Unless your bathroom is an outhouse and you fetch your water from a nearby creek, plumbing probably plays a crucial role in your daily life. It’s also a somewhat complicated system, which means if something goes wrong, you should probably call a professional.
Determining which professional is best, however, can be a challenge. After all, not all plumbing companies are equal, and some have more experience and certifications than others. In this guide, you’ll learn about what qualities to look for when choosing a plumbing company.
When to Hire a Plumbing Company
In the interest of saving money, many homeowners these days attempt do-it-yourself home repairs. However, in the case of plumbing repairs, DIY is usually not a smart strategy. Often, DIYing a plumbing issue can lead to more severe problems, potentially costing you more money in the end.
In this section, we’ll cover various problems that require a plumber’s help. For instance, if no water is coming out of the shower or kitchen sink, call a plumber to resolve this urgent issue. This problem could be the result of clogged pipes, frozen plumbing lines or water line leaks. If water cannot reach your appliances and fixtures, it might be leaking in inaccessible areas, such as under the flooring or behind the walls.
Other situations that require the attention of a licensed professional include the following.
Low Water Pressure Throughout the House
Low water pressure can result from several factors, including a bad supply-line design, low water pressure from a well or city supply or obstructions in the lines, such as debris or rust. If you hire a skilled plumber, they’ll be able to examine the issue and pinpoint the cause.
No Hot Water
Except for a leaky hot water tank, it’s often challenging to determine why there’s no hot water coming out of your faucets. If you have an electric heater, possible causes could be circuit breakers, blown fuses, heating elements, faulty overload switches or malfunctioning thermostats. If you have a gas heater, the issue could be igniters and thermocouple burners. Regardless of the cause, however, you should have a professional look at it.
Constantly Overflowing Toilet
If your toilet is overflowing, the most likely cause is that someone used too much toilet paper, or flushed something inappropriate down the toilet. However, there are many other possible causes. If the water in your toilet bowl is always full, this may be the result of a clogged sewer or drainage pipe, which will require specialized tools and advanced skills. A professional plumber can pinpoint and remove the blockage.
Replacing a Water Heater
When it’s time to replace your water heater, we strongly encourage you to hire a professional. A plumber can take care of everything, including carrying the new water heater to your basement, hooking it up, ensuring it works and disposing of the old one.
Sewer Line Stoppage
If your sewer line keeps backing up, it probably means your line running out to the main sewer has a blockage. Tree roots often cause this problem. While you can try to solve this issue by renting out a large sewer rodding machine, this can damage the sewer lines and drain. For this reason, we recommend hiring a professional. If they run into trouble, they will make the necessary repairs.
If one of your pipes freezes, carefully check whether it has already ruptured. If so, contact a plumber. You can try thawing the pipe using a hairdryer, but even if it’s not cracked, you might still want to have a plumber look at it. Sometimes plumbers will choose to replace a frozen section of pipe instead of thawing it.
Many people watch their tap water closely to see if they can spot any contamination. Detecting pollution with the human eye, tongue or nose is almost always impossible, but in the most obvious cases, your water may have a slightly different taste, smell or tinge to it. For instance, if the water is cloudy or white, this could indicate air in your lines. Brown, orange or yellow water has an excess of iron. In any of these cases, you need to call a plumber.
What Characterizes an Outstanding Plumbing Company?
When trying to choose the best plumber for the job, you’ll need to know what qualities to look for in a good plumber. To help narrow down your choices, we’ve put together a hiring-a-plumber checklist, which you can go through when considering different local plumbing professionals to service your home.
1. Extensive Experience
The first bit of information you should find is the length of time they’ve been in business. If a plumber has been successfully serving their neighbors for years, it signifies they have gained the trust of many clients in their community. For your peace of mind, we recommend hiring a plumber with a least a decade of experience in their industry.
2. Active Website
If the plumber you’re considering has a flashy, slick website, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re an established, reputable business. Keep in mind that, these days, almost anyone can afford to put up a decent-looking site. Look for signs of a thriving business, such as pages describing a range of plumbing services, current promotions, glowing testimonials and an up-to-date blog. These are the signs of a highly professional, thriving business.
3. Competitive and Honest Pricing
One characteristic of a highly professional plumbing company is providing services at a fair, competitive rate. They don’t charge unreasonable prices because they’ve been in the industry for a long time and understand their competition. They also won’t offer services at a rock-bottom rate because they know the value of their work. Avoid a plumbing company that offers too-good-to-be-true prices.
Trustworthy plumbers will negotiate the cost with you, and whatever price you agree on will not change from then on. However, be aware that some scammers offer remarkably low rates, only to demand additional payments once they’ve finished the job. These unscrupulous companies provide endless excuses for why they need the extra money, such as that they underestimated the extent of the problem and had to bring on more employees to finish the job.
