Plumbers repair and install the pipes and drainage systems in homes and commercial properties and appliances or fixtures. Whether you have a leaky faucet or a bathroom remodel, having a reliable pro at the ready can save you time and money. With so many local and national service providers to choose from, the process of finding the plumber for your project can seem intimidating.
As with any contractor you hire, there are a few things to consider before hiring a plumber. Learn more about the basic qualifications a plumber needs to get the job done as well as questions to ask to ensure you’re choosing the right professional for your needs.
Plumbing issues require quick action before you run into more costly problems. Winter temperatures can cause water lines to freeze, leading to damage inside your home’s wall or ceilings. Backed-up sewer lines will render your toilet useless or, even worse, damage your floor or home’s foundation. These are just a couple of examples of why you should always have a plumber on your contact list.
However, how do you pick the best plumber, and how much will their services cost? A plumber’s fee is only one part of the equation when selecting a professional. Before you start asking for estimates, consider that a reputable plumber will have the following skills and qualifications.
A college degree is not required in the plumbing industry. However, many plumbers learn the trade via apprenticeships or trade schools. Apprentices receive training under the guidance of a journeyman or a master plumber. There is coursework during the apprenticeship, and the programs usually take three to five years to complete.
Plumbers are one the most regulated professions in the United States. Most states require plumbers to be licensed. Each state has its own set of licensing requirements and the government agency that issues the license varies from state to state. To obtain a license, a plumber must be experienced, receive ongoing training and stay up to date on current trends in the plumbing industry. A valid license means that the plumbing professional also carries state-mandated insurance and bonding. This ensures that your home is protected against any plumbing mishaps or damage incurred during the plumbing repair.
A plumber’s general liability insurance protects the home or business owner from liability should the plumber accidentally damage the property, or injure themselves during the job. Before hiring a plumber, ask to view their proof of insurance. All plumbers should have enough liability insurance to cover accidents that may happen while on your property.
Some home insurance policies will cover plumbing issues the damage is caused by sudden and unexpected water damage from a broken pipe or other pipe malfunction. However, most policies exclude damages that are gradual, such as a slow, constant leak, as well as damage due to regional flooding.
Journeyperson vs. Non-Journeyperson
A journeyperson, also known as a journeyman, is an expert craftsperson that has completed an apprenticeship and passed the licensure exam required by the state. A journeyperson also carries a card of an occupational license. A non-journeyperson is an apprentice who is still in training or a plumber that has not obtained state licensing.
These professionals work for five consistent years as a journeyman, have additional training and education and take another exam to receive this certification. The Master Plumber test ensures that Federal and state regulations, building codes and advanced plumbing skills are mastered. The certification does take more time and money, but it also ensures that plumber is highly qualified to do a variety of plumbing jobs. Master plumbers do charge more per hour because of their advanced skills and may be worth the extra cost for intricate work that requires a skilled hand.
Services a Plumber Offers
Our Plumbers install and maintain numerous types of piping systems found in residential and commercial properties. Typical responsibilities of a plumber depend on the particular project. All plumbers must follow blueprints, work with plumbing tools, have strong math skills and know what kinds of materials are required for each job. Fixing drains and toilets are only a portion of a plumber’s job. Here are some services that plumbers offer:
- Sewer/water line replacement
- Pipe repair and replacement
- Dishwasher, washer and dryer installations
- Drain cleaning
- Garbage disposal services
- Water heater repair services
- Sewer/septic repair
- Installation, inspection and replacement of fixtures