Red Flags to Look for When Hiring a Plumber

Whenever you hire someone to work in your home, you want to know you are hiring a trusted, experienced professional. Plumbing companies are plentiful, but not all offer the same quality of service. If you are researching plumbers, there are a few red flags that can alert you to possible issues. These red flags can help you avoid hiring the wrong plumber for the job.

No Local Phone Number

If the plumber has an out-of-town area code or only has a 1-800 number, look a little closer. Where is the company based out of and are they local? There have been instances where companies come into a town, posing as local contractors, scamming people out of their money before they quickly leave town. Make sure the company you hire has a local address, phone number and location.

Bad or No Reviews

Check out the reviews online for a company. Keep in mind that one bad review can happen, even to the best contractors. However, if there are no good reviews or a pattern of bad reviews, this is a bright red flag to avoid this plumber.

Licensed and Insured

You want to make sure any plumber you hire is legitimate. They should have a contractor number through the state and carry insurance to cover their employees and any damage. This is quick to check – most reputable plumbers have their contractor license number on their website that you can verify through your state’s business licensing agency.

Checking a plumber’s background can save you time, money and frustration in the long run. Make sure to vet your plumber to avoid hiring the wrong company to perform your next plumbing project.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

How to Avoid Drain-Cleaning Scams

Most plumbers are trustworthy professionals that you can count on when you have a plumbing emergency like a clogged drain. However, like many professions, there are scam-artists that can take advantage of those with a plumbing issue. Drain-cleaning scams are used by disreputable companies to gouge customers for services they do not need. Here are some tips to avoid these scams when you have a plumbing issue.

  • Are you a target? Scam-artists look for people they think will be easily deceived. Often victims are elderly, especially women, that are targeted due to the perception that they may not know much about plumbing. Be wary if they start asking personal questions.
  • Accompany the inspector. If you have someone inspecting your home for a drain problem, make sure someone you trust is with them. These scammers may place items in a basement or pipes as “proof” of a broken pipe, like dirt or rocks. Make sure someone is there to see the evidence first-hand.
  • Watch videos live. Many plumbers use video cameras for sewer line inspections. While useful, you want to make sure you are watching a video of your pipes, not someone else’s. Watch the video live as it goes down the pipe so you know you are seeing legitimate footage.
  • Hire a reputable, local plumber. The best way to avoid scams is to hire a reputable, local plumber. Check their reviews, years in business and their rating with the Better Business Bureau to ensure you are hiring an honest, reliable professional.

Most plumbers are professionals that you can trust when you have a plumbing emergency like a clogged drain or a broken pipe. Avoid scams by hiring a plumber based on their reputation and experience, not by a cheap price point or persuasive advertising.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Why You Need an Emergency Plumber

The worst time to choose a plumber is during a plumbing emergency. When you have a broken water pipe or a sewer backup into your home, you do not have time to do the necessary research to vet a plumber. The best approach is to choose an emergency plumber that you can trust before a plumbing emergency occurs. For most homeowners, it is not if, but when, they will need to call a plumber. Here is why you need to have an emergency plumber on speed dial and how to choose the right one.

For one, not all plumbers offer emergency service. They may advertise they handle plumbing emergencies, but that does not mean they will be available at two o’clock in the morning when you find a broken water pipe. You want to ensure that the emergency plumber you choose is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Even if it is Thanksgiving Day or another major holiday, you want to know your plumber will be there when you need them the most.

You need a plumber you can trust, an experienced, reputable company that will handle your plumbing emergency quickly and affordably. Having an emergency plumber can give you peace of mind when the inevitable plumbing issue occurs. Knowing the crisis will be handled and you will not get any unexpected surprises when it comes time to pay the bill can help reduce the stress of an emergency plumbing problem.

When choosing your emergency plumber, make sure to check their credentials. How long have they been in business? Are they licensed and insured? Do they handle both plumbing and sewer/septic emergencies? Do your research when you have time to do it right; then, put their number in your phone so when you have a plumbing problem, your emergency plumber is right there at your fingertips.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(404) 973-2471

Choosing the Best Company for Your Plumbing Needs

There are plenty of plumbing companies that want your business. All will claim to offer expert service and care about your needs. But how do you determine which company is really the best company for your home or business plumbing repair and maintenance? Here are a few questions to ask about your local plumbing company before choosing to use their services.

