Choosing a plumber can certainly be a daunting task. Especially if the reason you are choosing a plumber in the first place is due to some sort of “Plumbing Emergency.” So, if you need a plumber for installing a new fixture like a faucet, a toilet bowl, or a garbage disposal unit you may need a “Service Plumber” plumber.
If, on the other hand, you need to have a new heating system installed, or Central Airconditioning Unit, Furnace, or a Boiler, then you need a plumber that does, Heating, Cooling, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation. (HVAC)
And, if you are having an issue with a cesspool, septic system, or other sewer related pipes or system then you need a specialty plumbing contractor.
Lastly, If you are adding a Dormer, Converting a basement, doing an outdoor kitchen, or any type of completely new plumbing, then you need a “New Construction” plumber. So, when choosing a plumber, keep these things in mind.
Learn Which Type of Plumber You May Need
Okay, so as you can see, some plumbers do certain things or perform certain services, and other plumbers do other things and perform other services.
We have spoken to licensed Master Plumbers and had an opportunity to ride-along with a plumber from All Island Plumbers recently, and I can tell you with a certain degree of confidence that not all plumbers are created equally.
Is a Plumber Required to be Licensed?
This question depends on your location. All Island Plumbers, the company that we rode with happens to be in our hometown of Long Island, New York. In our county, Suffolk, a plumber must be licensed as a Master Plumber, he/she must have liability insurance, workman’s compensation, and is accountable to a local plumbing board for work ethics, reliability, and must complete a competency test in both a written and practical (Hands-on) application of skills, and knowledge.
The best way to find out what the requirements are for your town is to contact your town government. Tell them that you are choosing a plumber, and need a little help. I can tell you that in my town, we have our own “Plumbing Department,” but they are part of the “Building Department.” So, that is a good place to begin.
What Should I Look For When Choosing a Plumber Company?
First, and foremost, As I’ve already mentioned, it is important to find out what the license requirement is for a tradesman to do the type of work you need to have done. Even if your locality does not require that plumbing work is done by a licensed plumber, I am willing to bet that they require that when you hire someone to do work in your home that they have at least a contractor license and insurance, and I wouldn’t want someone working in my home with at least those minimum requirements.
Here are My Top 10 Things To Know When Choosing A Plumber
- Is the plumber currently licensed to work in my area?
- Does the plumber have insurance in case something goes wrong, or he gets hurt while working in my home?
- Does the plumber have a website with current information about him, and does he have any reviews on the website?
- Can the plumber provide me with a couple of references to call?
- Does the plumber have the experience to take care of my particular problem?
- Does the plumber charge by the hour or by the job, and will his estimate be a final bill or just a ballpark guess?
- Will the plumber provide me with a written proposal that outlines all the work to be completed, the cost of the labor, and materials, as well as any related costs such as rubbish removal, demolition, permits, etc.
- Does the plumber have any factory training for the equipment
- Is the plumber listed on the BBB website, and does the plumber have any unanswered complaints?
- What plumbers do your friends, neighbors, or colleagues use, and what did they think of them.
In closing, you need to determine what type of plumber you need, then do your homework. Don’t just take the first plumber that google suggest. Call a few when choosing a plumber. Most offer a free estimate, and if not, they may offer to credit the estimate fee, sometimes called a “Dispatch Fee,” to the actual bill if you go with them to use the service. When you have made your choice, re-read the proposal, check it for accuracy, description, and price, and then if you are comfortable, go ahead and get the work done.
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