South Jersey Plumbers: Article About Screening Plumbers
When a pipe bursts in the middle of the night and water is collecting on your kitchen floor, you reach for the phone book and dial the first plumber on the list. At this point, all you care about is getting it fixed. You don't care at what cost.
Tomorrow, once the floor has dried and things are back to normal, you may regret that big emergency plumbing bill. You can prevent unexpectedly large expenses in the future by taking the time to screen local plumbers in advance and locate the one whose service policies and fees work best for you. The next time a plumbing emergency strikes, you know who to call and what to expect.
Contacting South Jersey plumbers and asking a few identical questions of each gives you the best basis for comparison. Getting suggestions from friends and neighbors who have worked with specific plumbers in the past is a great way to establish a call list. Block out some time in the afternoon when plumbing companies are least likely to be swamped with customers, and make your calls.
Find out up front if the firm is licensed as required in the state of New Jersey. To obtain a contractor's license, a plumber must pass an exam and be over age 21. Also, the applicant must have finished a four-year program as an apprentice or hold a Bachelors degree in plumbing, and have a year of Board-sanctioned, on-the-job experience. Unlicensed contractors may have little training, so avoid hiring them.
Ask the contractors on your list about the insurance they carry.
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A reputable firm should have coverage for personal liability, damages on site and workers compensation for employees. Adequate insurance coverage means that, should accidents occur while a crew is working in your home, you will not be held liable to pay for damages or injuries.
Determine whether the plumber provides day and night emergency service. You need to know that your plumber of choice is responsive at any hour when an unforeseen problem develops. Ask how the company handles after-hours calls and how its emergency service fees differ from scheduled, service call fees. Find out about the company's response time because when the water is rising, you don't want to be sitting by the phone waiting for your plumber to return your call.
Ask if everyone on staff is a licensed plumber. If not, try to find out how the contractor divides up the work between licensed professionals and apprentices. The last thing you need in an emergency is an inexperienced plumber.
Determine each plumbing contractor's area of expertise. Some companies specialize in remodeling while others focus on new construction work. As a homeowner, look for the contractor that concentrates on residential repair and maintenance.
Finding the plumber whose business policies, professional expertise and responsiveness mesh with your expectations is your goal. Before an emergency arises, have your plumber of choice do some routine maintenance or repairs in your home so you can establish a basis for a good working relationship.