Plumbing Tips: Finding a Reputable Plumber
Most plumbing experts agree that you should go through the process of choosing a good plumber before problems arise. This way, when you run into a time critical problem that needs to be repaired as soon as possible, you don't waste valuable time or make a hasty choice you may regret. If you experience a plumbing emergency and don't have enough time to go through the proper steps it’s a good idea to ask your friends and family for referrals. The first hand experience they have had with their plumbers should make your choice much easier.
Eventually every home has its share of plumbing problems. From the common dripping faucet to the more serious broken water pipe, it's not if, but when it will happen. Choosing a reputable plumber sounds like a quick and easy task, but if you choose the wrong one it could end up costing you a lot of time, money, and stress. Don't just accept the first offer or settle for the most affordable plumber. This is the first mistake people most commonly make. Take the time to call around and ask the following questions:
- Are they licensed? Most states will require a plumber to have a license but others don't. A licensed plumber is more likely to provide you with quality service than a non licensed plumber. Be sure to get the license number. Ask if it's THEIR license, or if they are operating under someone else's.
- Do they carry the proper insurance for their work?. The only thing worse than having a plumbing problem is hiring a plumber who makes the problem worse and isn’t insured. Hiring an insured plumber will give you the peace of mind that if something goes wrong the money won't be coming out of your pocket.
- Ask for a price before the job starts. Most reputable plumbers will give you a bid, or at least an estimate with a ceiling price. The exception is when the plumbing problem occurs within a closed wall or ceiling. In that case, the plumber might be hesitant to quote a firm bid until he sees the extent of the problem. In this situation, ask for a “worst-case scenario” price.
- Are there additional charges? Some plumbers may charge you a fee for an estimate or add on charges for labor.
- Ask aif they have had previous experience with your problem. Some plumbers specialize in low flushing toilets while others have more experience with clogged pipes. If a plumber has had previous experience with a problem similar to yours the less likely the problem will have to be fixed again by a second plumber.
- When the plumber is at your home addressing the problem ask them if they know what caused it or what could be done to prevent it in the future. The more you know about your home the more time and money you can save by not having to repair it for simple every day mistakes.
- What is the plumber’s service warranty? If he can’t guarantee the work for an acceptable period, it should send up a red flag. Unless you have very old pipes and fixtures and your home needs extensive plumbing work, a good plumber will return to fix a leak or a problem that was his error.
Ask people or persons in related professions:
- Call a homeowner acquaintance whose opinion you trust. Most homeowners at one time or another need to hire a plumber and can advise you on one with a good reputation.
- Call a builder or contractor you know. Contractors deal with plumbers frequently and usually have well-formed opinions about various local plumbers, the quality of their work and the competitiveness of their prices.
- Talk to the real estate salesperson who represented you when you purchased your home. Real estate experts often recommend plumbers and other subcontractors to their clients. Because most agents want to keep you as a repeat customer, they will be happy to recommend a plumber for you.