What Do You Look For Before Hiring A Professional Plumber?

When you have a plumbing emergency at your home,you need to quickly find a qualified,professional plumber to fix the problem. Here are several ways to find a plumber:

  1. Check with your family or friends for a referral.
  2. Ask a local real estate agent for a good plumber she has used.
  3. If you have used another contractor in your home,ask the contractor for a referral.
  4. Check with the local plumbing supply store for a recommendation for a reputable plumbing company.
  5. Go online and check the reviews of plumbers in your area. If you search for a plumber in your city on one of the popular search engines,such as Google or Yahoo,you will find the search engines “Local Listing” of plumbers geographically near you,links to their website,and customer reviews of their work.

After you find a plumber in your area,what do you look for before you hire them? Here is a checklist of items you need to ask a plumber…BEFOREyou hire them.

Are you licensed by the state to do plumbing?

Always check that you are working with a licensed plumber,ask to see his state license! Licensed plumbers have the work experience,training,and are familiar with current state and local plumbing codes. In addition to passing an exam to receive their license,they must take annual continuing education to keep abreast of changes to the codes,new products,and innovations in plumbing.

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In Georgia,there are a lot of skills you need to succeed as a plumber. As a result,there are many steps an apprentice plumber needs to take to become aJourneymanorMaster Plumber. These steps and the rules for obtaining the designation of master plumber are set by the state. You must have 3-5 years of primary plumbing experience,references,and pass an exam to get a Journeyman or Master Plumbing license. For a Master Plumbers license part of your experience must include commercial or industrial plumbing. In addition,they should have additional certifications to test and certify backflow devices or work on septic systems.

How many years have you been in business?

A good rule of thumb is look for plumber’s that have been in business for 8-10 years. This gives you a gauge as to how viable and stable the business is and if they will be around to warrant the work they do on your home.

Are Service Technicians background checked?

Would you be comfortable having their Service Technicians working in your home? A plumber should conduct a complete background check and random drug testing on all employees. Further,professional Service Technicians working in your home should be uniformed and have name tags. These Service Technicians should be company employees and not sub-contractors.

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What are your skills and experience in plumbing?

Plumbing demands specific technical skills and knowledge. Plumbing companies use specific tools not available to a homeowner or a local plumbing handyman. The benefit of dealing with an experienced,qualified plumbing company is… they are equipped with all the necessary training,skills,plumbing tools,and experience to handle all sorts of plumbing emergencies in your home.

Does your plumbing company have insurance?

A plumbing company performing service in your home should haveGeneral Liability Insuranceand a currentWorkman’s Compensationinsurance certificate. Upon request,the plumber should be able to provide you with a copy of his insurance.

General liability insurance covers damage that might occur to your home directly caused by the plumber. If the plumber does not have his own general liability policy,any damages would be covered by your homeowners insurance. Typically the plumber should carry a minimum of $500,000.00 in general liability insurance,but it is not uncommon for plumbers who do commercial plumbing to carry $3,000,000.00 in coverage.

Workman’s compensation insurance covers an injury to the plumber while he is working in your home. So as a customer you do not need to worry about being responsible for a plumber having an accident while working in your home.

Do you offer Emergency Service after hours?

A plumbing company that advertises that they have “24/7” plumbing service should have a customer service person ready to take your call after hours. Further,the plumber should have on-call or after hours plumbers available to repair your plumbing emergency.

Does the plumber use Quality Materials?

Does the plumber install quality,recognizable,brand name fixtures and materials that offer manufacturer’ warranties to the consumer? What brands does he stock and carry on their service trucks?The manufacturers of plumbing parts,fixtures,and appliances typically offer a limited replacement warranty on their products.

Will my work require a permit from the city or county where I live?

Typically,you must be a licensed Master Plumber to secure a plumbing permit. The city or county will inspect the plumbing at various times during the installation to insure that the project is done to the local and state plumbing codes. An unlicensed plumber is unable to pull the necessary permits when work is being done,and they probably arenotadequately trained in current plumbing code requirements.

What are your plumbing rates?

Service Plumbers charge for their work one of two ways,Time & Materials PricingorFlat Rate Pricing. Let me explain the difference,this is very important.

With the Time & Materials method; the plumber charges a small “Service Fee” to mobilize to the job,an hourly rate while he is on the job,and whatever materials were used to repair the plumbing. Usually there is a one hour minimum labor charge and then you are charged by the quarter hour. With this method you only pay for the actual time it takes and materials used on the job… no more,no less.

