Plumbing problems can be costly to a homeowner, but hiring the wrong plumber can compound the loss of money and time. To prevent overpaying for services or receiving low-quality work that will require additional repairs, homeowners should perform due diligence when hiring a plumber. Homeowners should also take notice of anything that feels unusual or wrong, as a moment of caution can prevent severe damage to the home and to the bank account.
Check the Plumber’s Certifications and Expertise
Many locations require plumbers to attain academic qualifications by attending technical classes and passing industry-defined tests. Some locations add an additional layer of certification by requiring plumbers to be licensed to service the area. When considering hiring a plumber, check the plumber’s certifications. If the plumber is not certified, or if there are warning signs in the plumber’s professional education records, the best bet to seek out a different plumber. In California you can check the contractor’s license by visiting the states website here.
Take Note of the Services They Offer
Plumbing is a catch-all term that encompasses several subsets of labor and problems. A plumber that is well-versed in sewer systems may not be adequately trained or experienced to address problems with gas lines in kitchens. In addition to examining the plumber’s professional education, take note of the services that they claim to offer in their advertisements and conversations. A trustworthy plumber will be up-front about their strengths and the types of problems they are not trained to fix. A plumber portraying themself as a jack-of-all-traits should be replaced with a specialist suited for the task.
Examine the Plumber’s Reputation
Most plumbers will have a track record of previous customers. Checking online reviewing sites can prevent doing business with problematic plumbers. You can check Google and Yelp to see the reviews the plumbing company has. A good example is this 5-star plumber in Corona, California.
Asking a plumber for references is a valid request; a plumber who refuses such a request may be trying to hide poor customer service or a skill gap. Checking the plumber’s rating with the Better Business Bureau is highly recommended to see how the plumber resolves disputes and is viewed by previous customers. When a plumber has a professional website that clearly displays their Better Business Bureau rating, that is a far better sign than unsourced reviews that may or may not be fabricated.
A Trustworthy Plumber Provides Unprompted High Quality
Before any work begins, a plumber that can be trusted will clearly describe what work needs to be done, provide milestones and self-imposed deadlines to demonstrate progress, and offer guarantees and warranties on their work. An honest plumber will prove their words by clearly showing where the plumbing problem is, as well as the tools and parts that the plumber intends to use to solve the problem. Trustworthy plumbers will also clearly indicate when their work needs to be supervised for any reason. When the customer asks questions, an honest plumber will answer questions clearly and simply. Be sure to get the plumber’s words in a contract, and hold the plumber accountable for the terms of the contract.
Note How the Plumber Handles Pricing
An honest plumber will be able to provide reasonable estimates and itemized bills. The estimate should be a reasonable range, estimating and predicting complications to avoid the appearance of up-selling later. The bill should have fair, reasonable charges, free of upcharges and unexplained charges. The plumber should warn the homeowner of potential problems in the future, but an honest plumber will not attempt to sell services or products that are not directly related to the homeowner’s plumbing issue. The method of payment is important as well; payments with clear trails such as credit cards or checks are preferable over cash, so be wary of plumbers that insist on payment terms that are not conventional for businesses.