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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Keeping a lid on toilet-repair costs

By Angie Hicks




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Marc Arnold decided it was time to fix his running toilets, so he hired a plumber to replace the "guts" of four toilets in his Tacoma, Wash., home. Arnold had just signed up for a monthly service plan with the plumbing company, in which he was supposed to receive special discounts on service calls.

Instead, when his plumber provided him the estimate, Arnold had a case of sticker shock.

"All the things were just outrageously expensive," Arnold said. "For just one flapper, he quoted a price of $247 before tax for a part that I knew was about $8. If I had him do (all four toilets) it would have been over $1,000 — for just the flappers. That's ridiculous."

Arnold sent the plumber on his way, purchased the parts himself and hired another professional to install them for a fraction of the original estimate.

His story, though, of being overcharged for a simple toilet repair is a common one. A number of reports on Angie's List recount similar experiences in which homeowners called out a plumber for what they thought was a minor repair, only to be told they need to spend several hundreds and even thousands of dollars. One 80-year-old member was told her running toilet would need to be replaced at a cost of $2,400.

When it comes to toilet repair, unfortunately, it's easy for us to just accept the bill — even if it seems too high — because we need the problem fixed and timing is usually of the essence.

"There's no reason it (a toilet repair or replacement) should ever cost that much, because the cost of the material is just not there," said Heather Beem with Beemer Plumbing in Spring Hill, Kan.



Beem said her company charges $175, which covers the parts and labor, to replace the guts — the fill valve, flapper and supply line — for a standard toilet. They charge about $100 to replace the flapper alone and about $350 to replace an entire toilet. Some repairs and replacement costs can be more, depending on the type of toilet; for example, something antique or more high-end.

The flapper is the rubber piece that seals the toilet tank. Often, it won't seal fully, allowing the toilet to continuously "run." You can do an easy test yourself to see if your flapper is bad by putting a couple of drops of dark food coloring into the tank.

"If you let it sit for three to five minutes and there is color in the bowl, that means your flapper is not seating correctly," Beem said.

A bad fill valve — the part in the tank that lets in water from the pipe — can also cause a toilet to run continuously, or to leak. The supply line — which is typically located behind the toilet near the floor — and the wax seal around the toilet base are also common repair issues due to leaks. A leaky toilet can also waste hundreds of gallons of water a week. If a toilet overflows or is leaking, homeowners can minimize the damage by turning off the water supply line to prevent further water damage.

Beem recommends avoiding putting chemicals and cleaners into the tank, which can cause those internal parts to wear out faster.

"If you want to put anything in your (toilet) to clean it or keep it fresh, get the things that hang on the actual bowl," she said.

Replacing the guts of a toilet tank is something a handy homeowner could do on his or her own with a little time. Most of the parts cost less than $10.

"We, a lot of times, will walk a customer through what they need to do and try on their own first," Beem said.

Adjusting those parts so the water flows and fills at just the right levels does take some know-how, though; so when in doubt, it's always best to go with a professional, licensed plumber. By researching a plumber before you hire and developing a relationship with one you trust, you can help ensure you'll get the job done right and at a fair price.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

To comment or ask a question, please click here.

Since 1995, Angie Hicks has been dedicated to helping consumers get the real scoop on local service companies and health providers. Inspired by the frustrations her co-founder had trying to find reliable contractors in suburban Columbus, Ohio, she started Angie's List to help homeowners find who they should hire and who they should avoid.


Previously:


Plan ahead: Home generators
Lawn Grubs
Solar panels' green savings
Tips to keep your appliances in good shape
Curb appeal is key in selling a house
The right and wrong ways to use (or abuse) your garbage disposal
Lawn Mower Tune-Up Time
Carpet Cleaning
Hardscaping: Homeowners upgrading outdoor areas
Dryer vent cleaning
Home automation
Central Vacuums
Know signs of a qualified locksmith
Mold Testing and Remediation
Most water softeners are fully automatic
Property sealing your home's envelope
New thermostats can 'learn' home's routine

© 2013, http://www.angieslist.com/ Distributed by MCT Information Services

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