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Choosing a Plumber: How to Hire a Great and Reliable Plumber
Homeowners could save up to 10% on their water bills by fixing leaky plumbing. That’s a lot of money on the table, especially for large families. Fixing plumbing problems by yourself isn’t always the smartest idea.
For one, most of us lack the proper tools and parts to repair things outside of the DIY tank plunger replacement or faucet filter. Plus, you may not even understand what the source of the problem is and could wind up wasting time and money. That’s why you should look at choosing a plumber that is reliable and affordable.
Having a plumber you can call for an emergency or regular maintenance saves you money over time. Let’s take a look at why and how choosing the right plumber is something you should take care of today.
Why You’ll Want a Professional Plumber
Here are a few scenarios where you’ll wish you had a professional plumber. Don’t try these at home.
Loss of Water Pressure
Well, this could be something as small as the faucet’s aerator or something as big as the main water line itself. You may never be able to trace the source without knowing how to test it.
Loss of Hot Water
This is usually where people freak out and assume the water heater is shot, but if you call a plumber to take a look at it, there might be a way to avoid buying a new one. There are plenty of electrical components that can fail, which can cheaply and easily be replaced by a plumber.
Your average bathtub drain gets clogged very easily, especially with a household with long hair. Rather than dumping drain cleaner, plumbers are a much safer, environmentally-sound, and guaranteed solution. Sink drains are especially difficult to unclog by yourself because the clog may be too deep to reach and too caked on for chemical cleaners to work.
Drain cleaner repairs are not easy and can be costly if done without the proper experience.
Toilet and Sewage Clogs
These are typically the most common calls that people will make to a plumbing contractor. Sewage cleaning isn’t something that most people can stomach, let alone solve.
Toilets that clog beyond the power of your average plunger can be stressful, but a clog that goes beyond the reach of a toilet “snake” means you better call a professional right away.
This is a problem that most people inadvertently create by themselves. Frozen pipes can easily fracture or bust if special precaution is not taken.
If temperatures reach below freezing, then you should prepare by turning off your water via the shutoff valve and calling a plumber to safely unfreeze your pipes to prevent causing any damage.
Hiring a plumber is more than just about getting yourself out of an emergency leak or clog, it’s about preventing things from reaching that point. Let a professional ensure that all your seals and fittings will not fail and leave you paying much more in repairs.
Keys to Choosing a Plumber
Now that we have an idea of why hiring a plumber is so important, let’s find a good one. Before you hire your unlicensed uncle who “can fix anything,” do some questioning. Call around and ask plumbing contractors the following:
What’s the Final Estimate?
If you get an estimate over the phone, don’t expect it to hold weight. Proper estimates can only work with a personal inspection. Only then, after they’ve accessed the scope of the job, can they hand you an estimate.
Ask them if this estimate includes all parts and labor. Verify if there are any contingencies before moving on.
By Project or Hourly Rate?
Will they charge you an hourly rate or a flat rate to do the job? Hourly rates will often provide you the best deal, as most plumbing jobs shouldn’t take more than an hour. Flat rates are great for renovations or large projects.
Flat rates may have some hidden costs, such as higher rates for materials used.
How are Payments Invoiced?
Will the plumber require payment upfront or half now and half at the end? Never pay any contractor for 100% of their work upfront. If they do a bad job or don’t finish it, you’ll get stuck wasting time trying to collect in court.
Any reputable plumber will have a contract with clauses that determine payments based on milestones or standard of work.
Are There Other Laborers Involved?
Another area you need to pay attention to in the contract is hired hands and apprentices. If a plumber doesn’t mention that they use other laborers, that’s a red flag. The homeowner should get full disclosure of who will be working on their home.
Contractors need to have all workers under them legally insured, too. If they get hurt on your property, you risk being liable for their bills.
Ask Them If They Clean Up After
This is another important detail often overlooked. Make sure the plumbers agree to clean up after the job. It’s not only good manners, but it’s also part of the job.
An honest plumber will not include cleaning up as part of their on-clock duties. Beware of contractors trying to milk their hourly rate.
What’s Their Guarantee?
All contracted work should include a guarantee and all parts should come with a warranty. If they don’t have good customer reviews and can’t stand by their work, then it’s probably not worth getting. Most established contractors offer a standard limited warranty of at least a year.
A warranty on the parts used will usually come from the manufacturer.
Ask for Royalty Plumbing
Don’t go the cheap route when choosing a plumber. Trust us, it never works out in the homeowner’s favor. You might think everything is fixed, but wind up in the same position months later.
Protect yourself from shoddy jobs, low-quality parts/materials, or unprofessional laborers. Contact us today for a free consultation and estimate on any plumbing issues you may have. If you don’t have any immediate repairs, ask us about how you can lower your water bill.
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Thanks for mentioning that you should hire a plumber to unclog your drain since some clogs may be too deep to access by yourself. Ever since my wife and I gave our dog a bath in our bathroom, we have noticed that his hair has started to clog our drain. It may be best for us to find a plumber that can help us take care of the clog.