Ontario family quoted $15,000 for toilet repair that cost $50 to fix



Published Dec. 1, 2022 3:23 p.m. PST

When Dale Kennedy of Scarborough, Ont. had some water in her basement this past October she was concerned she could end up with a flooded basement.

“I had a backup in my basement and water coming in and I didn't know what to do," said Kennedy.

The senior went online and found a plumbing company that could come over to check the problem right away. Kennedy was told she had a breakage in a sewer pipe near the exterior wall at the front of her house.

Kennedy was told the problem could be repaired but would require an excavation, take three to five days and cost her $33,335.

Kennedy signed a contract to do the work, but immediately became concerned after the plumber left and contacted her son.

Her son advised Kennedy to call another plumber for a second opinion.

“The other plumber came and he looked down there and an hour and a half later he had the problem solved. It was tree roots,” said Kennedy.

The other plumber was able to remove the roots from a sewer pipe and charged her $1,700.

Dale Kennedy is seen in this undated image.

Sayuri Dominguez, also of Scarborough, had a leaking toilet this past September and also went online and found a plumber who could come right away.

Dominguez said she was shocked when she was quoted $15,255 to repair her plumbing issue.

“When I asked him about my options and he didn't give me any, he said he couldn't give me a timeline when it could explode so I got scared and agreed to this," said Dominguez.

Dominguez said after she signed the contract she became concerned and called her stepfather John Tarver who went over, found it was a broken flange at the base of the toilet and he was able to repair it for about $50.

"We went to Home Depot, got the part and in an hour and a half it was done," said Tarver.

Both families signed contracts with Superior Plumbing and Heating. CTV News Toronto contacted the company about the price differences and Fred Ross, Customer Relationships Manger said, “At Superior Plumbing & Heating we always strive for superior service for our customers. Solutions we offer are always turnkey remedies, not quick patches. We always stand behind our work and our exceptional full year warranty on all services we provide is proof to that. We also regularly check our prices with competitors to ensure that we offer market competitive prices to our clients.”

A buildup of debris removed from a pipe is seen here.

“If clients have decided to go with the other service provider at a cheaper price, that means that they have chosen a cost efficient solution but not necessarily a turnkey remedy to the problem. They have got a different solution which obviously would have been cheaper with us as well. However, we would not be able to provide Superior warranty for our work in that case.”

In the company’s contract there is a 25 per cent non refundable retainer fee. Ross said, “This is a common practice among many trades since once deposit is taken we immediately start preparation for the installation process which most of the time requires ordering special equipment, renting machinery and parts.”

“We always sign the contract with the customer prior to taking a deposit where all the conditions and work provided are described, as well as sign with the customer a completion certificate after the job is completed to ensure that we have delivered promised work.”

“There are no hidden or surprise fees with Superior Plumbing & Heating, everything is according to a signed agreement between us and the customer. It is worth mentioning that our clients always get a copy of their signed contract to ensure full transparency and disclosure,” said Ross.

Ross told CTV News both customers had their money returned to them in full when they decided to choose a different provider.

Both Kennedy and Dominguez said they were relieved they got second opinions before going ahead with the work.

It can be wise to get a second opinion on any major job or renovation and you may want to reach out to friends and family when trying to find a contractor.

Also be careful signing contracts which may contain clauses regarding non-refundable fees or deposits. 


Posted by PlumbingBC.ca

British Columbia Contractor License Requirements

B.C.'s Homeowner Protection Act is a set of builder licensing laws established by the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO). This came about as a result of a large amount of unsafe buildings and ones that were built cheaply and were not keeping out water. Many buildings became inundated with mold and rot causing millions of dollars of retrofits. Much of the cost for this damage could not be charged back to the building companies because they no longer existed.

In the province of B.C. provincial licensing is required for the following contractors and trades:

What is TQ#?
Hello,  the BC Building Code, Part 7 Plumbing Services 1) personnel performing installation, alteration or repair on a plumbing system shall
a) possess a British Columbia tradesman's qualification as a plumber.
TQ# is the tradesman qualification as a journeyman plumber, this you must have to apply for a business license to work within the City on plumbing systems.

Bob Kennedy 
Interim Trades Supervisor 
Building Permits Division 
City of Coquitlam 
Ph -  604-927-3456 
Fax - 604-927-3445 


Licensed Residential Builder

Any person engaging in the process of constructing a home in B.C., including Vancouver and Victoria, must be a Licensed Residential Builder and must provide home warranties covering the building. The term of this warranty is usually up to 7 years and is a restricted insurance. This contractor is responsible for everything to do with the construction from pulling the permits and excavating to finishing off the landscaping. He or she must also make sure that the trades such as electricians and plumbers, are also licensed by the province.

