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8 Important Questions to Ask a Residential Plumber Before Hiring


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Hiring the right residential plumber is a vital decision, one that will potentially impact on your day to day operations in your home. Selecting the right residential plumber in the Bay Area in California may be a doubting task. However, it is only a matter of asking the right question and feeling comfortable with the company you have selected for the job.

Here are some questions to help you get started finding the right residential plumber for your home.

1. Are you licensed?

This is one of the most important questions that you should never forget to ask any plumbing company before you can hire. A majority of plumbers, especially around the Bay area, operate without a license, and many homeowners tend to assume that every plumber is licensed. Licensing means that a plumber is accountable to regulators and often will be available if things go wrong.

2. Are You Insured?

Besides a plumber being licensed, insurance also plays an integral part of any plumber’s credentials. It provides the stability required when accidents and mistakes occur during plumbing. While it’s rare for such to occur, theft, accidents or mistakes can happen, causing significant problems especially if the plumber is not insured. A plumber who is insured is qualified to take any job without the risk of worrying about any default. You are also protected as a homeowner from paying any uncalled for extra cost.

3. What are your Credentials and References

Any good plumber should have at least three to four references that you can contact. This means that the plumber has been in business for quite some time and has lots of experience. Failure to have any contactable reference means that the plumber might not be qualified to take up some certain plumbing task reputably. Always make sure that you have personally checked for references before signing any contracts with a plumber.

4. Is this the Total Cost?

Be wary of any plumbers who give you cost estimates over the phone. A plumber should at least come over and check the job before he can give you an estimate of the total cost. Once the plumber has assessed the job and provided you with a number for cost, ask if the has quote includes labor, materials and a contingency for any problems.

Some cost estimates may look appealing on paper but only includes the basic cost of the material and will rise once the job is done.

5. What is your Typical Response Time?

Response time can be vital in any emergency plumbing situation. Plumbing damage can destroy a home quickly, exponentially adding cost as time goes by if there is no quick response. A plumber who can respond as soon as contacted and is on call for 24 hours can mean the difference between a $10 washer quick fix and a more than $5000 water damage disaster.

6. Does the Plumber Offer Guarantee?

Any reputable plumber in Bay Area will back up their services. Before you can hire any plumber, first ask if they have a warranty or guarantee. If they do, always make sure that the warranty or the guarantee is in writing. Find out what the limits are since some company may have limited time on their warranties or the guarantee they offer is limited to certain conditions. Also, you can ask if they offer money back.

7. Does The Company have a Physical Address?

Uninsured moonlighters and Fly-by-night plumbers rarely have a business address. Plumbing companies that are more stable should at least operate from a shop or an office.

8. When Should I Pay?

Always ask the plumber when you are expected to make the payments. Ask how much of the total pay should you make before plumbing work can begin. If your plumber asks you to make 100% of the total plumbing cost, walk away. Some will ask you to make part of the payments after a period of time while others will ask you to pay once a piece of work is completed. Most homeowners prefer making payments after some of the work is completed. This is because if you pay according to time, the plumber might be slow and you will end paying too much for too little.