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The Perfect Licensed Journeyman Plumber for the Job; Screening and Hiring Tips

Requiring licensed journeyman plumber services at some point is inevitable. Old pipes become corroded, producing plumbing problems. And new plumbing fixtures freeze, creating plumbing emergencies that only certified plumbing professionals can handle.

Locating a licensed plumber when your plumbing system needs work isn’t the problem; yellow pages are bursting with advertisements. The challenge is in finding a good affordable plumber with the skills and expertise required.

Finding reputable certified plumbing professionals who will do the job right at the right price is a priority for any business or homeowner. This is true whether you have common plumbing problems, need basic home plumbing repairs, or require new home plumbing system installation. Avoid hiring just any plumber you connect with!

Even common plumbing problems like pipe leaks can end up costing hundreds or thousands of dollars in unnecessary damage, if repairs are not handled accurately. Creating considerable inconvenience for dwelling occupants. Shoddy workmanship, incorrect plumbing procedures, unsuitable new plumbing fixtures, or not identifying the origins of even common plumbing problems can result in a waste of time, energy, and money.

Want to increase your chances of hiring a good affordable plumber who is reputable?  Then don’t hire just any plumber. Screen candidates to find qualified certified plumbing professionals for your home plumbing repairs. The handy bulleted list below offers tips on how to avoid hiring just any plumber.

How to Avoid Hiring Just Any Plumber:

  • The residential plumber you hire should be a licensed journeyman plumber, or other licensed plumbing professional. Never hire just any plumber for your home plumbing system needs. Note: due to business and home plumbing system work health and safety risks, most states mandate service providers are certified plumbing professionals.
  • Make sure the affordable plumber you hire is an insured licensed plumber. Note: reputable plumbing professionals should have at least $500,000 in liability insurance. A certified master plumber with hired helpers should also have a Worker’s Compensation policy.
  • The licensed journeyman plumber or other type licensed plumber hired should have the skills and experience that best meet your needs. Note: for instance, if you want to install innovative new plumbing fixtures or a more efficient plumbing system, eco-friendly plumbers might be perfect. For home plumbing repairs requiring an outdoor sprinkler system, a licensed master plumber or landscape contractor is required.
  • Ask family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors for good affordable plumber referrals. Word of mouth is a great way to find a reliable licensed journeyman plumber!  Note: get referrals for reliable certified plumbing professionals for remodeling from local real estate agents. Apartment complex managers often know a good affordable plumber!
  • Check the Internet for consumer reviews on area certified plumbing professionals. Checking licensed plumbing professional directories online can also help determine which candidates are eco-friendly plumbers, which are experienced working on plumbing problems drain pipe issues, etc. Note: when researching online, go to your favorite search engine and type in the words “residential plumber” or “licensed journeyman plumber” along with the name of your city.
  • When critiquing licensed journeyman plumber candidates to determine whether they are a good affordable plumber, ask if they charge hourly plumber rates or a flat service fee. Most certified plumbing professionals charge hourly plumber rates. This means project owners are charged for time spent acquiring replacement parts, plus travel time to and from the job site. To save on costs, ask what new plumbing fixtures and supplies are required, and make purchases yourself. Note: a licensed journeyman plumber with good vender connections often receives a discount on home plumbing system supply costs. A good affordable plumber will pass that savings on to the project owner.
  • To fairly compare residential plumber rates, provide each candidate with identical descriptions of the home plumbing repairs required; include full details in writing. Request from each licensed plumber candidate a quote in writing, itemizing all costs. A reputable licensed journeyman plumber will provide a free quote without job guarantee. Note: Insist on quotes from certified plumbing professionals.  Bids can change and are non-binding.
  • Ask the licensed plumbing professional questions pertinent to your home plumbing repairs project. A good residential plumber will diagnose home plumbing problems promptly and professionally. Note: in addition to questions about home plumbing problems, consider future plumbing emergencies. Ask plumbing professionals whether they offer 24-hour service for urgent home plumbing repairs. If you are a business owner, ask if they are experienced in residential and commercial / multifamily home plumbing system piping.
  • If the home plumbing repairs required is involved, make sure the licensed journeyman plumber will restore water service at the end of each workday. Otherwise, you will feel as though you live in a construction zone.  Note: also ensure certified plumbing professionals clean up the work site at the end of each day. Make certain this service is included in their plumber rates price quote.

Have the licensed journeyman plumber you hire provide a plumbing quote in writing. For involved plumbing services, demand a formal plumber contract agreement outlining all aspects of the business or home plumbing system, new plumbing fixtures, or home plumbing problems project. Note: the plumber contract agreement must be signed by both the licensed plumbing professional and project owner to be binding.  

Protect your home plumbing system investment. Don’t hire just any plumber for business or home plumbing repairs. Or to handle a plumbing emergency that could end up costing considerably more if not handled efficiently the first time. Screen all candidates beforehand to ensure you hire only reliable certified plumbing professionals. And greatly enhance your chance of successful home plumbing system installation or hot water heater repair, at reasonable plumber rates. 