Licensed Building Envelope Renovator

A building envelope renovator is a contractor who remodels the building without making major structural changes. He or she can add a portion onto the home and move some walls but the foundation must. Not only must a building envelope renovator be licensed as same but must also provide warranty insurance on the renovation. Just like the residential builder the building envelope renovator must use licensed subtrades where applicable. This includes for kitchen and bathroom remodeling.

Gas Piping License

Not to be confused with a gasfitter the holder of this license also has a Sheet Metal trades Certification of Qualification (C of Q) and may install and test gas piping. Due to the explosive nature of highly pressurized gas a special license is required.

Gas Venting License

The holder may alter, repair and install venting in high pressure natural gas and propane applications. Again, due to the explosive nature of highly pressurized gas a special license is required.

Certification of Qualification (C of Q)

In other trades the workers must show that they have achieved certification training called the Certification of Qualification (C of Q)

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic

These mechanics provide installation, maintenance and rebuilding for residential, industrial and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning systems. To work on refrigeration units and air conditioning systems require compulsory C of Q. However, a skilled apprentice is also allowed to work in this trade on the advisement of his or her supervisor.

Sheet Metal Worker.

A certified sheet metal worker is responsible for the design, manufacture, installation, erection, assembling or dismantling of sheet metal products including air supply systems. They also repair and service a wide variety of sheet metal-based equipment. These include furnaces, fan systems and ventilation devices.

Plumber Personnel Performing Plumbing Work 

1) Personnel performing installation, alteration or repair on a plumbing system shall 

a) possess a tradesman's qualification certification as a plumber,

b) be an indentured apprentice supervised by a journeyman possessing a tradesman's 

qualification certification as a plumber.

Plumbers need to be licensed and qualified to install,

operate or perform maintenance on certified equipment.

Plumbers and companies working with regulated technologies must be licensed.

Some contractors and Field Safety Representatives need a certificate of qualification to train or supervise others.

- CANADA Building Code in National Plumbing Code and B.C Safety Authority -


An electrician in British Columbia does not have to be licensed but requires a Certification of Qualification to work in this trade. This certification training also relates working in cities like Vancouver and Victoria.

Electricians are allowed to work on residential, institutional, commercial, industrial and civic electrical systems. This includes residential work such as wiring kitchens and bathrooms

Gas Fitter

Only registered contractors and licensed employees of registered contractors may install or alter a gas system. As with the rules in other provinces gas fitters have varying degrees of certification training that must be registered. This includes installing gas fittings for kitchen remodeling and bathroom renovations where gas-fired tankless systems are installed. In other works a plumber can install the water linkage but a gas fitter has to hook up the gas lines and test the system. This designation is required in all parts of the province including Vancouver, Prince George, Kelowna and Victoria.

Gasfitter Class A: This classification allows a gasfitter to install or alter any gas system.

Gasfitter Class B: This gasfitter has a piping trades qualification and may install and/or alter atmospheric appliances with ventilation hoods and other equipment and vents up to and including 690,000 btuh (220kW).


Posted by PlumbingBC.ca

Plumbing Permit

Plumbing_info 2020. 9. 27. 19:57

Plumbing Permit


Some examples of when a plumbing permit is required:

  • Performing any work on a plumbing system in a new or existing building
  • Installing a new or replacing an existing sanitary sewer, storm sewer or water service located on private property
  • Installing a lawn irrigation system requiring a domestic water backflow device
  • Installing a new or replacement domestic water backflow preventer
  • Installing water and sewer services on private property (e.g. services outside of a building on strata lots)

Plumbing permits are not required for:

  • The repair of leaks in water pipes
  • The replacement of plumbing fixtures, provided that such replacement fixtures and the installation thereof conform with all the requirements of the Building Bylaw and the B.C. Plumbing Code
  • The removal of stoppages in sewer or water pipes, provided that cleanouts are utilized for such purposes and the removal does not necessitate the cutting of any sewer or drain pipe


  1. Apply for the Plumbing Permit. Application for Plumbing Permit & Application for Sprinkler Permit
  2. Owners of Single Family dwellings intending to do the work themselves must provide one set of owner prepared schematics of the proposed work to satisfy which will be reviewed by a Plumbing Plans Examiner to evaluate the owner’s competency.
  3. If a registered contractor applies, no plans are required.
  4. Pay permit fee (Permit is issued immediately to a Contractor without the need for a review.)
  5. Call for inspections at the appropriate stages of the work.


  1. Apply for the Plumbing/Sprinkler Permit. Application for Plumbing Permit & Application for Sprinkler Permit
  2. Registered contractors or the registered professional of record for the plumbing and or sprinkler work must submit three sets of plans of the proposed work.
  3. Pay application fee.
  4. The Plumbing Plans Examiner reviews the plans.
  5. Provide supplemental documentation identified and requested by the Plans Examiner in the course of their review.
  6. Pick up plans after plan review has been satisfactorily completed and pay the permit fee outstanding balance.
  7. Call for inspections at the appropriate stages of the work.





