When homeowners have a plumbing problem, they often first think about the cost of hiring a plumber. But there are many factors to consider. First of all, there are over 438,000 plumbers in the U.S. based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2018.1 Finding the right one for your house therefore requires comparing the plumber’s experience and qualifications with your needs. Here is an overview of how to choose the right professional.
About Plumbers’ Fees
Plumbers are often available on short notice. Emergency repairs usually don’t take long, but you could spend $100 per hour, just for labor, with a weekend or evening call. Basic plumbing tasks vary in price from one to another, depending on the parts you need. Parts are often marked up from the wholesale price so the plumber can profit. If the plumber is prompt and the problem doesn’t recur, the expense is worth it.
How to Choose the Right Plumber
It is important to know who to call when you have a plumbing issue. Your research should include the following steps:
Plumber Reviews and Recommendations
Asking friends, neighbors, and family members about their experience with a reliable plumber often yields success. It certainly helps in finding the right professional for your situation. Online reviews and directories with pre-screened plumbing professionals are useful. Regardless of what you read or what’s recommended, research the company to verify the company’s/contractor’s qualifications.
Independent Contractors vs. Big Business
It’s not uncommon for a properly licensed, independent plumbing contractor to have more experience than an employee of a larger plumbing company. Bigger organizations often have multiple plumbers on staff, so there’s likely someone available to help when you call. But a technician that visits your home may not have every certification the company does. What option you choose depends on the service needed and how quickly you need it done.
Your Plumber’s Qualifications
Skills and qualifications are extremely important in the plumbing business. Important variables to look at include:
- Training: While a plumber needn’t have a college degree, a technician should have trade school or apprenticeship training, which takes three to five years. During that time, an individual must complete coursework related to their chosen field.
- Titles: A journeyperson, or journeyman, has competed training requirements and passed a licensure exam. A non-journeyperson is essentially an unlicensed apprentice. With additional training and testing, they can become a Master Plumber, ensuring they have advanced skills and regulatory knowledge.
- Licensure: Plumbers are required to be licensed in most states. Ongoing training is mandatory in keeping one’s license. A valid license also means the professional has state-mandated insurance and bonding.
- Insurance: Plumbers should carry general liability insurance. It protects home or business owners from liability if damage or injuries occur during the job. Accidents do happen, so this is an important consideration.
Ask a plumbing contractor as many questions as you can think of before hiring them. Key questions include:
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you charge by the hour or a flat fee?
- Have you completed projects of this nature?
- Can you provide any recent references?
- How do you typically arrange payment?
Get an Estimate in Writing
Pro plumbers usually include a free estimate, providing you with the chance to compare prices from different companies. Also compare prices for specific services. In addition to fixing clogged drains and toilets, a plumber may repair pipes, install dishwashers and other appliances, fix sewer lines, or service your garbage disposal, water heater, or septic tank.
Contact Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing
We provide 24-hour emergency service in Glenpool, OK. Our team is experienced in plumbing installation and repair for residential and light commercial properties. Book service online now or call us at 918-393-2593 today!