Handy Tip: before connecting with a licensed journeyman plumber for hot water heater repair or replacement, know the age, type, model, and maintenance history of your current water heater. Also, make a list of home plumbing system or appliance performance concerns. List any questions you have, such as how to cut down on energy costs or better conserve on water; questions an eco-friendly plumber will be happy to answer. Advance preparations like these will save time and omit the risk of forgetting important points. And will minimize the screening process as you search for a good affordable plumber that is also skilled and reliable.

Final Tips Before Hiring a Residential Plumber

Once you have a list of at least 3 – 5 strong licensed journeyman plumber candidates, interview each individually. Ask pertinent residential plumber questions for the type home plumbing repairs required. Consider the following:

  • Is journeyman plumber licensing and insurance up-to-date?  Will it remain so for the duration of the plumbing project?
  • If the candidate is a certified master plumber with a work crew, do they have Worker’s Compensation?  Are all crew members licensed and insured?
  • Do the certified plumbing professionals take their occupation seriously?  Do they dress professionally; in uniform with company name, and I.D. badge or a business card in-hand?
  • Does the licensed plumbing professional offer 24-hour emergency service?  Will you be given a cell number, so the licensed journeyman plumber can be reached after office hours?
  • Is the licensed plumber knowledgeable about multifamily plumbing systems?
  • Does the licensed plumber explain available options for new plumbing fixtures, and the benefits and drawbacks of each?
  • Are certified plumbing professionals members of the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? 
  • What specialized services do the eco-friendly plumber or journeyman plumber provide?  Are plumber rates higher for these services?
  • Do residential plumber candidates utilize video cameras to more efficiently inspect plumbing fixtures for hidden leaks or problems?
  • Is the candidate an eco-friendly plumber?  If so, ask what particulars qualify him/her as eco-minded.
  • Does the licensed journeyman plumber keep their service vehicle well-stocked?  Does the plumbing professional charge for going to the store to acquire new plumbing fixtures and parts?
  • Do the certified plumbing professionals charge for overtime?  If so, what are the overtime plumber rates?
  • Do residential plumber candidates work for a drug-free company, requiring thorough background checks and random drug tests of employees?

How does the licensed plumbing professional answer when asked “How can you promote the long-term health of my home plumbing system?”

What advice do plumbing professional candidates give about conventional rooter services?  Note: typical rooter services may provide a temporary fix, but often does not address the problem’s root cause. Whereas an eco-friendly plumber or licensed journeyman plumber has the skill to repair plumbing problems drain pipe, interior plumbing sewer pipes, and external sewer lines – without disrupting your landscape or home. Also, rooter service provider expertise is usually confined to rooting services and techniques. While a residential plumber and other certified plumbing professionals are highly skilled in regards to all aspects of home plumbing systems. Including home plumbing problems large and small, and sewer and waste system piping and design. 

In addition to the above, listen carefully and pay attention to licensed plumber responses:

  • Does the residential plumber seem knowledgeable about methods of business and home plumbing repairs and maintenance? 
  • Does the journeyman plumber offer complete, informative responses to questions, or hem, haw, and side-track? 
  • What about licensed plumber rates?  Is he/she a good affordable plumber?  Are plumber rates within the same ballpark quoted by other certified plumbing professionals for same type services?
  • What about body language; does the licensed journeyman plumber make good eye contact?  Do they appear nervous and fidgety, or relaxed and at-ease?
  • Are licensed plumber candidates polite, courteous, and accommodating when responding to questions?  Or do they appear disinterested, impatient, or annoyed? 

While you don’t want to wear out the licensed plumber interview, or unnecessarily waste their time and yours, you don’t want to hire just any plumber. You need ample information to determine which contenders are most suitable for your business or home plumbing repairs project. 

Pass over just any plumber candidates that don’t meet your criteria.  Request from remaining certified plumbing professionals proof of licensing and insurance. And acquire recent client referral references, including contact information.

Once alone, verify credentials and references to ensure everything checks out. Also check to discover whether formal complaints exist against the licensed plumbing professional. Connect with such resources as the BBB, Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR), state labor board, and state department of licensing. 

Once you have made a final selection, meet with the licensed journeyman plumber of choice. Go over all aspects of the home plumbing repairs project in detail, including plumber rates. Get everything in writing, within a formal plumber contract agreement; before signing anything, or beginning work. Handy Tip: a plumber contract agreement should clearly outline the plumbing project in detail. Including licensed plumbing professional and project owner contact information, plumber credentials, location of work site, job details, materials required, material cost breakdown, plumber rates, required permits, and a timeline when plumbing system work will begin and end. Certified plumbing professionals and project owners should each retain identical copies of the plumber contract agreement.

One last thought. Even a detailed plumber contract agreement is rendered worthless for legal purposes, unless dated and signed by both the licensed journeyman plumber and the project owner. 



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