Homeowners, property managers, and business owners alike probably have had to call a plumber every now and then. If you’ve been lucky so far, you must realize that a problem can arise at any time. That means understanding the world of plumbing would be a good idea before you need a plumber. Now, while a good plumber set loose on your pipes can save your bacon, a bad one can create issues that keep multiplying!
So we’d recommend that you take a few minutes off. Get comfy and read our thoughts on what qualities and skills make a plumber a good or bad one. But before that, a word of advice:
Waiting for a Plumbing Emergency
Instead of waiting for the issue to resolve itself or even worse, trying to fix it, call in a professional. For simpler problems, your DIY approaches may even work. But in most cases, you’ll only be creating stop-gap measures. When they stop working, you’ll need a plumber – and a skilled one at that.
Do you see where this is going? We refer to doing due diligence before you have a need for a plumber who knows their trade. That will prevent you from choosing the first name off any old Plumbers Near Me list later on.
That said, let us move on to choosing a qualified plumber to solve your problems as they arise:
Prefer word of mouth over flashy advertising
If someone you know has a run-in with a reliable plumber, their recommendation should carry more weight than an advertisement. So, start asking friends who live in your area. Move on to family members – also located close by. You may notice that we mention distance. That’s because you may find the cost of commute added to your plumbing bill should a plumber have to travel far to get to you.
Now do a rep check
While personal recommendations from others can often match the requirements of your project, that may not always be so. In such situations, you’ll have to do some digging. Start with online directories. These websites screen plumbing professionals before adding them to the directory.
Moreover, look for plumbing contractors who are members of associations like ASSE or PHCC (Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors). If they take the time to get in with such organizations, these plumbers likely care about cultivating a good reputation among their clients.
Talking about a rep brings us to the reviews that you’ll find on various rating websites. Go through the ratings. See if you can spot profiles with a large number of positive comments and reviews. Shortlist the ones that jump out at you as you skim.
Knowing your plumbing needs
When narrowing down a number of potential plumbing contractors, try to determine which ones fit your requirements best. For instance, many plumbing companies have different specializations. Some may excel at maintenance, while others could be good for repair or installation.
Hiring a plumber and getting them to come out to you only to find out they cannot fix your problem is a waste of their time and money. So, when looking for a plumber near you, call to discuss your requirements with them.
Additionally, select a company with extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with your specific problem.
The devil lies in the licensure
Plumbing and other professional trades come under the licensing control of the states. The easiest way to see if your potential choice holds a current license is to visit the state licensing board.
Usually, a plumber with a valid license will also carry state-mandated insurance and bonding. Even so, don’t take their word or assume they do. Instead, make asking for proof of insurance a part of your vetting process.
Depend only on-site, accurate, and written estimates
You already know enough to not hire the first professional plumber you meet. Add to that another step, i.e., asking at least 3 of them from your list for written estimates. An experienced plumber won’t give you one unless they can come to see the job on-site.
In any case, tasks such as water heater installations are usually straightforward. So, plumbers find it easy to quote. However, only good ones will happily put down the cost in writing.
Finally, with the estimate in your hand, review it. Then inquire if the plumber’s quoting the total cost in it. That would mean including labor and any commuting expenses too. You should also discuss potential problems that the professional may foresee. Ask them what increases in the cost should you expect in such scenarios. A plumber who wants to retain their client base won’t shy away from sharing such information.
We hope that the information you have here is sufficient to give you the scope of services that better plumbers provide. Hire one who does quality work and not someone who’ll create problems rather than eliminate them!