Most of us will never think about the smaller things that really matter. Why? Because until things go very wrong, we don’t even consider the fact that we might have made a mistake. One such area where we all are prone to make mistakes is our encounter with the plumber.
A few months ago, I was ready for a very important meeting. I was wearing a very expensive suit and had prepared my presentation for weeks by then. Just before leaving for office, I thought I will carefully wash my hands which were a little stained with shoe-polish I had used just a while ago. I was standing at least a few steps away from the washbasin to ensure my suit doesn’t get spoiled. That was when I opened the tap, only to get attacked by a sharp bullet-like shot of water that landed on my suit. Obviously, there was a leak in the tap’s pipe. And obviously – my meeting got delayed for a rather stupid reason.
Later on, when I called the plumber, I got to know that I had made a series of mistakes when we met the last time. Thanks to these mistakes, the tap problem got unnoticed until it wreaked havoc on my expensive suit and a very important meeting. That got me thinking – if I am making these mistakes, a whole lot of other people might be making them as well.
Hence, I decided to bring to your attention this very common set of mistakes to avoid while calling plumber:
This can be a major problem. Here is why – plumbing in India is not a very organized industry. Hence, there is no unified way for you to know whether the plumber is really experienced or not. That said, there is one data point which clearly reflects whether a plumber is experienced or not – the price he charges. More experienced plumbers tend to charge more. At the same time, their experience also helps them understand the problem more clearly than how a novice plumber would.
This may not be the strongest indicator of a plumber’s expertise, but the underlying rule is that you should not hire a plumber just because he is available at very low rates.
We all have been there. We call a serviceman to our place. He shows up a little late. Now we stand right beside him and ask him to get it done quickly. Please understand this – jobs that require a professional also carry a good amount of risk. Since not getting the plumbing fixed the right way can cause damage to your house as well as your health, don’t ask the plumber to hurry up.
The best idea would be to call the plumber and take up some other house chore. That way, you will be available in the house when the plumber finishes his job.
I thought – I finished civil engineering a decade ago. So what if I work in a bank now; I can fix a pipe. So I asked the plumber how to do it on the phone. The guy, being very humble, told me what I had to do to fix the issue. I went to the point where a lot of pipes coming to my home were connected. I made a few adjustments and fixed a few bolts and told myself that I will never have to call a plumber again.
Exactly a few days after that – the tap accident in my washroom happened. It was because I had ‘fixed’ a pipe in the wrong way and had redirected the water coming from some pipe at very high pressure to the wrong pipe. Long story short – you don’t ask a surgeon how to perform a surgery on the phone and do it yourself. The same way – don’t ask the plumber for his ‘solution’ on the phone. Plumbing is as much about subjective expertise as it is about standard processes for solving an issue.14