When plumbing problems occur in your home, you’ll want a plumber you know you can trust. Leaking faucets, burst pipes, and water damage can become a huge hassle, costing you time and money. For many homeowners, plumbing emergencies require a reliable plumber ASAP to avoid any significant household inconvenience.
Before you panic too much about plumbing gone awry, there are a few things to consider when you’re looking to hire a plumber. As a trusted residential plumbing service provider, Cates Heating and Cooling wants you to be prepared the next time water leaks into your home. Here are our top tips for finding a reliable plumber.
1. Understanding the Levels of Plumbers
Professional plumbers can offer different levels of service and expertise depending on their licensing and qualifications. Typically, there are two categories that plumbers fall into:
- Basic Repairs: These are usually the plumbers you call in emergency situations to provide basic service and part repair.
- Specialized Projects: Plumbers who specialize in remodeling projects work with homebuilders and homeowners looking to remodel.
While you may be able to resolve some minor plumbing problems on your own, calling a plumber is crucial for more advanced issues that require equipment repair or extensive knowledge to complete. Plumbers must follow specific code requirements to ensure all repairs are done well and your plumbing is up to standard.
You can also choose to hire either an independent plumbing contractor or a larger plumbing company. Unfortunately, independent contractors may not be a great option if you need plumbing work done immediately since they tend to book up quickly. On the other hand, larger plumbing companies can address your plumbing problems and concerns at any time because they have a whole team of people.
Depending on your repair needs and the time frame you need the problems resolved by, there are plumbers with differing expertise and certification levels. It helps to do a little research about all plumbers or plumbing companies before hiring them for the job.
2. Finding the Right Plumber
The best time to find a plumber you trust is before any plumbing problems occur in your home. While this is not always possible since emergencies do happen, establishing a relationship with a plumber ahead of time can save you time and hassle when you need a repair.
Here are some places to look for a reliable plumber.
Plumbers carry professional trade licenses typically mandated by the state in which they work. These licenses show that the plumbing company meets the minimum standards required to provide services in your location. State licensing boards can show whether a plumber holds an active license or not, so you can always check before hiring someone.
You also want to make sure that plumbers carry full insurance coverage. You should always ask for proof of insurance before letting a plumber begin work on any project. If something catastrophic happens to your home or your neighbor’s home during a repair, the insurance covers any damage.
The best way to find a reliable plumber is by asking the people you trust the most. Your family members, relatives, coworkers, or friends may recommend a specific contractor or company that they’ve had a good experience with, or at least offer a more honest review. Getting recommendations from people close to you helps identify someone in your area who is certified and has a reliable reputation.
You can also get referrals from other professional technicians and repair companies that you’ve worked with in the past, such as electricians, HVAC specialists, roofers, and others. Since they work closely together in the housing industry, they may have trusted contacts to refer you to. You may also receive a discount if you mention to the plumber who referred you.
No matter where you receive a recommendation, you should still always verify a plumber’s certifications before hiring them. Even if they’ve been referred by someone else, it’s important to confirm that they are qualified to get the plumbing job done.
Visit online directories and read customer reviews and ratings about companies and plumbing contractors. Keep in mind that most people have bad experiences at some time or another, so one or two negative reviews are not necessarily a deal-breaker. However, if multiple reviewers have a series of problematic experiences, that should raise a red flag for you.
You can also check social media pages to see if plumbing companies are responsive to customer feedback and reviews. Companies that take the extra time to respond to feedback may offer a better experience overall.
3. Questions to Ask a Plumber
When searching for a trusted plumber in your area, here are some questions you should ask before hiring anyone.
- How much will they charge? The price of plumbing services or repairs can depend on many factors, including the type of repair, how long the repair will take, what area you live in, and what time of day you need services.
- How long have they been in business? Reputable companies tend to last longer than non-reputable ones, although this may not always be the case.
- Is there a money-back guarantee? Plumbers with extensive qualifications are confident enough in meeting performance standards that they tend to offer some sort of guarantee if the job goes wrong.
- What type of certifications do they hold? Plumbers must meet standard certification requirements to provide any type of plumbing service in your home.
- Who will be doing the work? For remodeling and non-emergency scenarios, it’s important to know whether the individual preparing the estimate will be doing the work or if a subcontractor will.
- How much training does the individual have? More experienced plumbers can solve more problems and offer more advice about repairs.
- Has the plumber or plumbing company ever received any complaints? The answer to this question doesn’t necessarily have to scare you away. In fact, if a company is open about negative feedback they’ve received in the past, this may show transparency and honesty.
4. Talk to Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company may also be able to make referrals or recommendations for reliable plumbers. Typically, insurance companies keep agreements with local contractors they’ve found to be reputable.
If you find yourself in a plumbing emergency, it’s always a good idea to talk to your insurance representative. Your homeowner’s insurance may cover some or even all of the costs associated with repairs, lost and ruined possessions, and other property damage.
5. Get an Estimate
Typically, plumbing companies offer free in-home estimates so you can get an idea of what you’ll be paying for ahead of time. This pricing quote should include the type of repair, hourly rate, estimated time the repair will take, the estimated cost for parts and labor, additional fees like travel time, and any payment terms.
You should also discuss with the plumber how this estimate might change if other problems arise while they’re doing their job or if the company offers any financing options. It’s important to get a flat, fixed quote so you have a clear idea of exactly what the plumber will do and how much he will charge.
Since in-home estimates are usually free, it’s a good idea to get quotes from different companies and contractors and compare their rates.
Cates Heating and Cooling offers 24-hour plumbing service. As a trusted plumber in Kansas City, we are equipped to handle various plumbing problems, including leaky faucets, clogged drains, pipe repair, water line and sewer repair, and much more. Next time you have a plumbing emergency in your home, contact us at 913-888-4470 for Kansas residents and 816-944-1844 for Missouri residents.