Whether looking at a minor plumbing inconvenience or a major plumbing issue, you will likely need a plumber’s help to correct the problem. Choosing the wrong plumber can be a disaster for your plumbing system and your back pocket. However, if you follow a few guidelines when trying to find a plumber, chances are good that you can locate someone with the skills you need at an affordable price.
How You Can Find a Plumber You Can Trust
If you need to know how to find a good plumber in your area, you’ll first want to know a little about who qualifies as a plumber. Let’s get familiar with the different kinds of plumbers you may find in your search.
Apprentice plumber – In Arizona, a plumber must have worked under the supervision of a licensed plumber for at least four years before they can apply for a license. An apprentice plumber might also take classes to help pass the licensure exam, but they cannot work without supervision until they have secured a license.
Licensed Plumber – A licensed plumber may hold a license for residential work, commercial work, or a dual license that covers both. A plumber licensed in Arizona has worked for at least four years as an apprentice plumber. They have passed the exams covering their knowledge of plumbing, the business, and the laws that apply to the trade. Finally, they have secured a license to work as a plumber.
When seeking plumbing assistance, you should be sure that your plumber holds the appropriate license, but there are other things to consider when trying to find a plumber. Let’s look at eight areas you’ll want to explore to find a reliable plumber and the best plumber service for you.
Eight Tips to Find a Plumber That is Right for You
1. Be proactive
Don’t wait until you have a problem to begin looking for a plumber. If you are in the middle of an emergency, there is a good chance that your search will shift from finding “the best plumber near me” to seeing “whoever can show up quickest.” By anticipating that you’ll need a plumber at some point, you can begin your search for one on your own terms and take the time to find someone qualified and affordable.
2. Seek recommendations from associates
Friends, neighbors, and co-workers have most likely needed a plumber at some point and can be excellent sources for a recommendation. They can probably tell you who you can trust to do the work effectively at a reasonable cost. They can also tell you who to avoid. Though misunderstandings or unexpected issues can sometimes happen through no fault of either party, repeated bad reports of the same plumber should be heeded.
3. Do your research
In today’s world, you can often find a wealth of information about the best plumbers according to ratings or reviews on the internet. Directories such as the Better Business Bureau, Google, or Angie’s List are very helpful for checking the quality of a plumber’s work and reputation. You can see if they have complaints against them and the nature of those complaints. If they have a web page or social media, you can see firsthand how they interact with customers.
4. Ask another professional
If you have had work done by another professional you trust to provide sound advice, ask them for a recommendation. HVAC, appliance maintenance specialists, roofers, and handypersons often work with many other professionals in the area. They can tell you who is the best fit for the work you need to be completed.
5. Ask your DIY supplier
Employees working at your local DIY supplier or hardware store have considerable contact with local residential contractors who visit their businesses for parts and supplies. You may find they can give you valuable plumbers tips or direct you toward a bulletin board where services are advertised.
6. Verify credentials
Check to see if your potential plumber is appropriately licensed. Arizona maintains a register of contractors where you can verify that your plumber’s license is active. You might also check Angie’s List to verify a license and learn additional details. Though insurance is a requirement for licensing as a plumber in Arizona, you might also want to confirm that they are adequately insured.
7. Compare quotes
Getting more than one quote on the work you need to have done is always a good idea. If you are shopping for plumbing ahead of time, you can inquire about a basic service such as a plumbing inspection or hot water maintenance to get an idea of how your potential plumbers stack up in the cost department. Otherwise, request a service call to review the problem and quote a repair fee.
Remember that the least expensive plumber is not always the best choice. Make sure each quote covers the cost of fixing the problem permanently. Beware of plumbers who quote you a low price for a simple fix that won’t hold up in the long run. It is better to pay more and not have further issues. Ask each one what they intend to do and what materials they will use so that you are comparing apples to apples with their plumbing recommendations.
8. Review business history
The longevity of a business is a testament to its reliability. Plumbers or plumbing services who do shoddy work, overcharge, or have a bad relationship with their customers rarely survive very long. Though there are some exceptions, it is still a good rule of thumb that the longer a company has been in business, the more you can depend on them. Coupled with the other tips we’ve provided, you should be able to make a good selection.
There is no exact science to finding a good plumber and no guarantee that you will be happy with the work you receive, but with a bit of due diligence, you should be able to find the best plumber in your area that suits your needs.