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4 Questions to Ask Your Local Plumber

An online search will quickly pull up a large number of plumbers in your area. But when you need a new plumbing company, you need to know more than just a name. You need details that will allow you to choose a plumber who will work well for your situation. Ask any prospective plumber the following 4 questions before you hire them:

1. Do you have local experience?

Plumbers learn a lot on the job. They continue to accumulate plumbing knowledge until they know how to perform even the most unusual tasks more easily and efficiently than new plumbers. An experienced plumber often charges more but will also get the job done correctly and more quickly, meaning fewer labor hours on the bill.

But a good plumber doesn't just need work experience, he or she also needs experience in the area. A plumber who has recent knowledge of the local plumbing codes will work more efficiently than one that needs to check before starting their work.

2. Can I verify your credentials?

Plumbers receive a certification after years of apprenticeship. The best plumbers have a Master Plumber certification that demonstrates a higher level of knowledge than the average plumbing contractor or plumbing journeyman. Each certification qualifies throughout the state until it expires. Plumbers must recertify every couple of years, depending on the state. Verify that your plumber has a valid license that hasn't expired. You should also verify that it's for your state.

3. How much will the work cost?

Request a detailed estimate on the work. Go over situations that may affect the estimate. Ask about a cap if things get out of hand. Furthermore, ask about a guarantee on the work. You don't necessarily want the cheapest estimate. Determine which plumber provides the most value.

4. What should I expect while you complete the work?

It's a good idea to clarify what to expect while the plumber does the work. Will they need you to be home? Who will be the person performing the work? How will you and the plumber get a hold of each other in case of an emergency? Will the plumber clean up after themselves before they leave? When you know what to expect, there's less chance of miscommunication that leads to a bad client experience.

You should also cover anything you need to give to the plumber in preparation for the job. For example, the plumber may request that you decide what products to use. Alternatively, you can agree to let the plumber choose for you. However, you should come to an understanding about price ranges. 

When you find the right local plumber, he or she will help keep you comfortable and clean for years. Ask the right questions upfront to avoid needing to switch plumbers in the future.