Posted by PlumbingBC.ca

What is a Red Seal certification?

The Red Seal Program, formally known as the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program, is a program that sets common standards to assess the skills of tradespeople across Canada. ... The Red Seal endorsement promotes excellence to employers, instills pride in skilled workers, and facilitates labour mobility.

How do you get red seal certified?

You take and pass exams at each level of training, followed by a final certification exam to receive your provincial qualification as a journeyman. You pass the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Examination for your trade, which is usually administered through your province's apprenticeship office.


Plumbers install, repair and maintain plumbing fixtures and systems such as water, hydronic, drain, waste and vent (DWV), low pressure steam, residential fire, chemical, and irrigation. They also install specialized systems such as medical gas, process piping, compressed air, water conditioners, fuel piping, sewage and water treatment, and storage and flow equipment.

NOC: 7251

Designation Year: 1958

Designated Red Seal in: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
Trade title: Plumber, in AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, SK, YT
Other titles used in provinces/territories: Plumbing (QC)

Posted by PlumbingBC.ca


1) Get your High School Diploma, GED or Equivalent:

A plumber needs a solid foundation in math, physics and blue print reading. Although not mandatory, a high school diploma or equivalent is recommended.

2) Pre-Apprentice Training:

Plumbers are required to start off as an apprentice in their respective fields. But before getting an employer to hire you as an apprentice, you will need some prior training. This is where a pre-apprenticeship training program can mean the difference between finding employment or not. At the Skilled Trades College, we have a Plumbing Pre Apprentice Program to give students the right mix of theory and hands-on experience needed to make them successful apprentices. Plumbing classes at Skilled Trades College of Canada will provide you with safety training, introduction to plumbing, theory, plumbing code, residential prints, math for plumbers, and plumbing practical techniques. The certificate will help you learn your water supply, drainage systems, as well as working with piping equipment.

3) Start your Plumbing Apprenticeship:

After you have successfully completed a plumbing pre apprenticeship program, you will then take part in your apprenticeship, where you will earn while you learn, where you get paid for the work you do while learning the respective trade, and ever so often, you will go back to school for eight-week blocks of technical training. After completing 9,000 apprenticeship hours, you can apply to write your certificate of qualification exam.

4) Get your License:

After completing your plumbing training, obtaining and completing your plumbing apprenticeship, and passing your C of Q exam, you will then obtain your license to become fully certified in your region.

Posted by PlumbingBC.ca

Maintenance For Pipes:

