One day my husband (who is a licensed plumber) and I were shopping for groceries.  Somehow another shopper overheard me ask a question about his profession and she excitedly asked him, “Are you a plumber?” My husband displayed a proud grin and boldly responded, “Why, yes I am a plumber”.  I could see his invisible super hero cape appear upon his back.  The shopper then asked him a question about a plumbing issue she had.  He happily gave her possible diagnosis of her problem.  She said “Thanks, I hope this works because you plumbers charge too much.  I’m a professional lawyer and I don’t charge as much hourly as plumbers do and they are not professionals…..” My husband’s jaw dropped with astonishment.  He respectfully rebutted that plumbers have to complete several years of trade school, followed by apprenticeship, licensing, and continued education, as well as obtain insurance to practice as a Massachusetts professional.  He also explained that the rates that most professional plumbers who own their own business charge take into consideration some of the following:

  • the expenses and overhead of running the business (like gas, marketing,  and rent)
  • professional associations, licenses and permits, continued education courses
  • market conditions and competitors
  • total hours worked

Surely other professionals charge their rates just the same way.  He said if you want a professional job done then you hire and pay a professional to do a professional job.  Anyone who charges less than it costs to run their business and make a reasonable profit should not be trusted because they are more likely to cut corners and use cheap materials to provide a quality and durable service for your home.  It’s like the old saying goes “You get what you pay for.” He also said he’s considerate of his customers and that he will occasionally give discounts or run coupons,  and referrals to rebates like NStar and National Grid, but never to his business’s detriment.  With such a young business he cannot afford to cut into his bottom line too much. This allows him to offer optimum quality service to his clients.  He passionately runs his business on values to benefit his clients as well as build his dream.

I don’t know if that shopper was convinced that plumbers are professionals and should be paid accordingly for their services but at least my husband was assured that he presented his business as the profession that it is.

-D. Charles

Pricing Strategies for Small Businesses:


Book- Values-Driven Business by Ben Cohen and Mal Warwick

Rebate Programs:

  1. NStar:




The Early Boiler Replacement Rebate offers incentives from $1,750 -$4,000 to encourage Mass Save customers to proactively upgrade their aging boiler. One way to help offset the rising cost of energy and significantly reduce heating costs is to replace your older heating equipment now, with a new high-efficiency unit. To be eligible for this [...]

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On June 13, 2013 By

The Board of Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters (Board) is reviewing a draft of a number of code additions, changes and updates prepared by their staff. Proposed changes include adopting the most current NFPA natural gas and LP codes with Mass. modifications. When the draft is approved by the Board it will begin what [...]

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  • Most people are unaware that chemicals in our water like chlorine can evaporate into the air during showers, faucet use, washing machine cycles, dishwasher cycles, and sitting water in the toilet. These chemicals although in small quantities contribute to the overall air quality of your home.
  • Air contaminants from water quality are one of the [...]
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  • Mr. Pipes Plumbing and Heating

    Date: 6-3-2012

    Contact: Public Relations Contact
    Phone: 1-617-459-1771


    Boston, MA – Mr. Pipes Plumbing and Heating announced its Better Business Bureau Accreditation today with BBB. BBB has over 400,000 [...]

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    For a limited time only, NSTAR and National Grid are offering generous rebates to residential customers replacing functioning 30 year old boilers.


    The Early Boiler Replacement Rebate is only available between May 1, 2012 and July 31, 2012.

    Customers served by utility providers other than NSTAR [...]

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    I had a customer call us from the Davis Square area of Somerville Massachusetts with a leaking faucet issue. He described his kitchen faucet dripping constantly when both hot and cold water handles are in the off position, and he wanted to know, what it would cost to repair the faucet.

    The short answer to [...]

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    One of the worst things to happen to your home is a pipe breaks. Whether that toilet is in your bathroom or in your kitchen, it’s likely to cost you a lot of money on your water bill unless you do something about it quickly. Mr. Pipes Plumbing and Heating can get a repair person [...]

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    This video demonstrates the steps needed to solder copper pipe.

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    This video describes the installation of a 75,000 BTU Laars Minitherm Boiler heating system in Jamaica Plain, Boston MA. The boiler in this video feeds a single zone house, but it can also be installed on multiple zone homes as well.

    Benefits of the Laars Minitherm Boiler:

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