Even if we start with the premise that the majority of plumbers are competent, reputable and even genuinely lovely people to interact with, there are two main elements that make finding or dealing with a plumber a stressing ordeal : (1) these guys are usually expensive and (2) they operate on parts of our homes where every single mistake can literally ruin you and destroy your house. Like with all professions, you’ll meet crooks and incompetents in this industry. How can you be sure beforehand that you’re dealing with the best plumbing company in your area?
There are specific signs that you can look at and ask to reduce the probability that you will regret hiring a given plumber. Here is our short list.
Research Carefully the Plumbing Company
It should be a no brainer, but when there is water on your living room’s floor or that a faucet is malfunctioning, common sense sometimes becomes less common: don’t call the first plumbing company or individual that you’ll find on Google, do a bit of research on it first. If you can’t count on solid referrals from people in your circle, your next best option is reading reviews to try and unearth the best plumber in your area.
Judge Without Being Judgemental
If a plumber shows up at your door and his general presentation, general hygiene, and demeanor are seriously underwhelming, you may want to send him on his way on the spot. Professional people respect themselves (and their clients) enough to try to look the part, so judge your plumber appearance without being judgemental.
Don’t Dodge Permits and Other Technicalities
There is no other way to put it: if a given work require a permit (or a specific procedure), don’t try and dodge it. Yes, a permit will increase the overall cost, but it’s a way of protecting you and the professional working on your pipes. It means that you should be extremely wary of a plumber that doesn’t seem to care about permits: since he just proved to you that he has no professional integrity and that he’s willing to put you at risk of incurring extra cost and legal actions, don’t give him the chance to do it and fire/don’t hire him on the spot.
Cutting Corners Will End Up Costing You More
Following up on our previous argument, going for the less expensive solution isn’t always a winning strategy, especially considering how a much a plumbing mistake can cost you down the road. A good plumber deserves fair compensation and is not ashamed of asking for it. Going the cheapest plumber can seem like a bargain, but you won’t feel that way when you’ll need to call him back (or another one) so soon after for the same problem.
Not Everything Needs to Be Changed
While cutting corners and trying to reduce the price of a repair at all cost are not good strategies, don’t fall for the exact opposite by redoing the entire plumbing of your house in response to an issue that can be solved easily. In other words, not everything needs to be replaced every time a problem arises, so don’t be afraid to push back against a recommendation for a replacement if you’re relatively certain that it’s not necessary.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask for a Second Opinion
Let’s follow up again on our previous argument: if you call a plumber for a leaking faucet and he takes a serious face to announce you that the plumbing of your entire house needs to be redone, send him of his way, of course. But more seriously, if it seems to you that you plumber is dramatic about the extent of the repairs he “needs” to do, feel free to ask for a second opinion. It’s your money, your house, and an honest professional wouldn’t be afraid of having another plumber make a diagnostic.
Let’s hope that you will never have to put this advice to the test, but if you have plumbing issues, you now know what to do next to protect yourself while making sure you’re getting the best service available for your money.