Whether you have a clogged drain or your home needs a complete overhaul of the plumbing system, finding a professional that offers comprehensive plumbing services can be challenging.
Where does a homeowner even start when they need to call a plumber?
In this article, you’ll find several tips on how to choose the best plumber. You’ll want to keep this information handy next time you have plumbing problems.
DIY or Professional Plumbing Services?
If you’re like most homeowners, the first thing you do when you have a home maintenance problem is to try to fix it yourself. Things like clearing minor clogs and dealing with a drippy faucet are relatively easy for the average person to handle.
If you can wield a plunger or replace a faucet washer, you may not need a plumber. However, many plumbing problems require professional tools that the average homeowner can’t access.
Even more important is the expert plumbing professionals bring to the job. Plumbers spend several years learning the trade. They know how to diagnose and fix plumbing problems quickly.
Hiring a professional for your plumbing project will usually save you precious time and money.
Asking the Right Questions Helps Shorten the Search
If you’ve never needed a plumber before, you may not know what to look for when you call for plumbing services. What you know is that you want to find a reliable, trustworthy company that won’t overcharge you for services just because you’re unfamiliar with plumbing systems.
It’s not uncommon for an inexperienced homeowner to feel somewhat timid about asking too many questions or asking the wrong questions.
Relax. A good plumber won’t mind the questions, and most even enjoy talking shop with customers to ensure they understand their plumbing issues and the services needed to get things running smoothly.
Of course, you’ll want to know how long a company has been in business and whether they’re licensed and insured. Those are standard questions you’d ask any contractor.
Beyond that, it’s always good to know about rates, hours of operation, and how the plumbing company guarantees their work. Keep this list of questions nearby when searching for a plumber near me.
Where to Find the Best Plumbing Services
Isn’t everything a person needs today just a click away? While the internet is an excellent place to begin, a company can appear first in your search and not be the best contractor in town.
There’s a difference between savvy marketing and excellent service.
Family and Friends
The best way to find a good plumber is to ask people you know who they’d recommend. There’s nothing like word of mouth to narrow down your choices.
You can also find great plumbers from online referral sources. Most referral sources have some type of vetting process, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do some of your own research on an individual company before you make your final hiring decision.
Many plumbing contractors advertise on social media, TV, and through print ads. Those are all good ways to catch customers’ attention. Unfortunately, big advertising budgets don’t guarantee quality.
If you don’t know a friend or family member who can give you a referral, check online to see if you can find any current reviews. If the company you’re interested in working with has a website, look for a page with testimonials given by satisfied customers.
What Type of Services Do You Need?
You may need to call a plumber when you have a clogged kitchen sink or a toilet that won’t stop running. Did you know plumbers offer a wide variety of services?
Some of those services include:
- Sewer line inspection
- Sewer cleaning
- Drain cleaning
- Slab leak detection and repair
- Water heater repair
Many plumbing contractors also install new plumbing systems, fixtures, and appliances, such as tankless water heaters. You may also find a company that offers HVAC and plumbing services together.
Choosing a plumbing company that offers multiple services can save you time and money.
Permits and Building Codes
When planning a plumbing project, you’ll need to consider permit requirements. Even some repairs require a permit from your local building department.
One mistake many homeowners make is assuming it’s only the major plumbing remodels that need permits. Even what you might consider small plumbing projects may require a permit.
In most cities, the person doing the work secures the permit. Typically, your plumber will take care of all permits and inspections. It’s just another benefit of hiring a professional.
Make Sure to Use a Local Plumber
When you search online, you’ll find several local plumbers, but in the mix, you’ll also likely notice large plumbing corporations that don’t have a local office. Local plumbing services are always the best choice for several reasons.
First, a local plumber can get to you quickly must when you have a plumbing emergency. Second, a local business is invested in your community and strives to build a good reputation there.
Another reason to work with a local plumbing contractor is that they understand the building codes specific to your city. This means they know which permits are necessary, they know the local building inspectors, and they’ve worked on the different plumbing systems standard in your area.
These are all things you’ll appreciate once you’ve started your project.
Sometimes You Need an Emergency Plumber
While a slow-draining bathtub or a nagging drippy faucet don’t usually require immediate assistance, other issues are more pressing.
For example, if you have sewage backing up in your basement, you’ll want a plumber to come out as soon as possible. Sewage and sewer gas can cause health problems.
While many plumbing professionals offer 24/7 availability, not all do. Make sure you find a plumber that provides this level of service. You never know when you might have a plumbing emergency.
The best plumbers offer after-hours emergency services, including weekends and holidays.
Do plumbers work on holidays? If they offer round-the-clock services, yes, they even work on holidays.
Thanksgiving or the day after is a high-demand day for plumbing services.
Any holiday or event where you cook a big meal and clean up after a large group of people in your home can aggravate your plumbing system. It’s all the FOG that goes down the drain!
What About Plumbing Maintenance?
Another essential service many homeowners miss out on is preventative plumbing maintenance.
Plumbing maintenance keeps your pipes clean, which helps extend the plumbing system’s life. Clean lines also improve your water quality.
Look for a plumbing company that offers maintenance services. Some contractors even offer maintenance plans. A maintenance plan usually includes one or two plumbing inspections every year.
Plumbing maintenance should include the following:
- Inspecting for water damage
- Inspecting for damage or corrosion to pipes
- Checking toilets for leak
- Water pressure checks for all faucets
- Checking for clogs
- Inspection of the water heater
- Pressure test to detect hairline cracks or leaks
- Drain cleaning
These are the basic checks and inspections you should expect when a plumbing professional makes a routine maintenance visit.
You may also need other maintenance services not covered in a maintenance plan. For example, while some plumbing contractors offer lead testing, it’s not usually included in routine maintenance.
After you’ve taken care of your plumbing problems, it’s great to talk with your contractor about ongoing maintenance. They can help set you up with a routine maintenance schedule and, in the meantime, offer tips on things you can do to keep your system running smoothly between maintenance visits.
How Do You Know When You Find the Best Plumber?
Aside from reaching out to friends and family and doing your online research, how will you know when you’ve found the plumbing professional that best meets your needs?
Here are a few traits of an excellent plumbing company:
- Responsive to your calls or emails
- Arrives on time
- Fully equipped to handle any plumbing job
- Provides estimates
- Positive online ratings
Another sign of an excellent plumbing professional is that they don’t use a bunch of plumbing jargon.
That’s right! A good plumber won’t confuse you by talking in plumber-speak. Instead, they will do their best to explain your plumbing issues and the repairs in terms that are easy for you to understand.
Of course, if you find a plumbing company that also offers heating and cooling services, you’ve discovered a real gem!
Need Help Locating Plumbing Services?
Finding a plumber to treat you right shouldn’t be stressful. Keeping the tips shared in this article in mind when contacting a company for plumbing services should make the process easier.
In the San Antonio area, look no further than Elmer’s Air Conditioning and Plumbing. We take our customers seriously and strive to provide 100% satisfaction with every project we handle.
We also make it easy to schedule a service. Call us today at 210-570-1717 and book an appointment!