Wallington, VT (AP) How much is too much plumbing?
For some, it can be a problem.
That’s why a new report from the Federal Trade Commission suggests that consumers should consider buying plumbing supplies from suppliers in cities that have been hit hard by the Great Recession.
“It is difficult to overstate the importance of buying from sources in cities where you are a consumer,” said the FTC report, which was prepared for a trade group and released Tuesday.
“While this may be a general recommendation for homeowners, it should be noted that some homeowners in the US are faced with the challenge of choosing between buying a plumbing supply and an essential appliance.”
The report found that consumers are being overcharged for supplies from more than 100 major suppliers.
While the FTC says the survey was not a comprehensive look at all the plumbing supply companies in the country, it does suggest some of the top sellers include: •Alfa-Brand Home Hardware: $2,879 per month for plumbing supplies •Bath Products: $1,947 per month •Hewlett-Packard: $919 per month The FTC said consumers can save money buying from local suppliers by taking advantage of lower prices and more convenient delivery.
The report notes that the average price of a plumbing service varies by state.
For example, in Virginia, the average cost of a home-maintenance installation is $1.86 per hour, while in Tennessee, the cost is $2.65 per hour.
The study also suggests that homeowners who are trying to save money on home repairs may consider buying from contractors or subcontractors rather than from the main supply companies.
How to get started While there’s a lot of competition for home plumbing supplies, there are some general rules of thumb that homeowners should follow: •Only buy from a company that’s certified to do the work.
The FTC says that most suppliers are not.
•Be sure to ask for free installation or repair of any appliances.
If the contractor is not certified, ask for a refund if the installation is not complete or the repair is not completed within 30 days.
If the contractor won’t give you a refund, check with your credit card company.
This can help you avoid costly mistakes.
And if you want to be sure that your home plumbing is safe, check for corrosion on appliances, pipes and fittings, and make sure the manufacturer has a list of manufacturers that provide repair service.
Once you find a supplier that meets the FTC’s criteria, the FTC recommends you check the warranty and warranty terms and conditions for any potential problems.
But even with all of the above guidelines, the report says homeowners should not buy from contractors unless the contractor can show that they are qualified to do that work.
In other words, if the contractor says that it will do a job for free and you’re not, you should check with a financial adviser.
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