Finding a Plumber Tips
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Finding a Plumber Tips
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What questions do I need to ask plumbers I am interviewing?
If you're talking to a few different plumbers and trying to decide who to hire, it's helpful to know what questions to ask so that you can best make your decision. This is our list of top five questions to ask plumbers you're considering hiring:
- Does the plumber handle residential repairs or perhaps specialize in construction and remodel? Make sure the plumber you're talking to is qualified to do the work you require. If you need a specific type of job done, ask about your plumber's specialty.
- What types of materials your plumber will be using for repairs? You'll want to know what will be replacing your existing fixtures or plumbing.
- How long your plumber has been in business? You don't want to deal with someone who has little experience in the plumbing industry.
- Does your plumber guarantee the work to be done? A guarantee is important in case you have any problems in the future with the repair or replacement done by your plumber.
- How long the plumbing project will take? The length of time will have an impact on your pocketbook as well as the length of time you need to set aside for the repair or plumbing project.
How can I keep my plumbing charges down?
Sometimes the gap between what you thought your plumber quoted you and what you get handed as your plumbing bill is pretty astronomical. To keep your plumbing bill tame, follow our tidbits to help keep your plumber from charging you through the roof.
- Talk to your plumber and be clear about what work will be done and find out exactly what you'll get charged for and how much.
- Get all numbers in writing, with all specific work accounted for.
- Don't pay for a major project such as the installation of a water heater upfront. You want them to do a good job and you'll want some recourse if the work doesn't turn out as planned.
- Clear out the area before your plumber arrives. Your plumber charges by the hour, so you don't want to keep him waiting while you're tackling a clean work area.
- If you can avoid having your plumber come during emergency and peak rate hours, do so. Your plumbing bill will be much lower.
What should I consider when selecting a plumbing contractor?
If you're doing renovations to your home, the process of selecting a plumber will vary a bit from the process of selecting a plumber to fix a drain clog in your home. When looking for a plumber or plumbing contractor, you will want to do the following:
1. Get recommendations from friends or neighbors of plumbing contractors who have worked on home renovations. That way, you can have the added benefit of working with a plumbing contractor who has had a successful working relationship with someone you know.
2. Verify the state licensing of your plumbing contractor. You'll be able to find out whether the person in question has any complaints filed against him.
3. Find out what the hourly rate of your plumbing contractor is and what you'll be paying for. For instance, will the plumbing contractor charge you for demolition to access a pipe in addition to plumbing work? Will you be charged an hourly rate while your plumber waits on-site for parts?
4. Verify whether your plumbing contractor is bonded and has worker's compensation and insurance.
5. Research at least three different plumbing contractors and obtain estimates. Choose one based not just on the rates, but also what you will be paying for and their level of service and reliability.
What services can I expect from a commercial plumber in the Chicago area?
If you're in the Chicago area and own a business, working with a Chicago plumber who does primarily residential work may not work for you. Instead, find a Chicago plumber who offers commercial plumbing services. Commercial plumbing services can include the following:
- Plumbing Maintenance – Repairing fixtures, repairing heaters, backflow testing, and regular maintenance.
- Drain Cleaning – Clear out clogs and tree roots from your piping.
- High Pressure Water Jetting – Use the services of a high-pressure water jet in order to clear out drains, remove debris, and cut through roots in your pipes.
- Sewer Line Replacement – A Chicago plumber can repair or replace cracked and damaged sewer lines that are no longer usable due to freezing temperatures, shifting soil, or normal wear and tear.
- Liquid Waste Hauling – If you need liquid waste from septic tanks or another location removed from your place of business and disposed of properly, a commercial plumber can schedule regular pick-ups or come upon your request.
What can I expect to pay a plumbing contractor for plumbing installation in a remodel?
Finding a plumbing contractor to work with is one thing, but how will you know if his rates are fair? If you're doing an addition or new construction to your home, you'll need to hire a plumbing contractor that specializes in that type of work. Here is a ballpark estimate of what you can expect to find in your plumbing charges:
- To install your plumbing, a plumbing contractor could charge you anywhere from $45 to $65 per hour. That's just for one person and one truck. Expect to pay more if a team is required to do the project.
