom you fall in love with.  On television, you see the old, outdated room converted into a stylish bathroom within 30 minutes.  One local plumbing and bathroom remodeling contractor wants to educate the public on the misconceptions of diy shows – and how they can set you up for failure.

“DIY and home improvement shows can be great resources for homeowners.  They’re good for remodeling ideas and inspiration.  But, because they oversimplify every aspect of the project, it diminishes the skill of the contractors who spend years perfecting their trade,” said Ryan Gumieny, Vice President of Flat Rate Home Services.

It is often forgotten that it takes a lifetime invested in trades such as toolsplumbing, remodeling, HVAC, tiling and carpentry.  Men and women spend years in school, becoming licensed and accredited and pride themselves on their expertise.  Some would argue that home improvement shows encourage homeowners to be unrealistic in their expectations of home projects.

“These reality shows do not reflect the amount of work that goes into a home improvement project.  Projects are completed in such a short time, budgets are skewed, and there is not reference ever made to the quality of products being used,” added Ryan.

Flat Rate urges consumers to do their research.  Ask questions.  Will your remodeling project add to the value of your home?  When deciding to take on a renovation by yourself, consider your skill set – not just that of what you see on television.  A false sense of ability can end up costing you more to have the job fixed by a licensed contractor down the road.


Different Types of Plumbers


flat rate home services technicianNew Berlin, WI:     A plumber is defined as a person who installs and repairs the pipes and fittings of water supply, sanitation or heating systems. Does this mean you would call the same plumber to install a new kitchen in a school, fix your leaky water heater or build a bathroom in an office building? The certified, licensed plumbers at Flat Rate Home Services would like consumers to be aware of the difference between commercial, residential and service and repair plumbers – and, through Flat Rate U,  educate consumers on how to choose the right plumber for the job.

“The internet and ability for anyone to create a flashy website can influence the average person when choosing a plumber or any service company, for that matter. During economic down times especially, you see out of work commercial and residential new construction plumbers starting service and repair plumbing companies from their home or garage. We want to educate consumers and show them there is a drastic difference in commercial, residential, and service/repair plumbers,” said Ryan Gumieny, Vice President of Flat Rate.

Commercial plumbers are trained to work on large public plumbing systems like hospitals, schools, shopping centers and plumbing used by industrial equipment. They are trained to use large tools and equipment that are used for a variety of job specific applications. Their training and on the job experience in residential service and repair is usually not sufficient.

Residential plumbers are the trained men and woman that install plumbing in new construction and additions on homes. Like commercial plumbers, they have the necessary skill in their specific area of plumbing and have an 8 hour work day mindset. Even though they install the pipes that make up a home’s plumbing system, they often lack the ability to provide the service and repair needs of a home and its owners.

Service and repair is the type of plumber the average homeowner needs. These technicians receive technical training and have an ability to problem solve any problem that arises in your home. Each time a service and repair plumber shows up to a job site, there is a new, different task. Servicemen and woman must have communicative skills that are essential when working in a customer’s home, not like those required in a commercial or new construction setting.

“Consumers should know that when you need a plumber to service your home, it is crucial that you are hiring the right company – as well as the right kind of plumber,” added Ryan.

We pride ourselves on being your southeastern Wisconsin service and repair plumber.  For a professional, experienced plumber with a vast knowledge of household plumbing issues, contact Flat Rate!

Introducing Flat Rate U

New Berlin, WI, October 5, 2015: A local home service company specializing in plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and bathroom remodeling is on a mission to educate consumers about choosing a quality contractor, as well as complete home maintenance. In an effort to help buyers receive the best overall value, prospective consumers are urged to connect with Flat Rate U – an informational hub dedicated to improving the public’s search for quality home service companies. In addition, the public is encouraged to stay tuned to Flat Rate U for special educational opportunities for first time home-owners.

“There is a drastic difference in price versus value. With big box stores and do it yourself videos, the appreciation for service companies can be ignored. When looking for a home service company, you don’t want to hire ‘just a plumber, technician or contractor’. You need to find a customer service company with extensive knowledge of those trades. Flat Rate University is a valuable resource to consumers who aren’t aware of the right questions to ask when looking for a contractor,” Ryan Gumieny, Vice President of Flat Rate Home Services.

When looking to hire a contractor, Ryan advises consumers to be wary of “too good to be true” deals. When service companies refuse to give you an up-front cost and, instead, charge based on time and materials, they are not keeping themselves accountable – or allowing you to. The average consumer has no idea how long a particular job should take; technicians themselves may vary on time allotted for a particular job. The majority of businesses give you an up-front cost – from retail stores to oil changes – you know what you will be paying for the item or service you need. The same consideration should be given to consumers when it comes to their home service needs.

“By receiving the entire cost of the job, and agreeing to that price, before any work is done, the customer has a guaranty. No matter what, the technicians you hire should show up with a fully stocked truck with thousands of parts ready to handle just about anything. Consumers should want a company that thrives on the efficiency of their technicians,” added Ryan.

Shoppers should also avoid service companies that provide a quote over the phone or have the cheapest prices in town. With the vast array of service issues that can arise, it is usually impossible to quote a job site unseen.

“We hope Flat Rate U will be the go-to support for homeowners in search of a trustworthy company. When a company is the cheapest around, it is usually for a reason. Companies that aren’t making a profit tend to not give the best customer service. Someone always feels cheated – whether it be the customer or the company. A company that’s priority is build lasting relationships with its clients based on mutual trust is a sign of a quality business,” said Ryan.

How to Choose a Contractor

New Berlin, WI, August 31, 2015:     Flat Rate Home Services, a local plumbing, bathroom remodeling, heating and cooling company, understands that the average consumer is weary when it comes to choosing a contractor due to the substantial cost involved and concern over finding someone you can trust.  Flat Rate offers advice to the prudent shopper when searching for a quality home service company.

 “In the 25 years of being in business, we have never been able to quote prices over the phone with any real accuracy.  When choosing a service company, price is often a person’s first concern. At Flat Rate, we believe in the value of our services.  We have found it impossible to offer the BEST products, the BEST people and the BEST service at the cheapest price. The lowest price does not always mean the best results.” –Ryan Gumieny, Vice President of Flat Rate Home Services

how to choose a plumber

Our team at Flat Rate Home Services

Because not all service companies are created equally, Flat Rate suggests asking questions when calling a service     company.  The five most important being:

  • Are you state licensed?
  • Are you bonded and insured?
  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • Do you have a commercial business address?
  • Do you provide warranties?

Homes are made up of many plumbing systems from waste and vent systems inside your walls, under your home and on your roof, gas lines, water lines, pumps and valves – not to mention faucets, toilets and drains.  Heating and cooling systems are just as elaborate.  When getting a quote from a contractor, it’s extremely important to keep these systems in mind.  The company you want to select is one that will send you a highly-trained technician.  He should arrive in a fully-stocked company truck wearing a uniform that proudly displays the company logo.  The technician’s skill set must be extremely diverse considering the varying problems that can affect the numerous systems in your home.

“A house is usually a person’s most valuable asset. A homeowner should always feel comfortable with who they let into their homes.  We employ 1 out of 10 applicants to ensure our customers will be receiving the most qualified technician,” added Ryan.

Plumbing and HVAC contractors offer more than just experience.  A reliable company works with a warehouse full of parts and supplies.  They maintain detailed records about your project.  Educating the client and keeping them informed on the progression of a project is also a necessity as it will likely allow to rest assured you have chosen a trustworthy contractor.