Many people get mixed up between plumbers operating individually and those who operate as plumbers-contractors. Here’s the basic distinction. The ordinary plumber fixes common household issues like leaky spouts, clogged toilets, and broken pipes. A plumbing contractor takes on bigger tasks. Most of their projects include constructions from scratch and renovations. These service providers handle pipe replacement, sewer systems, and water supply.
To be specific, plumbers on-call respond to emergency situations for minor repairs. This plumbing specialist installs or mends the following fixtures:
- Toilets and faucets
- Sinks and bathtubs
- Shower heads and drains
- Small pipes
- Hot and cold-water dispensers
- Filtration systems
The contractor performs complicated and bigger jobs although these plumbers also deal with repairs. Some of their usual jobs include:
Setting up or overhauling waste disposal mechanisms
Installing gas pipelines, water heaters, and ducts for wastes or smoke gases
Mounting gas-control valves, backflow prevention devices for water supply systems, conditioning and softening apparatus, and household appliances hooked up to the home’s water source.
Conducting inspection of plumbing works
Working on water line leaks in backyards
Many plumbers-contractors received training in certain aspects of home building and renovation.
Making a Choice
General contractors usually recommend plumbing firms with adequate experience in big-ticket undertakings. Each one has a field of specialization like installation of ducts and pipes in new construction or repairing installed pipelines. Some plumbers focus on fire sprinklers. However, these are more common in business establishments than residential units. In some American states (California, Maryland, and Pennsylvania), officials are requiring this fire protection gear in all housing constructions.
Plumbing contractors also specialize in home remodeling. You can employ them for replacement or transfer of pipes as well as the installation of sinks, faucets, and toilets. Projects must be in line with state and federal codes. These plumbers have the capability to figure out and communicate blueprint details. Contractors must understand how plumbing fits into the project’s overall objective. Service providers are expected to know ordinances and local regulations related to construction.
Water and Gas Lines
Not all plumbers have the expertise to work on complex assignments which include pipe-laying, resolving water pressure issues, and dealing with unexpected temperature fluctuations. For instance, the plumber who lays pipes must have in-depth knowledge of distances between pipes as well as city policies on the installation of water lines.
Otherwise, homeowners may encounter problems in the long run. Installation of natural gas lines is another convoluted job. Gas plumbers must be capable of fixing water or installing heaters along with heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems (HVAC), outdoor grills, fireplaces, and stoves.
Qualifications and Credentials
Look for plumbers-contractors with licenses and certifications to work on septic tanks or gas duct connections. This type of work calls for a master plumbing license, extensive experience, and training. The property owner must check the plumber’s background carefully.
Plumbers normally start their careers as apprentices. Each one undergoes periodic instructions and testing before earning the Journey Plumbing License. The goal of these skilled workers is to reach the master status. Apprentice license is for beginners. Journey licenses require a specific number of training hours as well as experience.
Only those who pass state-authorized exams are awarded this license. Master Plumber licenses are given only to journey plumbing experts who reached the prescribed number of hours and pass mandatory tests.
Aside from licensing, homeowners must examine the service provider’s insurance coverage. Plumbers must secure and present their workman’s compensation as well as liability insurance (minimum of $500,000) for the protection of both parties. This coverage is essential in case of unexpected accidents.
Your primary resources for plumbers or contractors would be the following:
A personal referral from neighbors, friends, relatives, and co-workers
Web-based referral services such as Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and Networx which provides consumers access to a broad network of service professionals throughout the country.
Local newspaper and television advertisements
Word of Mouth from previous customers
Advice for Homeowners
Households must remember that the residential unit’s water system consists of an intricate network. The whole structure includes pipes, ducts, and small fixtures. All these contribute to providing clean water, safe waste disposal, and other related conveniences for occupants.
The plumbing system covers home and public well-being. Henceforth, designs, as well as layouts, are regulated by standards to guarantee proper workmanship. It is also the main reason why plumbers need to secure licenses along with accreditations from reputable organizations.
There is no law preventing ordinary persons from fixing busted faucets or unclogging pipes. In fact, you can read hundreds of easy to follow tips online on how to do emergency plumbing. In short, you can perform DIY plumbing for small hitches. On the other hand, plumbing capabilities, experience, and the right tools are necessary for bigger problems and undertakings. Forget the DIY approach if your sewage system is the main issue. Call the plumber right away.
However, avoid hiring just any plumber. Find the skilled and responsible person who can accomplish the job correctly, safely, and economically. See to it the work does not turn out as a costly failure. This is all about quality of work and honesty. Browse through the long list of providers in your neighborhood or community.
Check with family members or neighbors who have experienced plumbing dilemmas in the past. Then, start calling their business phone numbers. It is always to deal with professionals who have permanent offices, contact details, and work portfolios.
Do not forget to conduct a quick interview about the plumber’s know-how, previous projects, equipment, and licenses. Of course, do this tactfully. You can even ask clients about their work. Are there any complaints about their services?
Ideally, plumbers like most contractors guarantee their works along with components used. The typical warranty is good for one full year. Of course, inquire about fees if these are reasonable and commensurate to the services delivered.