Think about the last time you bought a car. You may not have consulted the yellow pages, nor selected a dealer at random, or bought your car in the first place you visited. However, many times, this is the scenario that describes the way a plumber is searched, people read the phone book and call the plumber who has posted the largest or first listing on the list. However, just like buying a car, searching for a qualified plumber should be figured out and compared to ensure that you get the best price backed by a competent and quality service.
How to identify a plumber
The first thing you should do to find a good plumber is to ask family or friends for advice about professionals they have hired. Other good sources of reference are contractors, real estate agents and the local plumbing store. City government may even recommend a list of plumbers who are familiar with the codes in your area.
There are two different types of plumbers, those who make repairs and those who specialize in new construction and remodeling. “Plumbers who do repairs should be called when a sink is clogged, there are leaks in faucets or emergency situations,” warns Gage. “The second type of plumber works on larger projects, such as replacing a faulty pipe throughout the house or installing additional pipes.”
When requesting references, be sure to ask what type of work the plumber was hired for. Also, find out if the plumber specializes in residential or commercial work.
There are several qualifications that can differentiate a professional plumber from the rest.
Certification or state license – In many states license or state certification to work in that state is needed. Call to verify that the license is up to date and find out if there are any complaints against that license.
Insurance – Make sure the plumber who plan to hire are insured, have compensation insurance against accidents and liability insurance. The plumber you choose must provide you with a copy of your insurance policy.
Better Business Bureau – Contact the local Better Business Bureau to find out if complaints have been filed against your potential candidate.
Questions to ask
When you have narrowed down the list, have two or three plumbers come to your home to evaluate the work and to give you a written budget that includes a list of materials. The contract should explain in detail the magnitude of the project, the items that are not included and the mode of payment. When you get the budget, one question you should not forget to ask is the type of materials that will be used. Remember, a faulty piece can cause damage to your home or turn your basement into a pool. I searched:
Do not allow the plumber to install products made from cheap materials of inferior quality. Ask your plumber to install quality materials, from recognized brands that offer manufacturer’s warranty to the consumer. You may have to pay more, but then you will be happy to have done so if there is a problem or if any of the parts should be replaced.
Reliability and proven performance
Many homeowners who request the services of a plumber to replace a leaking copper pipe are unaware that alternative materials exist on the market. Why make the plumber make a repair with the same material that has already failed? Ask plumbers you plan to hire if you use any of the proven copper alternatives.
These pipes and connections, of durable chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, offer more benefits than a copper pipe. To begin with, it never corrodes, itches or accumulates tartar, which helps to eliminate the risk of future failures and a costly new installation of the pipes. Compared with metallic systems, Flow Guard Gold CPVC systems also virtually eliminate condensation, reducing the risk of costly damage to walls, structures and contents. From the health point of view, the CPVC alternative offers the added benefit of maintaining water quality, since there is no metal that leaks into tap water.
In addition to consulting for the quality of the materials, you can ask the following questions to the plumber you plan to hire:
Business / Referral experience: Ask each plumber how long he has been engaged in the activity and if not personally recommended, ask him to name several people who can attest to the quality of his work and if he completed the job in the time established within the presented budget.
Permits: Check with the professional plumber if you will be responsible for obtaining all necessary permits.
Service guarantees: Does the plumber offer a job guarantee? This is an important point if there are problems that need fixing after the initial installation.
Safety commitment: Accidents can happen in almost all housing improvement projects. Therefore, ask your prospective candidate what steps will be taken to avoid injury or damage to property. A common problem when installing copper pipes is when the welding torch comes too close to the dry wall or to wooden beams in tight spaces. Non-metallic alternatives, such as CPVC pipes, are solvent-cemented (not welded), thus eliminating the risk of fire.
Cleaning: Ask the plumber how he will leave the work area once his work is finished. You will not want to clean for hours after the plumber has left home. Also ask about disorders during the project. For example, if the plumber uses CPVC pipes, you should not worry about picking up metal / copper chips or oil spills on your carpets or floors.
Compare prices, but remember that the cheapest quote they offer does not necessarily mean the best job. It is possible that a skilled and experienced plumber charges more for the job, but ultimately, it can save you money if you do a good job with the best materials.