If you have the luxury of looking for a plumber for non-urgent work, try to get estimates from multiple plumbers. Remember that the cheapest service tech is not necessarily the best.
4. Positive Customer Reviews
These days, it’s easy to find out what other clients are saying about a plumber. Visit the plumber’s website and look for links to reviews to see if they have plenty of satisfied customers. Overall positive or negative customer reviews will give you a good idea of the plumber’s reputability.
5. Trained Employees
Do not hire an untrained, unlicensed plumber. Working with certified professionals will not only ensure you get the work done more quickly and reliably, but it will also minimize the chance of any mess in your home. A non-licensed and inexperienced plumber may need to drill more holes in your floors and walls to determine the problem’s severity. Trained, licensed and experienced professionals, on the other hand, know what they need to look for and can pinpoint damage without being so invasive.
6. Outstanding Customer Service
Reputable plumbing companies will be friendly throughout the process and in any conversations they have with you. High-quality customer service is the result of a customer-focused approach and strict policies. They should also be open to showing you the problems they encounter and be transparent about the repairs they perform and what they cost.
Plumbing companies are no exception to the fundamental truism that punctuality equals success. If the service technician promises to arrive at your home at 9 a.m., only to keep you waiting an hour or more for them to show up, their tardiness indicates how casually they take their work.
8. Appropriate Upselling
Upselling is the practice of trying to convince a customer to buy more products or services at an additional cost. Some plumbers go overboard with it, and it will be obvious. However, keep in mind that upselling is not necessarily bad. When a good plumber recommends add-ons, they want to fix a genuine problem or prevent a future failure they can foresee. If a plumber uses this technique, pay attention to what they’re saying. If it feels like common sense, investing more in the repair or installation project could be your smartest approach.
9. Up-to-Date Methods
Good plumbing companies strive to always stay on top of the industry’s newest technology by incorporating the latest equipment and tools to fix plumbing problems as efficiently as possible. For example, with cutting-edge innovations like high-definition sewer camera inspections and chemical-free hydrojetting, plumbing technicians can detect and resolve issues with minimal property damage in a fraction of the time.
10. Respect for Your Home
Whether it’s toilet repair or slab leak repairs, plumbing is sometimes a messy business that can be tough on your house. The best plumber for the job will understand how to fix issues while doing as little damage to your home as possible. They’ll also use shoe protectors to avoid tracking dirt through your house.
Remember to Check for Plumbing Certifications
When trying to choose between several seemingly qualified plumbers, find out what certifications they have — even before you go through the checklist above. Doing so will give you a good idea of their experience and commitment to quality. The certifications are as follows.
Confirm that the plumber you’re considering belongs to the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, commonly known as PHCC. This association is the top trade group for professional plumbers and HVAC technicians, and membership demonstrates the plumbing contractor’s dedication to providing quality service.
UPC Master-Level Plumber
A UPC Master-Level Plumber certification means the plumbing contractor possesses a mastery of their trade and has experience and skill in blueprint reading, planning, management and the practical service, repair and installation of plumbing systems.
UPC Journey-Level Plumber
A UPC Journey-Level Plumber, which includes gas certification, demonstrates journey-level competence in their field and has proficiency in job site safety, blueprint reading and the practical service, repair and installation of plumbing systems. They may also be skilled in supervising a job site.
Certifications for HVAC Mechanics
HVAC mechanics, just like plumbers, are essential to keep our businesses and homes in top shape. After all, can you imagine surviving winter with a functioning heater, or sleeping on a hot, muggy summer night without working AC? If you’re hiring a technician to service your HVAC system, you also want to find out what certifications they’ve earned, so you can be sure they’re qualified for the job.
UMC Master-Level Mechanical
A UMC Master-Level Mechanical certification indicates that the professional demonstrates a mastery of their trade and will possess experience and skills in blueprint reading, planning, management and the practical repair, service and installation of HVAC systems.
UMC Journey-Level Mechanical
An HVAC technician with UMC Journey-Level Mechanical certification has journey-level competence in their field and will also be able to read a blueprint, ensure safety on the job and install, service and repair HVAC systems. Technicians with this certification may also be excellent job site supervisors.
Contact Dick Ray Master Plumber
Whether you have an issue in your home or underground in your water lines, Dick Ray Master Plumber will be there to assist you with any plumbing issue. We know plumbing problems can occur at any time of day, and we’re available every day of the year, including weekends and all holidays. If there’s a plumbing emergency, whether it be residential or commercial, you can depend on our experienced team to take care of it. We’ll arrive at your location quickly, assess the issue and determine the best course of action as efficiently as possible. Once we provide a solution and estimate, we’ll begin fixing or installing whatever you need.
Feel free to request an estimate by filling out our contact form.