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Hiring a Good Plumber

Sink FaucetHiring a good  plumber is one of those things you don’t think about until your sink leaks, your basement floods or your toilet over flows or won’t flush, and you need help fast. Searching the phonebook really isn’t the answer to solving all your problems or the right way to find a good plumber.

Finding the right plumber can be a difficult and timely process, but finding a slow leak from a pipe fitting that costs around a dollar; if not properly taken care of in a timely fashion may cost you thousands of dollars in damage, not to mention disrupting your family household or delaying the remodeling process for weeks. So hiring a licensed, insured plumber is always a must. You may also want to consider hiring a well-trained apprentice that works under your plumber’s license.

There are two different categories of plumbers: those who handle basic repairs and are often called upon in an emergency type situation and plumbers who specialize in home remodeling.


Family Plumber

There are several situations that you can save on the cost of a plumber, such as daily drips or clogs, but beyond these minor repairs you will be forced to call upon a professional. Waiting or trying to fix it yourself can run into bigger problems or end up costing you more money than you planned in your budget.

Plumbing isn’t all that difficult, but it does require knowledge of code requirements, parts and experience with the tools and materials. For instance, knowing how much pressure you can apply or how hard you can crank PVC before it breaks or cracks takes a certain amount of knowledge, as well as time to master the procedure. Without proper knowledge, you can turn a relatively cheap repair into a nightmare.

Always establish a relationship with a plumber before you actually need his services. It is a good idea for your plumber to know you and your home’s needs before walking into the situation with blinders on. If you can, hire him to complete a few non-emergency repairs, it’s much easier for a regular customer to call on their plumber than it is a panicked stranger calling in the middle of the night asking a plumber to come to your home and fix a broken, gushing pipe flooding your basement.

When choosing a plumber always be selective and ask to see their license; a good respectable plumber will always be eager to share their background or history with you. Most states require plumbers to carry a valid license and usually provide a phone number you can call to verify if their license is in order and the plumber has no active complaints against them.

Another good idea when hiring a plumber is to always take into consideration if they carry a current workers’ compensation policy with a minimum of $500,000 liability insurance. This is very important just in case your plumber is hurt on the job.

The best and easiest way to find a good plumber is to ask family, friends, neighbors or local contractors in your community, as well as real estate agents. There is nothing that will delay the sale of a home faster than plumbing issues; so most realtors usually carry a reliable list of licensed plumbers.

Once you find a decent and reliable plumber keep their phone number close by, just in case of an emergency.


Costs of Plumbing

Once you find a reliable plumber and you receive the bill for the costs of emergency plumbing services, you will probably be shocked. Your first thought; is my plumber taking advantage of me? But the answer is quite simple: NO!

Although the plumber may have only spent a few hours at your home, you must consider his costs of driving to and from your home, picking up the parts and his knowledge and basic skills used to fix your plumbing dilemma. Once you consider his costs, you will better understand his high rates.  Most problems can be fixed in just a few hours, but always take into consideration if it is a weekend or night call, as this will add to the hourly rate.

Most of us need help with basic plumbing services; repairing leaks or installing new traps. Always be prepared to pay extra for additional parts, which in turn your plumber may mark up the costs from his wholesale price.

At the cost of weekend or night calls, you don’t want to spend too much time standing around or chit-chatting with your plumber, but don’t be afraid to ask or question your plumber about his repair procedures or his choice of part options. Always seek advice for the best possible way to prevent the problem from happening again, as well.


Remodeling Plumber

For non-emergency projects or remodeling your home you will want a good plumber who understands the residential-system design and is properly educated on, understands and is up-to-date on all the code requirements in your area. It is also a good idea to be sure your plumber understands your needs and can work in an unfinished environment.

A general contractor is the best source to find a reliable and licensed remodeling plumber. This allows the contractor to see the plumber’s work before it is covered, so it can be properly inspected.

The contractor will inspect and be looking for clean solder joints, sharp, crisp 90-degree angles and properly sized holes in joists, studs, and floors. These are all important details to ensure you as a homeowner are getting quality work.

A good contractor will not allow or risk working with a dishonest or reprehensible plumber. The smallest, slightest error can be devastating and very costly. A leaky PVC line can be extremely devastating to a homeowner and can cause thousands of dollars in damage to walls and hardwood floors, complicating the process with lost time, insurance claims and lawsuits, not to mention damaging the reputation of both the plumber and the contractor. In most cases, contractors usually tend to work with the best plumbers they can find.

As important as it is for your plumber to be licensed and carry active workers’ compensation and insurance, it is just as important that your contractor carry a license and license number. It is also a good idea to verify that your contractor’s workers’ compensation and liability insurance policies are up-to-date and active.

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