Why You Should Interview Your Plumber and What You Should Ask
by Brett Freeman
Plumbing, beyond clearing a clogged toilet, is a mystery to most of us. This explains why you can find page after page of plumbers listed in the local phone book. Just because someone appears to have mastered that mystery, however, doesn't mean he (or she) is the right plumber for you. If you're in dire need of plumbing help, take a few minutes to make sure your plumber can answer all of the following questions to your satisfaction.
Is Your Plumber Insured? Even the best plumber can make a mistake. If it happens at your house and your new bedroom carpet is suddenly soggy, you want to make sure the cost of replacement isn't coming out of your pocket. A plumber should be able to document liability insurance as well as workers' comp, which protects you in case the plumber is injured while on your property.
Is Your Plumber Licensed? Many states require plumbers to be licensed or certified. Others might not require licensing, but offer voluntary certification. Whether it's required or not, having state certification is a good indicator that your plumber is well-trained and meets a high standard of competency.
Has the Plumber Done a Similar Project? It's always a good idea to ask for references, but that's not always enough. You should make sure that at least one of your plumber's references is someone who had similar work done. After all, your plumber may be aces at installing new bathroom fixtures but may not have experience installing a new gas line.
What If Something Goes Wrong? Good plumbers always stand behind their work. Find out what kind of guarantee your prospective plumber will provide and make sure it's in writing
Will He/She Deal With the Bureaucracy? Local government permits and inspection of the work done is generally required for larger plumbing projects such as adding new bathrooms or adding a natural gas line to a house. Your plumber should handle this for you, but make sure you clarify this in advance. Make sure all aspects of the job are included in the written work description.
About the Author Brett Freeman is a freelance journalist. He also owns a landscaping and irrigation company in North Carolina. Previously he has worked as a beat reporter, a teacher, and for a home improvement company, and he used to own a bar/live music venue.