A quick search for a plumber in your area likely yields a good number of results, with maybe even a few more hiding in the yellow pages (yes, phone books still exist). So how do you decide which one to go with?
The decision is an important one: not only will a stranger be working in your home, they’ll be working with complicated, potentially dangerous systems that, if not repaired correctly, can result in serious damage to your home. In the worst-case scenario, bad plumbing can lead to serious health hazards. So it’s of the utmost importance to be well-informed.
Obviously, in an emergency situation, you won’t have time to do much research – which is why you’re well-served finding the right plumber ahead of time. Below are a few things to be considered before the choice is made.
Are They Licensed? Plumbing is a profession that requires a license to practice. A licensed plumber will have the knowledge and experience to deal with the full range of contingencies possible in any given plumbing situation – and they’ll get permits if necessary. Beware of companies sending unlicensed “technicians” – while they might be able to do the job at hand, it’s not worth the risk.
Are They Bonded & Insured? This is as important as being licensed. Mistakes are made even by the best, and accidents happen. When the unfortunate and inevitable occurs, you’ll want your plumber fully bonded and insured. If they’re not, you’ll truly be without a paddle.
Referrals, Reviews, And Feedback. Check with friends and family to see if they have someone to recommend – some plumbers even offer referral programs for satisfied customers. Read reviews online, check BBB ratings, and find as much third-party information on their business as you can.
Ask Questions. To get a clear picture of the plumber’s experience and professionalism, ask as many questions as possible. Have them explain the nature of the problem, how such problems come about, and what can be done to prevent them. Have they dealt with this type of thing before? This can help set you at ease, and clear any doubts you might have about hiring them.
Compare. Don’t just pick the first plumber that sounds good – select two or three promising candidates and compare! Decide which qualities are most important to you: price is almost always important, but if the job is a big one, experience and positive reviews could justify paying more. Which ones offer 24/7 emergency service? Who has inspection cameras, or hydro-jetting machines? Having a small pool of your top picks to compare between will help you make the best choice.