  1. Dripping faucets
    Dripping faucets is a common problem in most homes but also the most assumed problem. Most of us tend to assume it since it seems to be an issue that cannot lead to much water loss. However, this is not the case. If you use a drip calculator to find how much bills it adds you, you might end up changing this misconception. Besides, if you happen to leave a bucket filling water from these drips, you will find that a lot of water is lost from the drips that you ignore. Moreover, if you leave this problem for a long time, It can result to wearing out of the silicone that enhances a tight water seal on your faucet, thereby leading to water flowing from your faucet even after closing your tap. While it might appear easy to replace the worn out silicone, it is better off left for professional plumbers who have the right tools and knowledge to handle the problem and avoid greater damage.
  2. Low water pressure
    Reduced water pressure is a problem that arises in many households as a result of various reasons. Since you may not have an idea of the reason behind such a problem, you need to engage a professional plumber to help you in the inspection through the piping system so you can detect the cause. The main leading causes of low water pressure are clogs due to sediments and minerals that form a layer on the inner surface of water pipes or shower heads, failing or partially shut valves, hidden water leaks, and many others. Therefore, if you note a sudden or over time change in water pressure, have a plumber come and inspect your piping system before the problem becomes too complicated to solve.
  3. Running toilets
    Overflowing toilets is another issue in homes that can cause a lot of water wastage and hiking bills. Most causes of toilet running problems are easy to fix while some aren’t. Toilets can run due to a flapper that no longer seals. You can detect such if you note that the water from the tank seeps around the flapper and into the bowl. The best solution to this problem is to purchase a similar flapper and replace it by following the instructions given on the package. Another problem that can result to a running toilet is a loose chain or an out of place floater which you can easily fix by placing back the floater to its place or tightening the unhinged chain. Therefore it is necessary to first check out for the route cause for you to handle the issue correctly. However, if none of the above problems are the cause of running in your toilet, it is necessary to have a plumber help you find the route cause as there might be a clog in the system or a silent leak hard for you to detect.
  4. Leaking pipes
    This is a problem that you commonly find in your kitchen but less affects your bathroom which mainly occurs at the pipes joints. This issue is temporarily fixable using suitable compounds or commercial joint fillers to keep water from splashing. Some of the primary reasons behind a leaking pipe are corrosion resulting from a chemical reaction or tubes getting old, a sudden change of water pressure to too much that a tube cannot manage, clogs and many others. For a lasting solution to this problem, the need to replace sections of the affected parts is necessary whereby you need to have a professional plumber to replace these joints for you.
  5. Slow or clogged drains
    Clogged drains can either be a partial clog or a complete one. These clogs happen due to various reasons such as an accumulation of debris in your pipes causing water flow barrier, or flashing of big matter through the pipes. Minor clogs can be flashed out using home remedies where you can use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda and then run hot water in the system, or by using a plunger. However, if the pipes fail to unclog, the problem might be severe meaning that you will need a plumber who can professionally deal with the blockage. Note that you can avoid most of the problems that arise due to a blockage by taking extra caution of what you flash from your toilet or sink. Therefore, to be on the safe side avoid shooting items likely to cause a blockage and regularly use bio clean for your drains.
  6. Absence of hot water
    There are cases when you go for a hot shower but find out that there is no hot water or the water is too hot compared to other days. Such a sudden change in water temperature means that there is a problem with the plumbing or the water heater. Therefore, you need to get the cause of the issue. Lack of hot water in your bathroom may be as a result of a defect in the pilot light, a fail in the heating element, sediment buildup at the bottom of your water heater or a thermostat that isn’t working correctly. Also, if your water heater is a gas water heater, a leak in the gas line leading to the heater may be the cause of the problem. Such a problem should be handled by a professional plumber in the soonest time possible as it can be a very dangerous issue.
  7. Frozen pipes and drains
    For most homeowners, many plumbing problems arise due to frozen pipes and drains. You may occasionally experience a burst in your pipes as a result of a change in temperatures, a close down of your drain system, or persistent plumbing issues. All these problems should give you an idea that your pipes might be frozen. The best part of this is that you can remedy these problems by finding out the reason of the freezing. Some of such reasons include a sudden drop in temperature while no flow is in the pipes, lack of insulation on your pipes, or improper thermostat setting. So, to avoid lots of issues in your plumbing as a result of frozen pipes and drains, it is necessary to consult a plumber to detect the cause of the freezing and remedy the problem appropriately.

Having discussed the plumbing problems that you are likely to come across as a homeowner, you can see that some of them are easy for you to repair while others need a plumber. When you decide to fix some of these problems by a do-it-yourself, below are some tips to lead you through.

Quick Maintenance Tips:

  1. Cut off all water supply to the pipe you are repairing. Hence you need to be aware of the location of all valves.
  2. Dress appropriately since fixing a pipe can get messy.
  3. Buy replacement parts from a trusted supplier for quality material.
  4. Have the contacts of a professional plumber by your side just in case you require one.

Why You Need Regular Maintenance For Your Pipes

With regular maintenance of your piping system and the involvement of a professional plumber for your plumbing issues, you can be sure of extending the life of your pipeline system. So apply the above tips to maintain your system and call for a plumber to avoid making the plumbing problems even worse.


Plumbing Maintenance Tips For Coquitlam Homeowners

  • Inspect your system regularly
    Note that you may use your sink, bathroom or toilet daily, but you might not have an idea a current plumbing issue. So, it is necessary to make a regular inspection for silent leaks or changes in the water bills as this can help you avoid greater plumbing problems. Also, open your taps and check whether there is a change in water pressure as this can be a result of an undetected plumbing problem.
  • Repair any problems the sooner you detect them
    You should avoid ignoring those problems that may seem minor to you, such as slow draining sinks or dripping faucets. Failure to repair such issues early may result to a greater problem that cannot be solved latter unless replaced. So, do not assume minor issues when it comes to your plumbing. Also, repair any leaks as soon as you can to prevent the leaks growing bigger.
  • Insulate pipes located outside
    Most plumbing problems crop up during winter periods as a result of freezing pipes. So, it is necessary to keep your pipes protected by wrapping them with insulated covers and avoid waiting until it is too late.
  • Know the piping system
    In case a pipe bursts in your home; it can cause greater damage if you do not have an idea of where the shutdown valve is. Besides, if you need to repair a problem, the first step should always be to shut down all water running through the pipes. So, it is necessary to know where all valves are located in case an emergency arises for the safety of your property.

With regular maintenance, you can keep the problems covered below at a minimal state. However, some of the challenges may still come up despite a routine maintenance. So, keep reading through and have an idea of some common problems that homeowners deal with when it comes to plumbing, and also have an idea of when to call a professional plumber.

Posted by PlumbingBC.ca

Why you must hire a qualified plumber?







Posted by PlumbingBC.ca