Plumbing issues are common problems that everyone will face at one point or another. About one in ten homes in America currently have small plumbing leaks. Leaks like these may small; however, they can contribute to nearly 90 gallons of wasted water every day. While it may be tempting to go about trying to fix these problems yourself, in most cases, it’s a good idea to have a professional plumber inspect the area to ensure there isn’t a more severe underlying problem.
Unfortunately, finding the best plumber isn’t always easy, especially given the current pandemic in American. Many Americans don’t think to keep a plumber on speed dial, and most don’t know where the best place to turn is when they need plumbing services. Fortunately, finding the right plumber doesn’t have to be a hassle. With the right tips and tricks, you can simplify the process and get the help you need as quickly as possible.
How to Choose the Best Plumber for You
When it comes to finding the right plumber for you, online searches for local services can be the best place to start. Gone are the days of having to shift through a phone book to call multiple locations for information. Instead, you can visit multiple websites quickly, read online reviews and testimonials, and see the hours they usually operate. This can be especially helpful if you need emergency plumbing services and need help as soon as possible. When scouting out the best companies, here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Check Their Credentials: Often the plumbing companies will have their credentials and certifications listed online; however, if you’re unable to find any information there you should call and ask. The plumbing company that you choose should have a state-specific business license as well as licenses and certifications for every staff member. This ensures that they are legal and can deliver the professional work that you need. While many homeowners tend to rely mainly on word of mouth, it’s always a good idea to make sure everything is covered before you hire a service.
- Ask for Insurance: Another thing to ask is whether or not they have insurance to cover any potential damages or losses while doing a job. A professional plumbing company will always have their assets and liabilities covered to ensure that everything can be taken care of if something goes wrong. This is another bit of information that you might be able to find online; however, it never hurts to ask about it when you call.
- Ask About Their Rates: While some companies may have their basic rates posted online, depending on what you need fixed it’s always a good idea to ask for an approximate quote. While fixing a simple leak will most likely be a straight forward charge, if there are underlying unforeseen problems costs might change. Similarly, the costs of specific jobs may be different depending on the exact nature of what needs to be done. A septic inspection might require additional work if a full inspection is needed. A professional company should always be upfront about specifying this and should always keep you updated on any additional costs that might be included. Additionally, while it’s a good idea to compare rates, you should also keep in mind that the lowest price isn’t always the best, especially if the company doesn’t have good reviews to back it up with.
- Check Their Reviews: As touched on above, you should always check the reviews online from previous customers. Often you can find reviews both on a company’s website, as well as other third-party sites. Consider looking on websites such as Google, Yelp, or even Facebook to see what past customers are saying. In some cases, Google will list reviews next to the companies you select making this even easier for online searching. While you’ll always find at least a couple negative reviews, as long as a majority sound legitimate and offer insight into how the company does business, you should be able to get a good idea of how they do business.
- See About Emergency Services: While you may not need emergency services now, it’s always good to know if the company you’re going to use provides that type of service. Some problems can’t wait until the next business day to be fixed, and having a service you can rely on when something breaks at midnight can be invaluable. If the company you’re considering going with doesn’t offer this service, ask if they might be able to recommend another local option just to have should you need it. Many times they will be able to point you in the right direction.
- Determine How They Communicate: A good plumbing service should have impeccable communication skills. From your first interaction until your last, they should be both transparent and responsive. If you have to constantly ask after things like cost, project time frames, or the specifics of a problem, you may want to consider looking elsewhere. Communication is essential for ensuring that you know what’s going on every step of the way, and if a company tries to keep you out of the loop then that’s a definite red flag.
- Background Checks: Lastly, you may want to consider asking if a company performs background checks on all of its employees. Because plumbers need access to your home to fix many problems, this can be an important thing to know to give you peace of mind. Although asking this might seem awkward, if you’re a woman or an elderly person and live alone, knowing that your plumber is trustworthy can help put you at ease. While most professional companies do perform checks, it’s always good to know for sure before opening your home to someone you don’t know.
