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How to Find a Plumber
There are few emergencies worse than a plumbing emergency. Water from a burst pipe, over flowing toilet or a leaky sink can cause a substantial amount of damage in a very short amount of time if left unfixed. Nobody wants to walk home from work or the weekend away to discover their cat floating by in the living room on a sofa cushion. Floods can happen, and sometimes they can happen in your home from something other than a natural disaster.
Every renter and homeowner should know the basics about their plumbing including where the main water shut off valve is located and how to turn off the source of water to the sinks and toilets.
It’s also important to have a good relationship established with a plumber before you need one so you won’t be trying to find someone when you are knee deep in water in your basement looking for a shut off valve.
When you begin your initial search you should be aware that there are three different levels of skilled plumbing professionals. This is a field where those who are seeking careers in the industry train as apprentice under a master plumbing contractor and learn hands on as well as in the classroom. The next level and the most common is a journey man level. It is at this level that most plumbing contractors work for home owners or renters to repair leaky faucets, toilets, shower heads and the like. The highest level is the master plumber and this is the level one needs to be at to train an apprentice. At this level a plumber can read and/or design blue prints to install plumbing in new construction.
Start your search by making sure you are dealing with a plumber who holds a current contractor’s license in your state. You can check with your states contractor board online to verify that the license is current and that there are no liens or complaints against them.
Unless you are up to your ankles in water from a burst pipe and are experiencing an actual plumbing emergency, take the time to call around to a few contractors and do a brief phone interview. You should try to find someone who has an established business and an established business address. A one man business may or may not have a business office outside his home, while a bigger company likely will have a main office location. Sometimes it can appear more professional to have an actual office location to conduct business from.
You should also ask for a few current or former cliental that will act as a referral for the plumbing contractor. A contractor who has no clients that will give referrals is a contractor who is showing you a red flag and you shouldn’t ignore it, no matter how good their excuses are.
Finally check with the Better Business Bureau and make sure there are no local claims against the company you are interested in hiring. If everything checks out you will at least know who to call when you have a plumbing emergency.
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