Home maintenance is a serious task and you can be caught unaware by a nagging problem if proper care is not taken. But if you should find yourself caught in the middle of a situation like a plumbing breakdown or repair, your reaction has to be swift and accurate to prevent more damage to home and property. Kitchen and bathroom sinks are notorious for causing problems suddenly due to blocked or leaking pipes; broken taps etc. and they need to be attended to on ‘top priority’.
In such a situation, finding a good plumber or plumbing service can leave you harassed, agitated and anxious.
Your best bet would be to go to the local plumbing fixture store or supplier who may have good plumbers on contract to take care of customer jobs. This is a very good option because they do not tolerate bad plumbers who can cause them loss of business.
A home plumbing job usually becomes a mini project because, not only does the immediate problem have to be solved but steps taken to ensure they do not recur; hence there is the pressing need to hire a plumber to provide expertise, quality and value to resolve and tackle serious issues.
On the other hand, if you have to do the job of finding a good plumber or plumbing service, remember these key points:
1. Qualifications, experience and licenses – Plumbing is a skilled trade that requires basic qualifications and certifications. A plumber needs a license to ply his trade, indicating that he knows the local regulations and compliance rules and must carry an ID proof with accreditation; unlicensed plumbers can give you enough headaches and leave you without any recourse to legal help, if it comes to that. It’s best upfront to get answers to these questions –
• Length of time working in that field (total experience)
• Experience in the specific Sammamish plumbing job requirement – e.g. clogged sewage line
• Personal trustworthiness
If the repair is a minor problem, a regular plumber ought to fix it well. Here it’s very important to know if the plumber understands the complexity of the problem, has the requisite skills and access to specific equipment and tools needed to diagnose the problem and set it right.
2. Job quotes – if the job is an expensive, it’s better to get a few quotes. When examining and comparing quotes, look for:
• Break down of material and labor costs
• Hourly rates, if additional work is required
• Validity of quote and if any rise in rates is anticipated
• Any additional charges
Before you get the quote, the plumber should visit the place to inspect the repair work necessary to be done and also discuss what your expectations from the work are.
3. Insurance and Warranty – all plumbers and plumbing services have to possess workman’s compensation or insurance to safeguard against losses from personal injury in the work place. Some plumbing jobs, especially if they are for first-time jobs, will come with a service guarantee or warranty for new installations; repairs and maintenance for existing plumbing is not covered in this.
4. References – a top-notch plumber comes with good references that can be cross-checked. Do not hesitate to call previous clients to know about the quality of work done, costs and get personal guarantees for the plumber.
5. Safety record – avoid any plumber or plumbing service that has previous history of high work-related safety accidents or mishaps.
6. Clean-up services – an efficient and professional plumbing service has to provide clean-up services after a plumbing project. Clean-ups can be laborious and time consuming; ensure that this is part of the work contract or is agreed upon before commencement of work.
7. Availability – the plumber should be available to execute the job from start to finish; starting a job and leaving it mid-way to attend to other work schedule is totally unprofessional. Some of them may be booked weeks in advance for specific projects; however for hygiene and safety reasons a plumbing job cannot be left unattended for long. Get hold of a plumber who understands the seriousness of the problem and is able to work around his work schedule if it comes to that.