How do I choose a plumber?

Don't wait for a plumbing emergency to learn what to ask.
We may go a little crazy when the shower drain is clogged and we're sloshing in four inches of water, or the toilet won't flush, or a pipe has burst.

Suddenly, that plumber who advertises 24-hour emergency service becomes our best friend. In a case like that, just do your best to get a fair price and a good solution. If you find someone you like, keep his card nearby!

Other chronic plumbing needs, like leaky faucets, uneven water pressure, or a running toilet, or renovations that involve installation of new fixtures or an additional bathroom give you the opportunity to make more informed hiring decisions.

Questions to Ask
    1. How long have you been a plumber?

    2. How did you receive your training?

    3. Are you licensed and insured in this state?

    4. Do you charge by the hour or by the job?

    5. Do you have a service call fee?

    6. Do you offer emergency service?

    7. What kind of warranty do you offer?

    8. Do you have references?

Ways to Keep Costs Down

    1. Consolidate. Bundle your plumbing requests so that you are paying only one service call fee and not wasting money paying for multiple set-up times.

    2. Clear and clean. Clear the work area and clean it up yourself afterwards to minimize the time for which you are charged.

    3. Do the legwork. Find out what parts the plumber needs and go to the hardware store yourself for them. Otherwise, your plumber will bill you for the time it takes for him to get them as well as mark up the parts themselves. If you are hiring a plumber to work on a renovation or remodeling job, consider purchasing fixtures yourself, but consult with the plumber so that you choose models with which he is familiar.

    4. Compare. Get three estimates for large jobs and check references. You may not necessarily choose the plumber with the lowest estimate-you may choose the one with whom you feel most comfortable and whose past work experience suggests his work is of high quality that you can trust long-term. Having it done right the first time will save you money over time.

    5. Do it yourself. Learn how to make minor repairs yourself, such as how to unclog drains, fix leaky faucets, and stop a running toilet. Not only will you save money from doing it yourself, but fixing leaks can save you money on your water bill and can help reduce mold and mildew in your home, which, unchecked, can aggravate allergies.

    6. Practice preventive care. Wrap pipes in unheated areas with insulation during cold weather, keep a faucet dripping on freezing nights, don't overstuff toilets, and install a drain screen to catch hair in showers.

    7. Ask! When you have a plumber in your home, ask his advice about other preventive care tips that apply to your home and climate. Not only does this help you avoid future problems, but it helps you build an ongoing relationship with a valued member of your service pro team.
Find a plumber you like and trust BEFORE you face an emergency. It will be well worth the piece of mind.

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