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UPDATED 11/25/2020

To choose one of the best plumbing companies in your area, there are specific questions that you should ask before you commit.

First of all you should get answers to questions about the company’s license, reputation, years of service and what kind of home plumbing services they offer. Most plumbing maintenance companies will offer the basics such as fixing a leaky pipe, replacing or installing a faucet or making sure your toilet is not running and wasting. However, what if you need water and gas plumbing services, which are more complex? If your water heater, for example needs to be replaced or repaired, how would you go about finding a plumber that offers this kind of home plumbing repair?

Once you call up a plumbing company, another important question would be to tell the plumber your issue with your water heater and ask if it can be repaired or should it be replaced. Of course, the plumber typically has to visit the home and take a look at it and then give you a full assessment. These things cannot be done effectively over the phone.

There will come a time in every homeowner’s life when they must hire a plumber. This process can be difficult, or it can be painless — this all depends on whether or not you ask the right questions when hiring your plumber. To ensure you pick the right individual for the job, read and learn more about questions to ask a plumber.

What is a plumber?

A plumber can help you keep your stress to a minimum. Do you know when it’s time to give a plumber a call? Everyone will need their help at some point, whether you’re dealing with a leaky faucet or a broken pipe in the bathroom.

If the work is not done correctly, or you try to DIY the project, this can cause major issues with your home! These issues can lead to even more expensive costs that will come out of your pocket! No one wants to spend more money than they need to. A plumber is someone who specializes in fixing plumbing work in the home. They can work residentially or commercially. Going through the process of hiring a qualified plumber is worth the time. They can also help you perform routine maintenance in the home. Don’t want until something goes wrong before making that phone call.

What is the plumber’s level of training?

Mandatory training can vary from state to state. Some states are strict and require a lot of training from the individual. Look into these standards so you can ensure you’re making the right decision at the time of hiring. This can also help you influence what type of questions to ask a plumber.

One of the most basic levels of the profession is an apprentice plumber. This plumber has completed on the job training. They have also gotten some classroom training under their belt. The majority of apprentice level plumbers enter a trade program through a union in the area. Some other individuals may have also apprenticed with a more experienced contractor. Gaining this kind of experience gives the plumber the opportunity to learn the proper skills they need to branch out on their own as they get to practice a wide variety of jobs.

A journeyman plumber is another type of plumber you can hire. This individual has usually spent up to five years as an apprentice to reach this coveted status. Requirements for this level of status can vary from state to state. Some states even require an exam, as well as ongoing education in order to keep their license valid.

Finally, you have a master plumber. This is the highest status that a plumber can achieve in the field. Every state in the country has a set amount of years that a plumber must work as a journeyman. After these years of service have been completed, the plumber can apply to their local Contractors Board. They must take a written exam to test their knowledge in the field.

Each of these fields offers plumbers who can vary in terms of price and experience. When you’re thinking of questions to ask a plumber, this is a great place to start during the hiring process.

What does a plumber do?

Once you call your plumber and they arrive, they will likely be prepared to handle any situation with their emergency plumbing services. They carry most of their tools with them, which means that they can handle most cases on the spot. Many plumbers also have handy 24/7 service available in case there is ever an unreliable leak, and you are forced to shut your water off.

what kind of questions should i ask a plumber

Many plumbers can handle the following situations:

  • they can repair and replace faucets and toilets in the home
  • they can replace broken valves with new parts
  • they can fix tankless water heaters
  • they can repair and install gas lines
  • they can repair and replace water lines located inside and outside of the home

How are plumbers regulated in the field?

There are many questions to ask a plumber. One of the most important, however, is asking how they are regulated. The profession has many strict regulations that play a large role in protecting the public water supply. There are several life-threatening diseases that can be passed through dirty water, so protecting it should be one of their priorities while on the job. Every state is different, and you can typically learn more about the unique guidelines on your local state government’s website.

Is hiring a licensed or non-licensed contractor better?

If you have been looking for a plumber, you’re probably wondering whether you should hire someone who is licensed or non-licensed. Many states actually will not allow their plumbers to work without a license.

A licensed plumber is someone who has achieved the necessary amount of training and educated required of their state government. They have also passed their state-mandated exam to perform plumbing jobs in their city. In a nutshell, they are legally allowed to work as a plumber in the area.

Once they receive their license, they will also need to continue their education to maintain it.

