Pittsburgh Plumbers- An Intro

If you run into plumbing problems, you’re going to need to contact a professional plumber to fix the problem. Here are several ways to find a plumber:

-Check with your family or friends for a referral.

-Ask a local real estate agent for a good plumber she has used. Ours recommended: www.pittsburghplumbing.org

-you have used another contractor in your home, ask the contractor for a referral.

-Check with the local plumbing supply store for a recommendation for a reputable plumbing company.

Go online and check the reviews of plumbers in your area. If you search for a plumber in your city on one of the popular search engines, such as Google or Yahoo, you will find the search engines “Local Listing” of plumbers geographically near you, links to their website, and customer reviews of their work.After you find a plumber in your area, what do you look for before you hire them? Here is a checklist of items you need to ask a plumber before you hire a plumber.

Always check that you are working with a licensed plumber, ask to see his state license! Licensed plumbers have the work experience, training, and are familiar with current state and local plumbing codes. In addition to passing an exam to receive their license, they must take annual continuing education to keep abreast of changes to the codes, new products, and innovations in plumbing.

In Georgia, there are a lot of skills you need to succeed as a plumber. As a result, there are many steps an apprentice plumber needs to take to become a Journeyman or Master Plumber. These steps and the rules for obtaining the designation of the master plumber are set by the state. You must have 3-5 years of primary plumbing experience, references, and pass an exam to get a Journeyman or Master Plumbing license. For a Master Plumbers license, part of your experience must include commercial or industrial plumbing. In addition, they should have additional certifications to test and certify backflow devices or work on septic systems.

A good rule of thumb is to look for plumber’s that have been in business for 8-10 years. This gives you a gauge as to how viable and stable the business is and if they will be around to warrant the work they do in your home.Would you be comfortable having their Service Technicians working in your home? A plumber should conduct a complete background check and random drug testing on all employees. Further, professional Service Technicians working in your home should be uniformed and have name tags. These Service Technicians should be company employees and not sub-contractors.

Plumbing demands specific technical skills and knowledge. Plumbing companies use specific tools not available to a homeowner or a local plumbing handyman especially when doing Pittsburgh furnace repair. The benefit of dealing with an experienced, qualified plumbing company is… they are equipped with all the necessary training, skills, plumbing tools, and experience to handle all sorts of plumbing emergencies in your home.A plumbing company performing service in your home should have General Liability Insurance and a current Workman’s Compensation insurance certificate. Upon request, the plumber should be able to provide you with a copy of his insurance.

General liability insurance covers damage that might occur to your home directly caused by the plumber. If the plumber does not have his own general liability policy, any damages would be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Typically the plumber should carry a minimum of $500,000.00 in general liability insurance, but it is not uncommon for plumbers who do commercial plumbing to carry $3,000,000.00 in coverage.

A plumbing company that advertises that they have “24/7” plumbing service should have a customer service person ready to take your call after hours. Further, the plumber should have on-call or after hours plumbers available to repair your plumbing emergency.Does the plumber install quality, recognizable, brand-name fixtures and materials that offer manufacturer’ warranties to the consumer? What brands does the stock and carry on their service trucks? The manufacturers of plumbing parts, fixtures, and appliances typically offer a limited replacement warranty on their products.

Typically, you must be a licensed Master Plumber to secure a plumbing permit. The city or county will inspect the plumbing at various times during the installation to ensure that the project is done to the local and state plumbing codes. An unlicensed plumber is unable to pull the necessary permits when work is being done, and they probably are not adequately trained in current plumbing code requirements.Service Plumbers charge for their work one of two ways, Time & Materials Pricing or Flat Rate Pricing. Let me explain the difference, this is very important.

With the Time & Materials method; the plumber charges a small “Service Fee” to mobilize to the job, an hourly rate while he is on the job, and whatever materials were used to repair the plumbing. Usually, there is a one-hour minimum labor charge and then you are charged by the quarter hour. With this method, you only pay for the actual time it takes and materials used on the job… no more, no less.

A plumber using Flat Rate Pricing will charge a “Diagnostic Fee” to determine your plumbing problem and then will give you a flat rate quote to fix the problem. You know up front what it will cost for your repair. If you do not want to proceed with the repair, you are only obligated for the Diagnostic Fee. With Flat Rate pricing, it is difficult to know how much the plumber is charging you per hour. I can tell you that the flat rate price you are given is based on the worst case scenario for the plumbing company… what is the most time it would take for a slow plumber to fix the problem. But, after the customer has taken off work, waits for the plumber to show up, and is already committed to the diagnostic fee, he is hit with a whopper cost to repair a small plumbing problem.