Understanding emergency plumbing service fees in Atlanta

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It's 4:45 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, and the kitchen faucet won't turn on. What do you do? If you're...

It's 4:45 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, and the kitchen faucet won't turn on. What do you do? If you're headed to the phone to call a plumber, you'll be offered an emergency plumbing service. This after-hours service will surely get your water flowing, but it comes at a cost. Don't be surprised by what you might find on your invoice.

1. After-hours flat fee

When a plumber is dispatched outside regular office hours, you may have to pay a flat-rate emergency service-call fee. When scheduling the appointment, ask if the company will tack on this extra cost, which can run from $50 to $100 depending on the company. Some plumbers only attach this fee to calls on holidays or when they must leave from their home--not the office--to take care of the call.

2. Increased labor costs

Expect to pay a higher hourly rate for an emergency service. When a plumber has to work outside his regularly scheduled hours, he is working at an overtime rate. Labor costs usually range from time-and-a-half to double time. Expect even higher rates for service in the middle of the night or on a holiday.

3. Mileage fees

If the plumber has to travel from his home to your home outside of business hours, he may tack on mileage costs. These extra fees pay for his fuel and use of his personal vehicle to complete your emergency plumbing service. Expect to pay $.40 to $.60 per mile. If the plumber has a company vehicle, you likely won't notice a mileage fee on your bill.

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