Modern plumbing is something home and business owners rarely think about – until it stops working.
And when that happens, it is quite often a problem that only a professional can solve. True, there are times, you can fix the issue easily on your own, but understanding how water behaves in your home or business plumbing structures often requires the experience and knowledge that few of us have time to master.
So, when you realize it is time to call a pro, you want to know that the person you contact can handle the job as quickly and efficiently as possible. But how do you know that the plumber you call will solve your problems with a modicum of fuss, at a competitive rate, and not leave a mess in their wake? In other words, what is the key to knowing a good plumber vs. a bad one?
For those of you who do not already have a trusted plumber, read on…
Plumbing the depths
We’ve all heard of – or maybe even have firsthand experience – with a plumber that has done the customer wrong.
There are horror stories out there of contractors that either caused a bigger mess than they fixed, made a huge mess for the home/business owner to clean up, or charged an exorbitant amount after finding “new” or “unforeseen” problems once called in to do a job.
We’ve even heard of plumbers who manufacture problems that aren’t really there: Such as showing you camera footage of root growth in the pipes that run through your yard, when the footage is actually stock footage from another job.
To be clear, that is an extreme example and rarely happens, but it has happened. And even if you don’t encounter someone as nefarious as that, how can you tell that you’re getting a plumber that will do the job right without charging an outrageous fee?
The answers are actually pretty simple. And if you have even a few minutes, you can complete most of these steps without risking further problems with your current plumbing problem.
Finding a good plumber
When you get a plumber that does good work that you can trust, you will hold on to that contact for dear life. As a home or business owner, that relationship is that valuable. And this is how you establish it…
Talk to your friends, relatives, and neighbors
This is a simple and easy way to vet any potential plumber. Good old-fashioned word of mouth is still one of the best ways to determine the worth of any contractor. Ask the people you know and trust whom they trust in plumbing emergencies. This may give you several options rather than one definite answer. But at least it will be enough to get you started.
Check their ratings on Google
The more modern version of word of mouth, ratings on Google (as opposed to some other ratings apps) are hard to tamper with or skew so you can get a fairly accurate view of a contractor from their former customers here. A couple of things to be wary of – the actual number of reviews and the overall rating. If someone has a five-star rating but only has a handful of reviews, be more wary than someone who has four-and-a-half stars but has thousands of reviews. As we know, it’s hard to perfectly satisfy every customer, and a volume of good to great reviews is better than just a few perfect reviews.
Make sure they’re licensed and insured
All professional plumbers must be licensed by the state. And the good news is that it is very easy to tell if any prospective contractor has their license in good standing, simply visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s website and fill in the form for an immediate result. You can also ask them if they’re insured when you contact them. Speaking of which…
Take the time to call
While it is getting easier to schedule all sorts of contractors via text or online, it is best – especially when dealing with a plumber for the very first time – to call them and see how they talk to you. Do they respond quickly? Are they professional? Do they offer to come right away? Do they ask questions about the problem? If they don’t do all of these things, that’s a red flag that perhaps this is not the plumber for you. And make sure that when you meet them that whoever comes to you matches the persona of the person you talked to on the phone. They don’t have to be your best friend or wearing perfectly clean coveralls, but they do need to treat you with respect and listen carefully to your concerns.
Experience is important
It’s not that someone fresh on the job cannot do the job, but you don’t want a trainee in charge of your plumbing – especially for bigger/more intricate jobs. Performing quick yet thorough examinations of plumbing comes from years of dealing with water – which often seems to have a mind of its own. And experienced contractors will be able to determine problems and correct them much more quickly and completely than rookies. That is why it is a good idea to check and see how long your plumber has been in business or on the job in any fashion.
(For bigger jobs) Get a written estimate
It’s one thing if a plumber pulls a clog out of a toilet or tub, but if you’ve got problems with your pipes (such as root intrusion), make sure you get a written estimate. That way you can be both prepared for what the job will cost and have a guard against sudden/hidden charge increases. Any plumber that will not provide a written estimate is not worth trusting.
Get a permit
Speaking of bigger jobs, certain size fixes do require permits from your municipality. Make sure you have a plumber that understands this and takes the time to do so. It will cost you extra time and money, but it will protect you from legal action from your municipality.
New is not necessarily better
If your plumber seems bent on replacing all your fixtures, make sure to ask him why. That’s because most plumbing structures can be fixed and work just as well as new ones. Repairs also typically cost less than replacements. Therefore, if you have a plumber obsessed with replacement, you could have a contractor looking for bigger a bill.
The right plumber, right here in north Georgia
With all that in mind, know that Conditioned Air Systems is here to help with whatever your plumbing needs entail. Led by plumbing master John Payne – founder of Payne Plumbing – Conditioned Air is putting the same commitment and mastery it has in HVAC to the plumbing business. And, under Payne’s guidance, we now offer the same full range of expertise, customer service, and flexibility that you have come to expect from Conditioned Air’s HVAC services.
Payne, a north Georgia native, grew up in the plumbing industry and obtained his unrestricted master plumbing license over 25 years ago. He founded Payne Plumbing shortly thereafter. Thanks to John’s guidance, we will happily tackle any job, no matter the size or situation. And you can expect our plumbers to:
- Arrive on time
- Install it or repair it right, the first time
- Give you a fixed price with no hidden surprises
- Be friendly and professional
Just like our HVAC services, we offer 24/7 and emergency plumbing services to attend to your every need.
If you find yourself in a plumbing fix like any of the problems listed above or beyond, please contact us right away at 770-536-7509 and let us get your water running the right way again.