When homeowners are asked what they want from a plumber, they repeatedly cite three things:
He must be fast.
He must be reliable.
He must be expert at what he does.
All plumbers must go through extensive training and an apprenticeship before getting licensed. But homeowners don’t actually care about the background of the plumber they are dealing with.
All a homeowner wants is a plumber who shows up when he says he will, delivers results as quickly as possible, all for a competitive price. A service person like that is worth his weight in gold.
Here is a closer look at each of these requirements.
Homeowners say fast is essential because plumbing problems wreak havoc on family schedules. If the toilet it clogged, everything grinds to a halt. If the kitchen sink is leaking, meal prep comes to a stop. People can’t take baths and showers, laundry can’t get done and the dishwasher can’t be operated.
Fast actually means efficient because different repairs take more or less time. For example, a simple clog in the kitchen drain may take just a few minutes. A more extensive problem like a leak in the hot water system might take several hours.
Some plumbers charge by the hour, while others charge by the project. It can seem to the person paying the bill that the plumber who charges hourly is taking much too long, even dragging out the repair. But to be fair, a plumbing crisis can do that to a person.
Three other points that reduce the appearance of the speed and efficiency in a plumber are:
If he isn’t available when you need him
If he incorrectly diagnoses the problem
If the repair or replacement techniques he uses are old fashioned
If your plumber arrives at your home when he says he will, your first impression will be that he is reliable. But there are actually more components to reliability than just time.
You want a plumbing company and staff that show sincere interest in your problems. Look for a business that is transparent, gives written estimates and answers all of your questions. It is always nice to see pricing on the plumber’s website or in a brochure so you know what to expect.
Never deal with a plumber who tacks on fees or adds extra expenses that weren’t in the original estimate.
Rely on the recommendations of family, friends and neighbors when choosing a plumber. Look at online review sites like Google+ and Yelp.
Be sure to talk to the plumber before hiring him. Ask questions about his background and about the techniques and services they offer. For example, do they do video camera inspections of pipe systems? Do they use trenchless technology for sewer line repair?
When you find a plumber with an excellent reputation, be sure to write down his number in a easy-to-find spot in your home. That way you won’t need to hunt when a plumbing emergency happens. And they always seem to occur on weekends, on holidays and in the evening.