August 30, 2010

How Confidence Saved Me $170

by

Phoenix water isn’t known to be the tastiest or best. It’s actually ranked #53 in a recent study of Best City Water. And if you live in Phoenix or have ever been here and tasted the water then you know full well why I have a drinking water purification system.

When CycleGuy and I bought our house almost 13 years ago one of the first things we did was call Kinetico and have them come out and install a reverse osmosis (R/O) drinking water system and a water softener. Nothing too crazy for most Phoenix homeowners. Most people I know have an R/O system.

About every two year we’ve had the filters replaced. I’d call up the Kinetico people and have them come out. When we had the system installed that’s what they said to do. And so I did.

Remember, that was long before the internet. Well before it was posible to shop around and find some other company to do this same thing. Also, there is only one Kinetico authorized company in Phoenix.

Fast forward to last month. When our filters need changing our system stops. It won’t allow for water to continue to flow through if the filters can not do their job. Sounds like a great plan, huh. I think so. I don’t want to drink nasty water.

I went to the files and grabbed the invoice from the last time, getting ready to call. Then I saw how much I paid for the tech to come out for what amounted to about 15 minutes – $212! (pick up your jaw from the ground!)

Yes, in my foolish state I paid $212 for water filters. I was incensed! The filters were actually only $75, but the  trip charge was $125! One Hundred and Twenty Five Dollars! To come out to my house, turn two holders, take out the spent filter cartridges and put in the new ones. All in about 15 minutes. That’s the equivalent of $500/hr! I’m a lawyer and I don’t charge that kind of money. I must be in the wrong business.

This time, though, I said NO WAY! I’m smart. I can figure this out. So I pulled out my owners manual to find out what filters I need. But that wasn’t helpful. I was going to have to open up the cartridge holders. After about 30 minutes and spraying myself, under the sink, and half the kitchen with water I got the cartridges. Phew! It was not as easy as I thought it would be.

Thankfully the internet is full of all kinds of companies.  I found Water Filters Online and searched for my cartridges. It took me about 20 minutes. I checked and double checked and triple checked that I was getting the right filters. There are two filters of different size so I didn’t want to get the wrong one and my system not work.

The filters arrived in about a week and my crazy idea would be put to the test. Could I do this myself? And in the process save myself money? I knew I could. I believed that I’m smart enough to put in two water filters!

It took me about 10 minutes to get the water filters in and then figure out what I’d done to turn off the R/O system so I could turn it back on. If I’d remembered what I’d done to turn that contraption off it probably would have taken all of 3 minutes. But no! I’m there with my head under the sink turning all these turny-things hoping not to spray myself.

I DID IT! Once the air cleared the system I had water. Black water, but water nonetheless. I wasn’t worried about the black water because it’s a carbon filter and that’s normal. I knew that would happen.

An hour later and having spent only $45 I had clean drinking water again!  I was so proud of myself for believing I could do this. I’m relatively handy around the house. But I’d read the owners manual and the directions for changing the filter and it’s very confusing. I had watched them do this many times that I knew if I could find the filters I could probably do it. And if I couldn’t then at least I’d have the filters and they could just come change them out.

It sounds hokey, but a little confidence sure helps. Now, I had $170 extra money that I could use toward something else.

Do you think you can tackle a project and save a few bucks instead of calling a service person? I bet you can!

Disclosure: I paid for my own water filters. WaterFiltersOnline.com has no clue I have this fantastic blog. Lucky for you, you do!
Sara

{ 5 comments }

Becca - Our Crazy Boys August 30, 2010 at 7:14 am

Isn’t the internet WONDERFUL? I’m proud of you!!

Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer August 30, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Good job! I once installed my own phone jacks in our brand new house because my husband was out to sea when we moved.

Jackie @ FREEISMYLIFE August 31, 2010 at 11:45 am

Sara, I just got out your card from BlogHer (Frugal Breakfast) and started reading your website. I love it. Good job on saving all that money on the filters. I love it 🙂

P.S. I owe you and Maria a photo that I took of the two of you at the Frugal Breakfast. I will send that to you both tonight.

Honey September 1, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Hi Sara,

Yeah for you! My husband has been helping me learn to do things ourselves without calling a service. In my family, if it was broken you replaced it. In his family, you take it apart and see if you can fix it.

I have a savings experience for you. When we were getting our van fixed, the shop wanted to charge us $200 (+ installation and taxes) for a new battery. My husband called around and found another shop that cleans the fuel cells of batteries and found one for for less than $50 (including installation and taxes). I was impressed.

Blessings
Honey

Sara September 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm

I love hearing that other woman are taking time to learn a little bit about things we normally don’t think of as “women’s work” not only to empower ourselves but to save our hard-earned money!

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