The plumbing on your property is a system that is both complex and delicate. None but the simplest plumbing repairs should be attempted on your own. A plumbing contractor in New Orleans should handle repairs because if you do not know what you are doing, you could damage the entire system.
However, you should perform your due diligence by looking into plumbing contractors ahead of time before you decide to hire one. Some may charge you much more than you expected, while an inexperienced plumber may end up causing even more damage. To avoid this frustrating and costly situation, here are ten questions you should ask of any plumbing contractor before making a hiring commitment.
1. What Kind of Insurance Policies Do You Carry?
Some sources will advise you to ask prospective plumbing contractors in New Orleans if they’re insured, but this doesn’t give you all the information you need to know. A plumbing company should carry two different kinds of insurance. Workers’ compensation covers the plumber who performs the repair in case of an on-the-job injury while working on your property. Liability insurance covers any damages to you or your property that occur because of mistakes by the plumber. Both scenarios are very rare, but if the company does not have adequate insurance coverage, you may be on the hook for any expenses that the plumber incurs.
2. Are You a Licensed Plumbing Contractor?
This is a question you should ask of both plumbing companies and the service contractors they have hired. To obtain a plumbing license, a plumber must demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of current building codes and practices through initial certification and periodic recertification tests. Plumbing contractors in New Orleans are examined and licensed by the state plumbing board of Louisiana.
3. What Additional Fees Do You Charge?
It is common for plumbing companies to charge a service fee just to send someone over to your property, regardless of the work they perform. This may seem unfairly arbitrary, but it may be necessary to cover the costs involved in assessing the problem to determine the proper repair. Nevertheless, it is entirely appropriate for you to ask about the service charge you are expected to pay before hiring a plumber and compare service fees across multiple plumbing contractors in New Orleans to find the best price, especially since the fee is typically charged non-negotiable.
Before you hire a plumber, you should also ask if there are travel fees involved for which you are responsible. If plumbers charge for the time required to travel to and from your property, this can add up quickly, especially if you are located far away from their location.
4. What Are Your Credentials, and Can You Provide References?
Credentials are memberships in respectable organizations such as plumber unions or the Better Business Bureau. Membership in these organizations demonstrates professional efficiency and commitment to the trade. However, references are even more important than credentials. These are clients from the past who are willing and able to attest to the good job that the plumber did for them. A good plumber should provide three to five high-quality, local references and be willing to share them readily upon request.
5. How Do You Screen Employees?
A plumber is a position of trust who gains a high level of access to your home. You need to be sure that the technician who will perform the work is licensed and insured, and trustworthy. You should ask the company if it performs background checks and drug screenings on employees before sending them out into the field. If you don’t feel confident about the answer you receive, trust your instincts and keep looking.
6. What Is Your Experience and What Are Your Specialties?
Because plumbing repairs are complex, you need a plumber who knows what they are doing. Therefore, you should inquire about past experience to ensure that you have the right professional for the job. Plumbers may also work in certain specialties, with some concentrating on routine repairs while others deal primarily with emergencies. You should ask about any areas of special expertise and if there are any jobs that the contractors will not handle.
7. Do You Offer 24-Hour Service and What Is Your Typical Response Time?
You need to know how soon after you call you can expect the plumber to arrive. This is especially important in an emergency situation. Furthermore, you need to know ahead of time whether you can call for a plumber during off-hours and expect to reach a live dispatch. Nothing is more frustrating than to call for help and reach a recorded message.
8. Do You Stand Behind Your Work?
Respectable plumbers should offer some kind of written guarantee or warranty, in writing, stating that if something is wrong with the work, they will come back and make it right at no cost to you. The terms of these agreements vary in length but typically last up to one year.
9. How Do You Protect My Physical Assets?
Plumbing can be difficult and dirty work. However, once finished with the job, the plumber should leave your property in the same condition in which he or she found it. You should ask whether the plumber will clean up after the job is finished and protect your floors with shoe covers or drop cloths.
You can also ask about any additional steps you can expect the plumber to take to avoid unnecessary damage to your property. While any damages should be covered by insurance, it is better for your plumber to take care to avoid them.
10. What Kind of Equipment and Parts Will You Use?
Technology in the field of plumbing has advanced as it has in many other industries. Plumbing contractors in New Orleans should adopt the latest, most innovative equipment. This allows them to do the work much more efficiently than they could otherwise. This means more convenience for you as the job can be done more quickly and accurately, with a minimum amount of alteration to your home.
When it comes to the parts needed to do the repair, plumbers should have the most common ones on hand. However, it may be necessary to purchase a specialty part from a supply store. You should ask whether you will be charged for the part in this situation and, if so, how much.
These are not questions you should ask when faced with an urgent plumbing issue. Therefore, you should start researching and vetting plumbers long before you anticipate actually needing one. For over 40 years, Rooter Man has served the people in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. We are proud to have been voted number one in the plumbing and drain cleaning industry for service and repair. We are happy to answer your questions when you contact us and hope to earn your business with our professional technicians, unbeatable warranties, and the adoption of the latest technology.
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