Plumbing work is complex, technical, and requires a lot of training to do properly. To ensure you get high-quality plumbing work done safely, it’s always best to call a professional plumber. Knowing how to find a skilled and experienced plumber may seem like a complicated task, but it’s made much simpler as long as you follow these tips.
1. Understand What You Need
Plumbing covers a wide range of repair, maintenance, and installation services. To get the best plumber for your specific job, you need to fully evaluate what your job entails. It may be a simple matter like unclogging a toilet or fixing a leaky pipe, or it could be a massive job like a bathroom renovation.
Once you know exactly what you need done for the job, you can focus on finding plumbers who are experienced in that type of work. Some plumbers are even officially certified as specialists in particular areas that might be greatly beneficial to the job at hand.
2. Ask Trusted Friends and Family for Recommendations
Most homeowners need the assistance of a plumber at some point, and many people have experience with multiple plumbers. Getting firsthand recommendations from people is great, but they’re much more trustworthy when they come from your close family and friends.
You can rely on family and friends to be honest and detailed when it comes to explaining the pros and cons of services they’ve hired in the past. The best part is that they can also offer suggestions on which companies to avoid as a result of any negative experiences they’ve had.
3. Read Online Reviews
If you’re unable to get suggestions on reliable plumbers from friends and family, or if you simply want a second opinion, read online reviews about various local plumbing services. Many people online write detailed accounts of their experiences with certain plumbers, no matter if they’re positive or negative, which provides you with a much better understanding of each company.
While reading online reviews is extremely helpful in choosing a great plumber, it’s important to know how to analyze reviews properly. Avoid only reading reviews on the website of the plumbing company. Many companies delete negative reviews from their main website to avoid leaving bad impressions on potential customers. Third-party websites dedicated to reviewing companies usually provide more objective reviews that the company owners can’t delete unless they’re proven to be false.
Check to see if company representatives have responded to any complaints on social media or review websites. Replying to these complaints shows that the people behind the company care and truly want to help their customers. Replies should be helpful, professional, and positive interactions with customers. Pre-written responses that are copied and pasted in various replies convey a lack of caring on the part of the plumbing company.
4. Check Licensing and Certifications
Every professional plumber needs a license to do plumbing work in homes and commercial buildings. Even beginner plumbers who are new to the job need an apprentice license and supervision from a master plumber to do any official plumbing work.
The two main levels of experienced plumbers are journeymen and masters. Journeymen are plumbers who have completed the required work and hours needed to surpass apprentice level. Journeymen plumbers need journeymen licenses that allow them to do work independently as long as they still have a master plumber supervising their work. If you have very basic plumbing work, journeymen are well-suited for the task.
Plumbers need to log years of experience as a journeyman and pass a complex exam to receive their master license. A master license allows plumbers to work fully independently and supervise journeyman and apprentice-level plumbers. If the job is complex, involves remodeling, or requires specialist work, it’s best to hire a master plumber.
In addition to a basic license, you should also look for certifications based on your needs. For instance, there are certificates for pipefitting, welding, backflow prevention, gas line work, environmentally friendly plumbing practices, and much more.
5. Check for Warranties
All professional plumbers offer warranties for their work. Ensuring that there’s a warranty being offered is incredibly important. You shouldn’t have to pay for extra labor or parts costs if the work they did causes additional problems or if the same problem occurs again.
Warranties should be offered on both repair work and new installations. Repair work warranties usually range anywhere from 30 days to a year. Warranties for new installations may vary on the appliance or other fixture that is being installed, but they usually last about one to five years.
Long warranties are a great sign since plumbers will usually only offer long warranty periods if they’re particularly confident in their work and products. However, it’s best to be extra cautious by reading the fine print and getting a physical copy of the warranty before any work starts.
6. Confirm Insurance
Never hire a plumber unless they can provide proof of insurance. If they can provide a document confirming their insurance, it’s a good idea to double-check with the insurance company to ensure that the coverage plan is up-to-date and covers any injuries or damage that you may suffer as a result of their work.
7. Look for Straight-Forward Pricing
While every job is different in some way and some variables may affect costs, plumbers need to be open and honest with every aspect of their pricing. If they don’t seem to put many prices on their website, that’s an indication that they may be shady about how they charge their customers. They may overcharge on certain parts or services, and they may include various hidden charges that you weren’t made aware of beforehand.
If you choose to get an estimate, ensure that the stated prices match what their website displays. The estimate should include everything that might be included as part of the job such as hourly rate, how long the repair should take, estimated cost of parts, and any other additional fees that may be applied.
8. Compare Prices
At this point, you should have narrowed down your options enough to easily compare estimates between companies. Remember, don’t focus on finding the cheapest option available. You should focus on finding the most skilled, experienced, and professional plumber that you can hire on your budget.
9. Check for Special Offers, Sales, and Discounts
Many plumbers provide special offers, sales, and discounts for a variety of products and services. Check to see if you’re eligible for any cost-reducing options on their website. If you don’t see anything on the website, call or email the company to see if there are any upcoming sales or offers that you may be eligible for soon.
If you’re in need of high-quality plumbing repair or installation work, you can count on our skilled and experienced technicians at F.F. Hitchcock Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to provide you with the best services for any plumbing need. In addition to plumbing repair, gas line installation, fixture replacement, and drain cleaning, we also offer repair and installation services for furnaces and air conditioners. We even offer comprehensive home energy audits. To learn more about any of the services we provide to the areas in and around the Cheshire, Connecticut area, contact us at F.F. Hitchcock Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.