Each day, Central Plumbing Heating & Cooling receives calls from customers seeking a “ballpark figure” or “rough estimate” for repair or installation costs. The nature of the job determines whether a customer receives a diagnostic fee or a free estimate. This distinction can be confusing, and if you’re expecting an estimate but receive a diagnostic fee, it can be frustrating. We’re here to clarify the difference.

Understanding Free Estimates

Free estimates are generally provided for larger projects, such as replacing a water heater, converting evaporative cooling to air conditioning, replacing a furnace, or sewer line replacement. These estimates are free, and the technician will provide a detailed breakdown of the parts, labor, and work involved. Many customers prefer to receive this information over the phone or through an online form because it’s convenient and saves them from taking time off work. However, for these types of jobs, it’s advisable to have a technician visit your home to accurately assess the work required. This allows for a more precise estimate tailored to your specific needs.

Understanding Diagnostic Fees

You might wonder what qualifies as a diagnostic fee. Think of it this way: if the work needed requires time for the technician to use diagnostic tools to diagnose and narrow down issues with complicated appliances like tankless water heaters or AC systems it will start with a diagnostic fee. This ensures no unnecessary repairs are performed.

When a Diagnostic Fee Isn’t Needed

Sometimes, customers call knowing exactly what’s wrong and state that no diagnosis is necessary. In these cases, a diagnostic fee is not applicable. To help customers understand, we compare it to a doctor’s visit: you pay a copay before the doctor sees you to diagnose your condition. Similarly, our technicians provide a comparable service for your plumbing, electrical, cooling, and other HVAC needs.

Feel free to contact our office at 505-715-5743. Our friendly customer service representatives are ready to schedule your free estimate, diagnostic, or repair. You can also reach us online through our schedule page!

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