  • Do they have all the right licenses, permits and insurance? First and foremost, you want a licensed contractor that insures his business. Also, permits are needed for many larger projects.
  • Are they a member of the BBB? You want a member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Do they handle repairs, maintenance and new plumbing installation? You want a plumbing company that can handle all your plumbing needs, from a clogged drain to installing new pipes in your home or business.
  • Do they have a trustworthy and experienced team? It is not enough just to have one reputable plumber on board. Before inviting a plumbing company into your home or business, find out about their hiring policies. A quality plumbing company should be running background checks on all their employees.
  • What other services do they offer? If you have a septic system for your home or business, you want a plumbing company that also handles septic repair and maintenance.

Don’t wait for a plumbing emergency to find a great plumbing company you can rely on. Do the research and find a company that you can trust before you need to call them in the middle of the night. Having the right plumber on speed dial can ensure that when you need them, you’ll get the service and experience you need.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 736-8283

Choosing A Plumber For New Construction

If you are considering new construction for your home or business, then you’ve probably already sought out the help of a general building contractor for designing and building your project. General contractors are also responsible for bringing your job into completion within an estimated timeframe and within budgeted costs. A general contractor will usually “subcontract” to the specific trades required to finish your job, such as the electrician, HVAC and plumber. Most often, the decision as to who works on your building project comes down to the lowest bid made by the most competent and experienced company, as determined by your general contractor.

However, perhaps you are self-building or self-managing a project, only using specific trades’ people as needed on a time and material basis. In such a case, you may be making these selections yourself and need some basic guidelines. If you’ve not yet needed a residential or commercial plumber, you may want to question others that you trust in your community as to their experience.

Usually, neighbors and other acquaintances have had some experience to make a recommendation as to a plumber’s reputation. Also, you may contact a general contractor in your area and ask them for a referral; they would be a knowledge source of local plumbers that do quality work at reasonable prices. Another reliable source would be your local trusted real estate professional.

Once you’ve narrowed down your selection, make sure to get your plumber’s license number and ask for verification of required business insurance to ensure your freedom from any liability. Ask your plumber to provide you with a firm estimate and be sure to check on their service warranty policy.

One Man Shop or Larger Plumbing Contractor: Pros and Cons

When you hire a plumbing contractor, it can be hard to tell from their advertising how large of a firm the company name represents. There are plenty of one-man shops where the licensed plumber is the owner, operator and assistant, all rolled into one. There are also large corporate plumbing contractors that have dozens of licensed plumbers working for them. In between those two ends of the spectrum are mid-range contractors who have a significant number of employees but are still in the small business category range.

There is no best answer as to whether you are better off hiring a small plumbing contractor or bigger one. However, there are some pros and cons to take into consideration as you are making the decision.

If you are looking for someone you can rely on to show up for a service call whenever you happen to need them, a one-man shop may not be the best choice. Even though the plumber may be extremely dependable, one man can only be in one place at one time. If he’s a high quality professional, his services will be in big demand. He may not always be available when you need him.

Another negative aspect of a one-man shop is speed and efficiency. The more hands available to work on a project, the faster it will get done. This is particularly true for big jobs like a polybutylene pipe replacement or septic to sewer conversion.  If your plumber has to make all his supply runs himself, it will slow down his progress. In addition, you’ll be paying full plumber rates for all the time on your job, rather than having some of the time being billed at a lower assistant’s rate.

With a larger plumbing company, you may or may not know the owner on a first name basis, but the integrity of the owner is still on the line, no matter the company size. Smaller is not always better or the best choice.

The Better Business Bureau Can Help You Find A Reputable Plumber

Finding a reputable plumber to replace your water heater, help with a bathroom remodeling project, replace a toilet, or even just to clear a clogged drain can be a hassle unless you are lucky enough to get a good reference from a friend or family member.  There are so many plumbers in phone book and on the internet and it is difficult to tell the good ones from the bad.

Your local Better Business Bureau is a great resource to help you find a good plumbing contractor.  You can check with the BBB to see if there have been any complaints against the plumber you are considering hiring.  There are a few things to keep in  mind about the BBB.

First, check to see if your plumber has been operating under the same name for several years.  Changing the name of the business is one way a bad plumber can try to hide from a bad reputation.

Next, it’s great if your prospective plumber does not have any complaints at all. If they have been in business in your area for years without a single complaint, that’s a pretty good sign that they know how to keep their customers happy.

If there are a lot of complaints about the plumber, you should probably look for a different plumber. However, don’t automatically rule out a plumber just because of a few complaints.  There are some customers who are just impossible to please and even the best plumbers can have a few complaints over the years.

If there are a few complaints, check to see if the plumber responded and if the complaint was satisfactorily resolved.  A response from the plumber is an indication that they do their best to satisfy the customer.  If there is no response at all, you can be sure that the plumber will not respond to any concerns you may have either.