This article will help you find a reliable plumber. The fact is no one likes calling in a plumber. The work they do is expensive, and it always seems to cost more than quoted and take longer than promised. Sometimes it feels much like a car repair shop, most people do not really understand the work a plumber is doing. It is extremely easy for a plumber to rip off a homeowner and overcharge them for work that did not really need to be done in the first place. There have been many documented cases of just such a thing happening. But sometimes, you simply have to call in a plumber to do some work. How can you be sure you are working with someone who is honest and knows what they are doing? Here are the things you need to know before you choose a plumber for your job.
The first thing you want to do is make sure that you only deal with licensed plumbers. Plumbing code makes it illegal for anyone other then a licensed plumber to do plumbing work. There are many handymen, maintenance men, and others who claim to know how to do plumbing work and do it for pay. They are doing the work illegally. In the State of California it is a criminal offense to perform work without the following 5 documents:
1. State Plumbing license.
2. A $12,500 bond.
3. A city Business License in the city where you are working.
4. City permit for the specific address where you are working that lists the work you are doing.
5. Workers compensation insurance policy to cover employees.
All of these pieces of paper cost money.
There are guys doing work without any of the five, or 1 of the five, or 2 of the five, etc. The more of the five you have, the more money you put out and therefore the more you must charge the customer on the price of the job. Customers always want to pay the least amount possible. Most customers think plumbing is just dummy work anyway. Why not just take the cheapest price. What’s the difference, one dummy, another dummy, who cares. Just get here fast, do whatever it is you dummy’s do to fix my problem, charge me the least amount possible, and get your dirty ass out of my house as quickly as possible. Hiring unqualified and undocumented workers can ultimately cost you a lot more in the long run. You will not have any recourse for shoddy work by an unlicensed plumber. Not only can they screw up your plumbing, if the work is done wrong then it could be life threatening. So the first thing you should do to find a reputable plumber is check to see if they are in compliance and have those five documents in order.
The second thing you need to do is check out how satisfied customers have been with a plumber’s work in the past. Asking around in your neighborhood and among your friends is a good way to start. Many of them will be able to recommend plumbers that they like as well as letting you in on some plumbing horror stories. Do not go by who has the most advertisements or who has been in business the longest. Unfortunately, many people go to a plumbing firm because they know they name from advertisements, and often these companies are the worst ones out there. The same thing happens with a company that has been in business for a long time. Name recognition does not mean good service in every case. A good plumber or plumbing company should be able to provide you with references upon request. If you are planning on hiring a plumber for a remodeling job rather than a simple repair, you should never accept a company that refuses to provide you with a set of references.
The internet can also be your friend in checking out plumbers. Many homeowners who have been burned by bad service maintain websites where they call out service people who have done bad work or ripped them off. Check these sites in your town and avoid the plumbers on those lists.
Hourly rates are another thing you want to check out before you hire a plumber. Call around and get a few quotes for a job. Find out if the plumber is willing to sign a quote and give you a price guarantee before he begins working. You should also find out if the plumber will charge you travel time to and from your job and how they will calculate that time and prove it to you. Giving you an exact price may be tough, but any plumber who can’t give you a thorough explanation of how you will be billed with a ballpark figure of the price should be avoided. We always offer a free phone consultation when you call us.
Good plumbers are out there. Do your homework, and you will find one.