Indoor plumbing is one of those things we all take for granted—that is, until we lose that convenience due to a plumbing problem. When plumbing issues inevitably arise, knowing what to do and who to call can drastically reduce the stress and difficulty of the situation. Even if you don’t have a leaky faucet or a clogged drain on your hands at this moment, it’s still a good idea to know what to do if and when such a problem happens.
Our professionals at Midwest Air Pros want to help you to be prepared. Here are some important questions to ask your potential plumber before signing on the dotted line.
May I see your license, and are you insured?
Most states require plumbers to hold licenses, so it’s a good idea to check your local rules regarding licensing before hiring a plumber. Don’t make the mistake of assuming any random plumber has a license, because this can cause a lot of trouble later. In addition, be sure your potential plumber is insured, so you know you’re covered for any accidents or damages.
What training and certifications do your plumbers hold?
Although many plumbers may simply hold a high school diploma and a valid license, others may go above and beyond to obtain professional training and certifications. Depending on the scope of your project, you may want to check to see if your plumber has completed third-party certification courses such as the ones offered by the National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation (NITC). Those plumbing businesses that take continuing education seriously will likely have the most experienced plumbers in the industry.
What is the cost of this project?
For most homeowners, cost is a significant factor in deciding who to hire for a plumbing job. Of course, you don’t want to spend more than you have to, but it is also unwise to immediately give your job to the lowest bidder.
If a plumber does low-quality work, your costs will inevitably rise if you must hire another plumber to resolve new issues. A good rule of thumb is to obtain three written estimates, so you can compare them and choose the best combination of quality and affordability.
What are payment terms and what forms do you accept?
Particularly for large, expensive plumbing jobs, you’ll want to know how and when your plumber expects to be paid. Being up front and open about this issue will help clarify expectations on both sides.
You may need to set up a payment plan if you are doing a large project, and understanding what payment options your plumber offers will be very helpful. Even with a small project, it’s still prudent to hammer out payment details before work commences. It’s also a good idea to ask what payment forms are accepted, although most plumbers will accept credit cards today.
What are your warranty terms?
Reputable plumbers stand behind their work. Be sure to ask what kind of warranties are offered in terms of equipment, parts, and labor. You’ll be much more confident in a company willing to back its promises. Typically, plumbing work should be guaranteed for at least one year.
How long have you been in business?
Although there are exceptions, plumbers who have been in business longer have served more people and, as a result, have more experience. In general, trust those seasoned companies who have a good reputation in your community.
What do others say?
Ideally, you have a family, friend, or colleague who can provide a recommendation for a plumber before you begin your search. However, if you don’t, it’s easy to go online these days and check a plumbing company’s reviews.
See what others have to say, and be on your guard if there is a considerable amount of negative feedback. You can also check third-party organizations such as the local Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Google Reviews, or other consumer protection organizations for ratings and suggestions.