How to Choose a Local Plumber

Just in case a serious plumbing problem comes up, it’s important to have a plumber all lined up who is willing to come to the rescue. First, though, it’s important to know how to choose a local plumber. Things can go terribly wrong if you hire the wrong person. Read on for tips on choosing a local plumber and some of the most common reasons to call a plumber.

Tips on Choosing a Local Plumber

Of all the features of a home, the plumbing is one that can quickly turn into a nightmare. If you discover, for instance, that a pipe is leaking, it’s important to hire a competent, reputable plumber. The following tips on how to choose a local plumber can help you make a good decision that you aren’t likely to regret.

Verify Licensing and Certification

The person who enters your home and works on your plumbing should be a true professional who is licensed and certified. Find out the company’s and/or individual’s credentials. Plumbers are required to be licensed because they work with systems like piping and gas. It can be a big mistake to assume that a person is licensed, even if they show up at your home and they are with a company that checked out okay.

Verify the Plumber is Insured and Bonded

As unlikely as it may seem, you can end up dealing with a huge headache if you hire a plumber who isn’t insured. There are various outcomes that would make you regret it, including:

  • The uninsured plumber gets injured while on your property and sues you for damages.
  • The uninsured plumber makes a terrible mistake and floods your home.

An insured and bonded plumbing contractor is even better. A bond will reimburse you for any damages the plumber’s insurance doesn’t cover and could even help you recover other damages, such as lost wages caused by the plumber.

Ask About After-Hour Emergencies

One of the best reasons to line up a good plumber is to be prepared for the unexpected. Make sure the plumber you choose is available 24-7, in case you have a serious plumbing emergency. Some plumbing contractors don’t, as a rule, provide round-the-clock services.

Ask Family and Friends for Referrals

Hands down, the best resources for anyone deciding on a plumber are family and friends who have a recommendation based on personal experience. Their help can go both ways. Your loved ones may tell you the name of a plumber you should never hire or someone they fully recommend. Still, even though someone you know may have had a good experience with a plumber, it’s best to double-check basics like licensing and insurance.

Carefully Check the Plumber’s Reviews

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a trusted person recommend a great plumber. As needed, you can turn to the next best thing: online reviews. Start with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is a reliable type of rating. To ensure that customer reviews and ratings steer you in the right direction, it’s best not to simply rely on the number of stars the plumber has, such as four out of five stars.

The reality is that reviews are often manipulated. Sometimes the plumber is trying to hide low ratings. There are even times when competitors leave fake negative comments to upset their rival’s good standing. It’s best to read as many reviews as you can and figure out whether they seem genuine. If they all say basically the same few things, it could be that the plumber’s marketing company hired a writer to leave reviews.

Ask About Cost

Find out if the plumber offers free estimates on major repairs. Ask how the plumbing contractor charges customers. Do they charge by the hour, for example, or by the type of project? If a plumber is paid by the hour, get a time estimate on how long it will take. Get their cost estimate in writing before a plumber starts doing work for you.

Ask About Experience and Referrals

If you’re considering a plumber who has years of experience, ask for referrals from customers. The more experienced a plumber is, the more likely they are to accurately troubleshoot any issues that may be going on with your plumbing. It can cost a lot more if a plumber takes longer to fix an issue due to inexperience.

When Should I Call a Plumber?

Some plumbing issues can be handled by anyone with the right tools and supplies willing to try do-it-yourself fixes. Fixing a clogged toilet often just requires using a plunger. The same fix may work with a slow drain. For more difficult plumbing repair jobs, call a professional. In addition to a clogged drain, dripping faucets, and leaky pipes, the following are a couple of the most common reasons to call a plumber.

Low Water Pressure

If your water will only trickle from the faucets, your water pressure is low. It could mean that there is a leaky pipe in your home, though it may be caused by the municipal water supply, which is not as common. Low water pressure is caused by sediment buildup on faucet aerators much of the time. If you don’t have a filtration system, mineral deposits can collect in showerheads and faucets. It’s easy to remove mineral deposits from most kitchen faucets. Just unscrew the tip of the faucet, remove the debris, and screw it back on.

Running Toilet

A running toilet can use a lot of water and seriously drive up the cost of your water bill. It’s sometimes necessary to replace a toilet’s inner workings to stop it from running constantly. If you think your toilet may have a leak, put a few drops of food coloring in the upper tank and then wait for about 20 minutes. Then look in the toilet bowl. If there is even a hint of color, the flapper valve isn’t operating properly. Call the plumber about your running toilet if you aren’t successful with a DIY fix.

You’ll Be Glad You Did

People rarely put the issue of finding a good plumber up there with choosing the right doctor, for example, but they are both really important. Plumbing is one of those necessary things that can become very expensive very quickly. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you do your homework on plumbers for something like a leaky faucet so that you’re ready for potential plumbing disasters that could come in the future. You never know!