- Your plumbing charges do not include the cost of materials. You'll pay extra for that.
- To install your plumbing, many plumbing contractors place bids based on the work only. Depending on where you live, the rough-in for putting in your drain and supply lines might run between $300 to $400. The cost of fixture installation would be about $200. If you plan on adding plumbing for a large bathroom with a vanity area, toilet, and sink, expect to pay somewhere in the ballpark of $1,200 for just the parts.
What kind of things will my plumbing contractor be knowledgeable about?
For remodeling jobs, you should look for a plumbing contractor who knows how to get the job done in a timely fashion, within budget, and with a high level of professionalism. Unforeseeable events can always happen, but this is what you should expect your plumbing contractor to know.
- Your plumbing contractor should be aware of local building codes and how to adhere to them. If not, he should know how to research what the local building codes are.
- Your plumbing contractor should know how to keep the work area clean and minimize impact to the surrounding area. You don't want to work with someone who will leave grease stains on your carpeting, unnecessarily open up plumbing areas on your walls, and won't clean his work area after the project is complete.
Do you have any winterizing tips for my home when the temperatures drop?
When wintertime in Washington, DC, brings in the sleet and snow, your pipes can suffer too. So when the temperature drops, spend time to do some checks to see whether or not you'll need to call in your Washington DC plumber.
- If you'll be out of the house any length of time, don't just leave your home without turning off the main shut off valve for the water. Drain out your plumbing by turning on faucets in the lowest and highest parts of your house. If your pipes freeze, you'll need to call in your Washington DC plumber to repair or replace your piping.
- Test the relief valve in the water heater. Lift the lever and then let it snap back, which should allow a hot water burst to escape into the drain pipe. Just remember to exercise caution since water temperatures will be very high. If your relief valve does not function properly, call in your local Washington DC plumber.
- If you have a sump pump and pit, give it a careful inspection and give your sump pump a thorough cleaning during the winter season. Keep in mind that exposure to low temperatures can cause your pump to freeze and you'll end up contacting your local Washington DC plumber for repairs.
How do I find a good New York plumber?
If you live in New York City, you'll find no shortage of plumbers in your area. With so many professionals to choose from, you might wonder what the best way is to go about finding a good New York plumber. With just a little legwork, you can rest assured you'll have a plumber who will charge you what you expect to pay on your plumbing bill as well as return your plumbing system to good working order.
- Make sure your New York plumber has a current license and that there are no complaints against him or his company.
- Some people think to ask friends and neighbors, but try asking your real estate agent for a plumbing reference. Good plumbing helps keep real estate values up and real estate agents often know reliable plumbers for this reason.
- Ask up front for an estimate and then avoid getting overcharged by getting a breakdown. Find out how they arrive at their plumbing rate charges. Get the charge rate per quarter hour. Ask how much of the plumbing rate is part of the initial service charge and how much of the rate is the diagnosis.
What’s a good way to know if I’ve selected a good plumber in the Boston area?
If you live in the Boston area, you have a large pool of plumbers to choose from for your plumbing needs. Whether you're looking to fix a clog in your sink or hoping to clear a plugged toilet, you may have wondered what is the best way to select someone to clear the piping in your home. Plumbing is an all-important, but often taken for granted aspect in a household. Next time you need to get an obstruction in your plumbing cleared, keep this in mind – if you want to work with a professional, make sure you can speak to a live person. If you're getting stuck with an answering service, answering machine, or worse – no answer at all – you need to rethink your plumbing choice.
Plumbing mishaps can happen at any time, day or night. When the plunger doesn't do the trick at 2 AM, you need to get a hold of a professional as soon as possible. You can find plumbing services which have a live person available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That way, you'll know who is available and when they'll be there. If one Boston plumber can't help you, at least you can try finding another Boston plumber that will.