Getting stuck with the wrong plumber will cause your job costs to spiral out of control and leave you with an unfixed plumbing issue for weeks or even months. In a worst-case scenario, an inadequate plumbing specialist might claim your issue is “fixed” when all they’ve really done is put a band-aid on it, leaving you to deal with everything all over again down the line.
To help you avoid these outcomes, it’s important to pick a legitimate plumbing specialist. That’s why we’re here to present a step-by-step guide on how to make sure a plumbing specialist is legit. By paying close attention to the following factors, you’ll be sure you’ve hired the right specialist for the job.
Check They Have An Appropriate Plumbing License
The best place to start is licensing. For a plumbing specialist to operate legitimately, they’ll need to have a license from your state or local authority. Plenty of specialists work without one, so it’s really important to ask about this.
Rules obviously vary from depending on which area you live in, but it’s never too hard to find the local regulations for your own district or state. Once you know what those are, you can cross-check information a specialist gives you and see whether or not it checks out with your area’s regulations.
And if you can’t confirm that the specialist holds a license, stay away. Hiring an unlicensed plumber may result in work that won’t stand up to safety inspections which is a huge problem if you need work done on business premises. Also, if you do go ahead and use such a service, you probably won’t have anyone to turn to with a complaint if the work turns out not to be up to scratch.
Remember, if you are looking for a plumbing specialist for a complex job, for example installing a large office hot water system instead of repairing a domestic water heater, you’ll want someone with additional accreditation. Make sure you double-check that your plumber is not only qualified and licensed as a plumbing specialist, but actually licensed to do the exact type of job you need to be completed.
Verify Insurance Details
Any legitimate plumber will answer the question “what if something gets broken?” with “we have insurance for that, here’s the info”. With plumbing, like any other job, there’s always a risk that attempting to fix a minor problem will break another part of your water system or some other household item will be damaged during the repair.
Before signing a contract or even requesting a thorough inspection to calculate a quote, it’s worth checking that the plumbing service in question has appropriate business insurance coverage. If something goes wrong, this could mean the difference between a lengthy lawsuit to recoup the cost of damage versus filling out a simple insurance claim.
Check Past Reviews
If you want to know if a plumber really is legitimate, there’s no better resource than the internet. Thanks to countless review sites, it’s now easier than ever to find out what other peoples’ experience with a particular service has been like.
Reviews can tell you whether a plumber is legitimate almost instantly. If you see reports of customers being overcharged for simple jobs or of a service upping their charges after initially quoting a lower amount, you’ll know it isn’t a legitimate outfit, and that you should look elsewhere.
You can also use review sites to tell whether a plumbing specialist is pleasant to work with and if they complete work to a high standard. Just because a service is legit, it doesn’t mean that they’ll provide a good experience.
Of course, it’s important to take all reviews with a pinch of salt. Most major review aggregators will allow anyone to leave a review for a service, even if there’s no proof that they actually hired them, meaning businesses can leave themselves positive reviews. Also, you only ever get the customer’s side of the story so don’t let a single comment about a bad experience put you off an otherwise well-rated plumbing specialist.
Ask to See Follow-Up Policy Wording
Legitimate plumbing specialists will offer a good warranty or guarantee of their work. Many will provide free return visits and repairs if your problem returns within a year or if other issues arise. Others set strict limits on what circumstances qualify for a return visit, perhaps only coming back free-of-charge if a fixture they’ve installed breaks within 6 months.
Asking what a plumber offers in this regard is an important step in determining whether or not they are legitimate. If no form of guarantee is available, it could mean the plumber doesn’t have faith that their work is of adequate quality.
Do They Provide Quotes Before Having Enough Information?
A final warning sign to look out for, if you have a complex problem, is a plumber who’s too ready to quote for a job. If a plumbing specialist is ready to quote you for a complicated endeavor without carrying out an in-person inspection or asking for details, walk away. Non-legit plumbers will be happy to throw a figure at you for work they can’t do properly, but a real specialist knows that they can only provide an accurate estimate when they’ve seen your situation first-hand.
Finding a Trustworthy Plumbing Specialist
By carefully following the steps listed above, you’re sure to find a legitimate plumbing service. Remember, even when you’re sure that you’ve found a legitimate business, you ought to take precautions throughout the hiring process and while the work is being done. Request a written quote, never pay the entire cost of a job upfront before work has started, and check-in while the job is underway to be sure your hire is doing what you expected.