Guide to Finding the Best Plumber
The reality of being a homeowner, business owner, or property manager is that you will need to enlist the services of a plumber at some point. The way to save money and eliminate stress when the time comes to call a plumber is to do your research beforehand and have a reliable plumber on speed dial. The last thing you want is to call someone to fix your plumbing problem and end up with ongoing issues and expense due to a poorly executed job.
Consider the tips below to find the best plumber for your needs.
How to Find a Great Plumber
Ask Local Connections
The most reliable method of finding a great plumber is to ask your family, friends, and neighbors for suggestions. You can trust them to give you a truthful review of plumbing companies they have used: whether or not the plumber was professional and did good work, and if they felt that the charge was fair or if they were ripped off.
Check out service directories like Yelp, Angie’s List, or Yellow Pages for ratings and reviews of plumbing companies in the area. Thoroughly read reviews of different companies so you can spot phony or sponsored testimonials but still get a good feel for the performance quality and integrity of each business.
Google Search for Local Plumbers
Lastly, search for “plumber near me” or “local plumber” on your favorite search engine such as Google. This should bring up quite a few plumbers in your area that you can research on your own without bias from others. Look around the websites of at least three plumbers to get an idea of who they are and how they conduct business.
There are several questions to ask that a plumber’s website should answer. How long has the business been around? Who performs the plumbing services? Is the business licensed and insured? Do they charge for estimate visits? Do they have a warranty policy? Will they finance work or products? Do they have 24/7 emergency services (or will you have to wait until Monday morning to deal with a water heater that went out on Saturday)?
Questions for your Potential Hires
Choose three plumbers based on your initial research and call all of them. Having a conversation with a real person can give you an idea of the character of the company. Note the answers to the following questions for each company called.
1) Were you able to speak with someone or were you put through to voicemail?
2) If your call went to voicemail, how long did you have to wait before receiving a return call?
3) Was the representative pleasant and polite?
4) Was he or she well-informed regarding the company’s policies and procedures and able to answer all your questions?
Once you have spoken with all three candidate plumbing businesses, choose one to come out for an estimate visit.
Remember that simply because a plumber gives you an estimate does not require you to select their company. Call the next company for a visit if you feel uncomfortable with the first plumber. This is about finding a company that you feel good about and will be confident calling regarding any plumbing issue at any time.
The First Job
At this point, you can decide on a plumber and take the next step by hiring one to do a project. Choose a less-involved job like fixing a leaky toilet or replacing a faucet. This is a good way to assess the plumber’s work before having him or her do something like re-pipe your whole house.
Assess the hiring process from beginning to end. Regarding the company, consider the quality and ease of communication, the scheduling process, billing, and follow-up. Look for a timely arrival, proper job execution, and thorough clean-up by the plumber. Keep in mind that you’re looking for a company you can build a relationship with and depend on throughout the entire time you own the property. A careful analysis at the beginning will serve you well down the road.
Services Offered by a Good Plumber
Now that you’re familiar with the process of researching and selecting the right plumber, we’ll go over the services that should be provided by a good plumber.
Ideally, your plumbing company will offer a wide range of services so that you can make one call for any of your plumbing needs.
Water Heater Work
Have you ever wondered who to call with water heater issues? Your plumber is the one who will repair and maintain a water heater for you.
Water heaters may be one of the most forgotten appliances since they are usually stored in a garage or a closet–out of sight and ignored until they stop working. The moment you remember that you own a water heater may be when the hot water turns to cold in your shower. Spending the next minutes in a dripping scurry to search online for a plumber can be avoided by doing research ahead of time and having a plumber stored in your contacts.
You can trust your plumber to repair your water heater. He or she may find that the time has come to replace the appliance altogether, in which case you can choose from their stock and quickly have a new one installed. Then you may continue your hot shower.
If you are not familiar with tankless water heaters, ask your plumber about that option when you need to replace your unit. Tankless water heaters use internal coils for on-demand hot water production instead of heating elements inside the large storage tanks of standard water heaters.
Clearing and Fixing Drains
A filthy, bothersome, and unfortunately common problem is a backed up or clogged drain. At times, a plunger or commercial chemical product can quickly unclog a drain. Sometimes it takes disassembling the plug and using a hook and a little elbow grease to clear out all the gunk and hair. And sometimes, no matter what, nothing clears the blockage.
Fortunately, a professional plumber can help. He or she has the necessary equipment to clear the pipes, including high-pressure jets that can reach the clogs and break them apart to allow water to flow freely once more.
The services of a professional plumber are required to detect hidden leaks in a home. Leak detection involves the identification of holes or cracks that may be in pipes, drains, toilets, oil pipes, steam pipes, and water supply systems.
These compromises can be detected with specialized electronic leak detection machines, which most plumbers carry.
An electronic leak detection machine will judge the soundwaves produced by pipes and differentiate between leaking and non-leaking ones. Certain factors will affect the way the soundwaves occur: pipe thickness, pressure, and the kinds of fluids running through the pipes.
Sounds are received and amplified by a special component in the leak detection machine and then analyzed. This sound analysis assists the plumber in understanding and addressing leaks. A plumber that utilizes this equipment to detect and repair leaks will be able to prevent expensive repairs.
Repairing Water and Sewer Lines
Sewer and water lines are liable to be damaged by penetration of tree roots and may be further compromised by debris that washes in. These lines are usually buried underground, however, so it can be difficult to identify problems.
If you suspect an issue with your water or sewer lines, a plumber is the person to call. Putting off contacting your plumber while a break or blockage exists may result in damages that will be expensive to fix. Call the instant you notice that something isn’t right.
The best way to make sure that these systems are performing properly is to schedule an annual inspection conducted by your plumber. He or she will find leaks or blockages, corroded or collapsed pipes, breaks or cracks, off-grade piping, or damage from tree roots, and will reinforce or repair vulnerable areas.
Blockages in sewer and water lines are caused by a variety of things, including: cleaning products such as soap and detergents; toilet tissue and other paper products; toothpaste, makeup, and hair; cooking byproducts like fat and grease; leaves and debris caught in downspout drains; chemicals and oils that run through floor drains; and dirt and roots in pipes found underground.
A good plumber has the expertise and necessary equipment to unclog drains, sewer lines, and water pipes.
The process of replacing old pipes with new pipes is called re-piping. Repairs will keep a pipe system functioning, but the whole system deteriorates as it ages and may eventually need to be replaced altogether.
Correctly re-piping a house or building requires several types of pipes. One example is PEX tubing, a durable pipe that can withstand freezing temperatures due to its flexibility. Copper piping is another type, generally found in water supply lines that connect to toilets and sinks. Many vents, drain pipes, and water lines are made of PVC piping.
A plumber will understand the differences between these types of pipes and should complete a re-piping job using a combination of the three.
Plumbers can now examine the inside of sewer and water lines with video technology. Using a tiny camera affixed to the end of a cable and inserting the cable into a pipe or line, the plumber can view video footage, diagnose problems, and plan repairs.
After repairs are complete, new video footage will confirm that blockages have been eliminated and lines or pipes are clear.
Water Conditioning Services
Water conditioning and water softening services are important, especially for someone whose home or business is in an area with sulfur in the water. These services are often provided by plumbers.
For soft, treated water throughout an entire building, whole-house softener and filtration systems will serve you well. A point-of-use system is the best option if you only need the soft and treated water in targeted fixtures.
You are now familiar with the range of services offered by a good plumber. You know how to research and hire a plumber that you trust. With this information, you can find the perfect company that will take care of all your plumbing issues.
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