Plumbing to your house is what oxygen is to your body. Plumbing is not restricted to just the pipes in your bathroom. The scope of plumbing is much more. All your water pipelines, drainpipes, sewage lines, heating systems, and toilets require a plumber when there is an issue.
Do you live in the Cardiff area? There are many well-trained plumbers for you to get help from. However, how do you choose a plumber? When do you seek the help of a professional plumber instead of doing it yourself?
Here are the details you need to pay attention to and see to it that your plumbing requirements are met to the fullest!
Why A Plumber?
Many of us can unclog our own drains with a plunger and other easily available equipment. A fixture can be replaced with a bit of patience and detailed instructions. In such a case, why should you spend on a professional plumber?
A professionally trained plumber can identify the source of a problem and fix it with ease within very little time. Their experience and knowledge in this field can help them think of ideas and issues a lay man would not think of.
How To Choose The Best Plumber?
The need for a plumber can be constant. Though you can pick the directory and call the listed plumbers and appoint the first available plumber, it is not wise. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice during different needs.
When you are looking for a plumber for residential purposes, here is what you can do:
- Reputation – When you are looking for a plumber to be employed regularly for maintenance or for a home renovation project, look for ones with a good reputation. This is not a one-time affair; hence you need to go through reviews and choose a well-reputed company.
- Cost – Look for a plumbing service that offers good deals and services at a reasonable price. If you can negotiate a deal for a fixed period, it can save you a lot of hassle in case of emergencies.
- Availability – Find a service that is available at all times, especially for emergencies. When it is your home, you can have a plumbing emergency at night or even on the weekend. The plumbing service must be able to accommodate such requests.
- Work Permit – Any commercial worker requires a work permit to provide legal services. Ensure the plumber has a valid permit to avoid any legal issues later.
- Insurance – Any company should cover its employees for insurance. In a service sector like plumbing, accidents can happen, and without valid insurance, you might have to spend a sizable amount in case of any mishap.
- Experience – If it is a big project, always go for a company or person with good experience. Their expertise can add a lot of value and reduce a lot of wastage for you. Also, plumbers who have been in business for a while would have good contacts and tie-ups and will be able to get you a variety of products at competitive prices.
- Customer Service – When you are looking for a professional plumber, they should be able to play the part. A plumbing service with a dedicated customer service team will be able to take your calls, handle enquiries and note down complaints effectively. A company that offers effective customer service is always a convenient option for many reasons.
- Products Used – The products and brands they use should be suitable for your fittings. If not the same brand, they should at least be on par with the quality. Different products and different quality of products used all over the place can land you into more serious trouble.
In addition to the requirements as mentioned earlier for choosing a plumber for your house, here is what you need to look for when you select a plumber for your commercial building or space:
- Location – A plumber from your area or close-by will be able to get to the site in less time and hence help out with emergencies. When there is a plumbing issue in an office, it can disrupt the entire setup and therefore must be handled at the earliest.
- Company Size – When it is a commercial building, the requirement can be very regular, and sometimes during an emergency, you may require more than one person. Look for a company with enough manpower or tie-up to handle all plumbing-related issues and provide an extra set of hands if needed.
- Variety – A team with plumbers who hold experience in different aspects of plumbing would be the best choice. This way, the company you choose can handle all sorts of plumbing issues with their in-house employees. The company should have experienced professionals to handle pipes, drain systems, heaters, etc.
- Qualification – Does the company employ only qualified plumbers? When it is a commercial establishment, the size of the operation will be big, and only a qualified professional will handle it. Someone with no proper knowledge can cause severe damage to your fittings.
- Contract – Draw up a contract for a fixed period with your plumbing agency. In a commercial building, the plumbing issues can be constant, and paying per issue may work out to be very expensive. Negotiate a deal that covers all general plumbing requirements for a fixed period. This also removes the need to find a new plumber every time.
When you have a burst pipe or a clogged toilet, your only concern would be to find the first available plumber to get your problem fixed. However, there are a few aspects to consider before you go ahead and ask them to come over to fix the problem.
Here is a quick guide to help you find the right plumber during an emergency:
- Emergency Service – The first and foremost step is to choose the plumbing service available for emergencies. This company or an individual plumber must be able to respond immediately and not make you wait for hours or a day. Find a plumbing service that has a contact number and not just an Email or website query section.
- Work Permit – As mentioned earlier, a work permit is essential for a commercial worker. Ensure the plumbing service or the plumber has one before you let them handle your problem.