A plumber using Flat Rate Pricing will charge a “Diagnostic Fee” to determine your plumbing problem and then will give you a flat rate quote to fix the problem. You know up front what it will cost for your repair. If you do not want to proceed with the repair,you are only obligated for the Diagnostic Fee.

With Flat Rate pricing it is difficult to know how much the plumber is charging you per hour. I can tell you that the flat rate price you are given is based upon the worst case scenario for the plumbing company… what is the most time it would take for a slow plumber to fix the problem. But,after the customer has taken off work,waits for the plumber to show up,and is already committed to the diagnostic fee,he is hit with a whopper cost to repair a small plumbing problem.

While the Flat Rate pricing method looks attractive,in most cases an experienced licensed plumber can fix your plumbing emergency on a Time & Material basis for less money. In addition,with Flat Rate pricing most Service Technicians are paid commission on the price of the ticket. Typically,the technicians have been trained by professionals to sell and close an expensive sale. This can lead to abuse as the technician in your home becomes more of a salesman instead of a plumber.

Do you guarantee or warrant your work?

A professional plumbing company is concerned with the safety and quality of their work. They should offer the homeowner a workmanship warranty and safety guarantee on their work.

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Can you provide me with referrals from customers you have done work for?

A reputable plumbing company will have no problem giving references from their customers,business banker,or plumbing supply house. Also,ask them if they are a member of any state or national plumbing associations,local chamber of commerce,or have received any awards or recognitions in the community.

Household Drainage Maintenance

Our homes are the important havens we come to after long days of work or school. In these heavens we harbor most of our personal life but we sometimes overlook the little trappings that come with the care of our homes. For instance,many are the times that we overlook how our drainage systems work. It is only after something goes amiss that we remember the importance of our drainage systems. Having said so,this article will talk about drain cleaning. In most of our homes,drain cleaning has been going on for a long time now. As long as we continue to use water in our households and other amenities,blockages will be a normal part of household maintenance. It is therefore upon us to look at the effective ways in which we can ensure that the following is maintained:

  • Sanity
  • Safety
  • Cleanliness
  • Health of those living in our homes.

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Additionally,there are many signs to identify clogged sewer lines or drainage in our households. Some of them are listed below;

  • Clogging of the sink
  • Overflow of water in our bathrooms
  • Overflow of waste water in the sewers outside the home
  • Bad stench emissions from the sewers

Drain cleaning is a process occurring in times when our sewages or household drainage systems have been compromised by several factors and blockages. As serious plumbing problems are common in areas where the populations are high with a limited line of drainage,the problem might pose a risk to the health of those living within the peripheries of those lines. In addition,clogging will normally affect the passage of waste water which is very damaging on the overall hygiene and outlook of a particular house or home. It is important that we determine with clarity what drain cleaning entails. In the simple definition of the term,drain cleaning can be said to be the process in which a chemical based consumer product is used to ease up blockages in drains and other passages that cannot be directly be accessible through the normal washing procedures. The drain cleaner is therefore an important consideration in drain cleaning which is infused with chemicals that ensure any kind of blockage is done away with. Drain cleaning in the normal use of the term refers to the unblocking and the prevention of future sewer drainages.

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Drain cleaning is not usually handled by chemical products per se. Different other methods have been employed in the past to make sure that sewers and other piped and clogged systems are cleaned up. One of the methods is device drainage cleaning which employs the use of different tools accustomed to plumbers for the unblocking of sewers and other drainage systems. A simple device for example is the home pump which can be easily used for kitchen sinks and the floor drainages in the home such as the bathroom.

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Drain cleaning is a process that can be simple but if the occupants of the premise leave it for long or become careless about their drainage systems,then it becomes inevitable that they will have to do some work on their clogged drainages. In the normal day to day activities,small items which can clog up the system in our households are;

  • Hair
  • Grease
  • Oil
  • Unwanted papers e.g carbon
  • Items that would not otherwise pass through our sewer systems like clothing,stones or steel wool etc.

Drain cleaning should be the first step in ensuring a properly functioning drainage system to the house. Sometimes,houses that are old are susceptible to rust and other impediments especially when the drainage systems are deep down in the ground. Device drain cleaning can be done using a variety of tools such as;

  • handheld drain augers,
  • plungers,
  • air burst drain cleaners
  • other home remedy drain cleaners.

In the use of these appliances together with chemical drain cleaners,a home owner must ensure that both the soft and the hard obstructions to a drainage system are effectively removed. More often than not,other obstructions may need specialized tools and machineries and professional plumber to unclog.