The decision to replace household systems is straightforward for the most part. With a furnace, once you’ve determined that you need a new one, all you have to do is call your local HVAC company to find out the cost of a new furnace and it’s smooth sailing from that point forward. With water heaters, however, things aren’t usually as clear cut. Water heater tanks can hide a lot of problems, and once these problems surface it’s often too late for repairs.
You never know when you’ll need the services of a good emergency plumber, so if you don’t already have a trusted plumber on your contact list, don’t wait for an emergency before looking for one. In this blog, Countryside Plumbing and Heating, Inc. discusses the basics of hiring a plumber.
What Plumbers Do
Plumbers generally have the training to address issues related to home plumbing, and should have the skills and know-how to root out the source of plumbing problems. Commonplace issues such as plumbing leaks may have more than one cause, and finding the right solution is essential for a timely and permanent fix. Homeowners typically either won’t have access to water or will stand to waste a lot of it during a plumbing emergency, so the sooner it’s fixed, the better.
While plumbers have more or less the same set of skills, some specialize in certain aspects of plumbing, such as commercial plumbing and gas line installation and repairs. Others may extend their scope to include proficiency in installing and repairing high-efficiency furnace systems. One of the advantages of working with an HVAC and plumbing company like us is that we can send the plumber that’s right for the job.
Hiring a Plumber
Look for the following when hiring a plumber:
- License — The State of Wisconsin requires plumbers to hold a license issued by the Safety and Buildings Division of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. Plumbers who apply for a Journeyman or Master Plumber’s license are required to pass the State Plumbing Exam. When hiring a plumber, make sure they have a valid license; this is your assurance of a plumber’s legitimacy, skill level and knowledge of applicable building codes.
- Guarantee or Warranty — A good plumber or plumbing company will have their work guaranteed or warrantied. This is your protection against installation or repair errors.
- Payment Method — Be wary of plumbers—and contractors in general—who ask for full payment upfront. A typical payment schedule consists of a down payment, one or two installments and a final payment upon satisfactory completion.
- Good Customer Feedback — Take the time to call at least three references, as provided by the plumber. In addition to asking about the quality of their work, ask these previous customers if they would hire the plumber again. You’ll probably need a plumber more than once, so hiring one that provides quality work will be beneficial in the long run.
For older HVAC units, repairs can be a frequent requirement. Over time, the cost of these repairs adds up, becoming less and less practical compared to the cost of having new equipment installed. One alternative is to sign up for a maintenance agreement from your local HVAC company, which could cover either minor repairs or heavily discounted prices on parts and labor as part of the deal, depending on the plan. Moreover, the routine inspections and tune-ups that these programs provide can extend the life of your unit and help you get a few more years of life out of it.