- These are the most significant things you should always find out when searching for a go-to plumbing company. While most of this information should be available online, you should never hesitate to ask for clarification or further information if you’re unable to locate it on their website. You may also consider asking for recommendations on social media to help narrow down your search. Once you have a couple picked out you can always call them for more information and decide which is best for you.
Finding the Services You Need
Just as some plumbers don’t offer emergency services, some jobs require specialized know-how. For instance, if you are planning a bathroom remodeling project you’ll want to find a plumbing contractor with experience working on bigger projects. This is especially true if you’re planning on moving plumbing fixtures to different locations. Big jobs like this may be too much for a small residential plumbing repair service, and you’ll need to find one that specializes in that type of work.
When looking for the best plumber for your needs, be sure to specify everything that you’ll need done and get a quote from different companies. Couple this with the reviews online and you should have a good starting point for choosing which one you want to work with. Keep in mind, however, that the lower price isn’t always necessarily the best deal. You want a company with both experience and trusted reviews, not just one that can save you the most.
Similarly, if your home needs water treatment repair of replacement, you don’t just want to trust anyone with the job. Just as you wouldn’t trust an unlicensed surgeon to operate on you, you don’t want to risk an unqualified individual working on the equipment that provides you with clean water. Water softeners and other water solution equipment should only be worked on and installed by qualified professionals who you know you can trust. While it may be tempting to try and save a couple of bucks, in the long run, you’ll be thankful for a professional job.
Hiring a Plumber During COVID-19
It’s no secret that recent global events have made everyday things a little tricker. While it would be great if your plumbing would hold out until conditioners are better, we all know that plumbing problems wait for no one and you’re going to need professional help. Although it might be tempting to try and wait it out, if left too long you may be looking at a more severe and more expensive problem than you originally started with. If you’re trying to find a plumber during this time here are some things that you should keep in mind.
Ask for Precaution Specifics
Plumbers take hygiene seriously, and you have to figure that working around septic tanks will do that to a person. While plumbers will always take steps to make sure their equipment and supplies are sanitary, it’s especially important now that they give you clear and precise answers regarding any updated precautions.
For example, they should be able to tell you about the procedures they use to sanitize the equipment they’ll be using, what types of protective clothing the crew will be wearing to your home, and if they offer no contact pay methods. Knowing this beforehand can help you make the best choice to help keep you and everyone else as safe as possible.
You should also consider asking them if any of their staff have tested positive for COVID-19 or experienced flu-like symptoms within the past 14 days. Asking if any staff have had contact with anyone who has tested positive, or has been assumed to have tested positive, can also help you avoid potentially exposing your home to COVID. While a quality professional service will always be upfront about all of these concerns, unfortunately, many unlicensed services may try to take advantage of the current situation. Because of this, you’ll want to follow the additional vetting steps listed above and check out what others are saying online about the company you are considering. Although you may want to take their word on everything, be sure to check online review words to see if they are living up to their word.
As an example, if you contact a company and they say that they are taking X precautions to prevent the spread of illness, look at some recent reviews to find out if previous customers have complained of them not following through. Online reviews can be an invaluable source for finding out if a company can live up to the expectations they set on the phone and their own websites.
Additionally, you may want to check out if they do anything to give back to the community or if they are a small local business. Many local businesses are struggling right now due to shutdowns and it’s worth prioritizing these types of businesses as opposed to larger chains. If you’re able to find a local plumbing service that can deliver the results you want, it’s might be worth giving them the business now more than ever.
The Best Plumbing Solutions
If you currently don’t have a go-to plumber, finding one can seem daunting, especially given the current crisis. However, because plumbing is such a crucial part of maintaining good hygiene it is more important than ever to maintain your systems. When looking for the best plumber for you, keep in mind the questions you should ask and the research you should do to properly vet them. While you may think that any plumber will do, an unlicensed service can end up doing more harm than good and leave you with a bigger repair bill in the end. Don’t settle for less than the best when it comes to maintaining your plumbing. With the advice above, you can start finding the best companies near you that can deliver the quality results that you deserve.