Do You Have to Pay a Plumber If He Can’t Stop Your Leak?

A contracts professor weighs in on “The Case of the Dripping Bathtub Faucet,” where a plumber couldn’t quite stop a leak and wonders what compensation – if any – he might expect from his clients.

A white claw-foot bathtub.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If a plumber is hired to fix a leaky bathtub faucet but is unable to completely stop the leak without very significant expense to the homeowner, does he still have the right to be paid for his time and effort in trying? That was the interesting question that “Art” emailed.

“I was hired by an elderly couple to repair a leaky bathtub faucet in their 60-year-old house. The couple’s handyman, who referred them, explained this was not going to be an easy job. He said the homeowners are aware that you might not be able to fix the leak without them spending a great deal of money.

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H. Dennis Beaver, Esq.
Attorney at Law, Author of "You and the Law"

After attending Loyola University School of Law, H. Dennis Beaver joined California's Kern County District Attorney's Office, where he established a Consumer Fraud section. He is in the general practice of law and writes a syndicated newspaper column, "You and the Law." Through his column he offers readers in need of down-to-earth advice his help free of charge. "I know it sounds corny, but I just love to be able to use my education and experience to help, simply to help. When a reader contacts me, it is a gift."