Hiring someone who does not have their license can cause major problems. Their work may not be done correctly, and you’ll have to call someone else to come to fix the damage! They can even put your own wellbeing at risk if they set a fire or cause a flood within the home. They may not even have the proper tools to get the job done, like a reliable clamp!

You can even be fined if you hire someone who isn’t registered with the state!

Why should I hire a registered plumber?

A registered plumber usually has commercial liability insurance. This is designed to cover any incidents that may happen in the home. For example, if the plumber falls and is hurt, their insurance will cover their injuries. The same goes for if the property is damaged while they work.

A surety bond will also pay for everything that liability insurance doesn’t automatically cover. Another reason you should work with a registered plumber is if they did a poor job, the bond would cover the cost of the job repair. Additionally, it can cover the cost of illegal activity. If the plumber steals something from your home while they are on the job, it will be covered.

Therefore, when asking a plumber questions — make sure this one is at the top of your list.

“Are you bonded and insured?”

The answer should be yes! Furthermore, don’t be afraid of asking for proof of insurance before making your final decision.

Will you be doing the work?

When thinking of questions to ask a plumber, this should be one of them. If you’re working with a small plumbing company during the kitchen remodeling process, the odds are that the plumber you speak to will be conducting the repairs. However, with larger companies, the same may not be true. They may employ multiple plumbers and will send another person to do the work. Ask this question so that you are prepared! You should ask about their experience in the field. Even if you aren’t meeting with them, you should still know how much training they have under their belt.

When will you charge me?

When considering which questions to ask a plumber, ensure this is another one on your list. It can help you ease any financial strain.

If the plumber is completing a small job, then you probably won’t have to ask for a payment plan. However, if they are completing a much larger project, you’ll have to pay in installments. Ask when payment is due, do you don’t miss a single one. You should also figure out the cost of a large scale job upfront.

How will I pay you?

There are many ways small businesses can accept payment for their work. Ensure you have access to whichever method they choose. They may only take cash. Some other plumbers may only accept online payment. This can vary, so you’re better off asking.

You may also want to inquire about a payment plan if you can’t afford to pay your plumber upfront. Others may even charge a down payment to secure the work.

Will the payment be a flat rate?

Installing a water heater is a simple job; therefore, plumbers will usually charge a flat rate for this kind of work.

A flat rate will not change due to labor expenses, which is great because you will know exactly how much you’re paying!

Look at the contract and check if there is a clause stating that additional charges will be tacked onto your bill in the event that the plumber works longer hours than expected.

If they happen to work overtime, at least you will be prepared and won’t be surprised when you open up their bill.

Will the plumber clean up afterward?

Plumbing jobs can be messy! So when thinking about questions to ask a plumber, do not leave this one out.

Most plumbers will include clean-up in their rate. They will haul out old water heaters or parts. If they don’t provide this in their rate, you’ll have a large (and potentially heavy) mess on your hands. Therefore, make sure this is one of their listed services. They may charge you extra, but it’s better to ask before your plumber leaves a mess in the basement.

You may also hire a cleaning service who will haul away heavy pieces of junk for you if the plumber doesn’t already include the service.

Is your plumbing work guaranteed?

Before making your working relationship official, ensure the plumber is guaranteed. This factor can vary between plumbers. However, find out the specifics ASAP. Whatever is promised through word of mouth should be written in the legally binding contract. If the plumber ever goes back on their word, you can look back on your contract.

This is one of many good questions to ask your plumber.

Who are your references?

A plumber should have a solid list of references. Ask to look at this list before you consider hiring them. Even if they haven’t been working as a plumber for long, they should at least have a few positive references from colleagues and mentors.

They may also keep a record of their references through the Better Business Bureau. If there have been a few negative reviews, don’t automatically assume the worst. Ask the plumber to explain the situation. Sometimes, it can simply be a matter of miscommunication. However, if not a single review is positive, this can raise some red flags. You should steer clear. Especially if there are reported cases of theft and poor workmanship. Find a new candidate and think about revisit this list of questions to ask a plumber.

Concluding on questions to ask a plumber

There are many questions to ask a plumber. If you’re struggling to ask the right ones, consider this list. These tips will also help you find the right plumber for you, so you never have to be without a qualified professional in the plumbing industry. You never know when the odd plumbing emergency will happen! You’re better off taking action now – so you have one less thing to worry about as a homeowner.

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