- Experience – Though this may not be a concern in an emergency, think again. Do you want an inexperienced person to handle an emergency plumbing issue? Only an experienced person can handle issues that crop up as and when they are handling the problem.
- Products Used – Many plumbing services will have tie-ups and use products from a set of vendors and brands only. If you are particular about a brand, mention it when you call them. Ask them if they use that brand or can organize parts in that brand. If you are left with no choice, you can always use a random product for the time being and have it replaced later.
- Cost – Cost is very important. Though you cannot really negotiate or bargain much when you are stuck in an emergency, it is always better to enquire about the cost to ensure it is not too high.
- Distance – Find a plumber closest to your area. This will enable him to reach your place at the earliest; but if they need to get back to their office for supplies or need an extra hand, it won’t take much time either, if they are close by.
What Not To Do While Choosing A Plumber
Now that you know what you need to do while hiring a plumbing service for different needs, here are a few things one should not do:
No Full Disclosure
When it comes to a plumbing issue, it is a smart choice to tell your plumber about every problem you have with your pipes. Do not hide or forget to give them full details about your plumbing, maintenance, issues in the past with the same fittings, etc. What may seem irrelevant to you might be connected to the current issue at hand.
Even if you have used sub-standard materials, forgotten maintenance, or have clogged the outlets unintentionally, tell them the truth. This will help solve the problem quickly and prevent further complications.
Don’t Forget To Get A List
In case of a big repair or renovation project at your space, get a list of the different works your plumber plans to do and the materials they will require. There are different sizes and specifications for all plumbing hardware, and only those need to be used. Stocking up on all materials before starting the work will ensure a smooth flow without interruptions or delays.
Also, if some parts are not available, your plumber can come up with alternative plans rather than pausing work waiting for the fixtures.
Don’t Be Vague
If you are getting new fixtures or replacing some parts in your home, be clear about your requirements. If you want a faucet in the kitchen, be specific and don’t just mention a water outlet. If your heater is not heating beyond a point, mention that rather than just telling you there is some heating problem. Being specific will get the work done effectively.
Don’t Forget The Plumbing Plan
Any remodeling or renovation project requires a full plumbing plan to be drawn up. Bring out the old plans to understand where the pipes run and where complications can arise. Hitting a wrong spot can cause not only damage to the walls but were it to hit some electrical line; it can result in serious complications.
When a new project is undertaken, like renovating your bathroom, get your plumber to draw up a detailed plumbing plan for you. Retain this copy for future references.
If you see a clogged outlet or a small leak in a pipe, get it fixed immediately. Do not delay until things get out of hand. Here are a few instances that will require you to call your plumber sooner than later:
- If you notice there is no water coming from one or more of your pipes or outlets, there is a block somewhere. Very soon, one tap can escalate to the entire house going without water. Get this issue sorted out immediately. This also adds a buffer in case of the non-availability of plumbers.
- If there is no hot water, it is an indication that your heater or heating system is not working properly. Though this may seem like a small issue, it needs to be fixed if you do not want to step into a very cold shower after a long day.
- If your water heater is sweating or weeping, it is a sign of a leak. Since electricity is involved, a water leak can become dangerous if not attended immediately. Also, it will result in rusting of fixtures, water marks on walls and floor, and early corrosion of the heater itself.
- If you notice a dip in the water pressure, then there is an issue with your pumps. A malfunctioning pump can cause fluctuations in the pressure which can damage your pipes and fixtures.
- If you see a clogged drain, it is a red alert that needs to be fixed immediately. You do not want to walk into a pool of dirty water or sewage when you step into your house! Try unclogging the drain, but if the problem persists or occurs every few days, it indicates a problem deeper into the pipes that can be fixed only by a professional.
- If you notice your toilet overflowing, it is an indication of a block somewhere. You can use a plunger to dislodge anything blocking the flow. However, if that doesn’t help, turn off the water source and use a different toilet until your plumber gets there to help you out.
- If your pipes are giving off a foul smell, it is an indication of blocked sewage. Even if one big pipe is blocked, it can cause the smell to travel through all pipes over a period of time. If you cannot find the root cause, get a professional to analyze and assess the situation.
Plumbing issues are common and regular in any property. Though one can go the DIY way, it is always wise to have a professional handy. Find the right plumber for your needs and let them handle issues you can’t. It would be best if you had the assistance of a professional in case things get out of hand.