How to Choose the Best Licensed Plumber


When a bad thing happens with the plumbing system of your house, you may be forced to use lots of money to make corrections. This could have been caused by the poor plumbing of the house from the beginning. It can be a big problem if you do not sort out the plumbing issue as soon as possible. Worse still, it can be stressful for you if you do not know what to do with the problem. However, remember that it may cost you lots of money in the future if you do not sort out the problem in the present. The best option you have is to find a Licensed Plumber who can come over and check what the problem is.

So, how do you go about the process of choosing the right licensed plumber to come to see the problem? Whom do you need to consult before you choose the best plumbing company? What are some things one needs to consider when choosing a suitable licensed plumber?

Here are tips to follow when choosing the right licensed plumber:

Check their credentials

When it comes to credentials, you need to check whether the plumbing company has qualified staff. If it is a single plumber that comes to do the repairs in your home, get to know if they are registered and whether they have the right qualifications. Most states will require plumbers to be registered and trained. This information can be verified online.

What is their level of professionalism?

This is a very important aspect of a plumber that you should never take for granted. How do they dress as they come for work? How do they communicate to their clients? How do they do their invoicing? Are they organized in their work? Can they prove that they have worked for other clients before you? What kind of reviews did they get from such clients? Remember that you need to choose a professional plumber that you can rely on even in the future.

What are their charges?

It is always advisable that you should check the charges of the various plumbing companies that you consult. A professional plumber should give you the right estimates of their costs. Many plumbing companies can even offer quality services at good rates and do not compromise on their quality. As such, beware of the charges and how various plumbers come into computing these charges. As a precaution, do not engage a plumber who requires you to pay upfront before they start your work.

Are they adequately insured?

This is another very important aspect of your plumber that you should be aware of before you hire them. What happens in the event of damages as the plumber works on your premise? What if the plumbers get injured as they work for you? Who is in charge of their insurance compensation, treatment, and such things? Therefore, when hiring a professional plumber, ensure that they have the right kind of insurance coverage before they undertake your plumbing jobs.

How to Choose the Best Licensed Plumber

Should you hire unlicensed plumbers?

If you don’t want to pay the extra buck for a licensed plumber, you might want to give it a second thought. Here’s why:

Plumbers manage the water in your household

Even if the plumber comes for one issue, he will control all faucets and water running in your home. We’re talking about the water you drink and use for food, not only the one you use for washing clothes and dishes.

Do you want to have someone without a license to control the water that runs throughout your pipes? The health and well-being of you and your family depend on the water in your home. You want it to stay clean and clear. You want someone who knows enough to keep water’s quality at high standards and not to pose a threat to your health.

Licenses have meaning

For states where plumbing licenses are necessary, becoming a plumber doesn’t happen overnight. People go through school and are required to meet specific guidelines for education and hours on the job. For example, a journeyman plumber in Texas needs 8,000 hours on the job under the direct supervision of a licensed plumber. They also require to have the control of a Master plumber before they apply to become Master Plumbers.

Licensed plumbers study OSHA safety regulations, residential codes to renew the license every year. The penalty for not renewing the permit within two years is to begin the licensing process from scratch.

They have insurance

A licensed plumber will have insurance that protects the property and the homeowners who hired him for the job. Should the plumber get injured on the job, the homeowner will not have to pay for the medical bill.

All in all, if you think it’s a good idea to hire an unlicensed plumber, you might want to reconsider. Unless the plumber is licensed, you can never be sure of its knowledge, skills, and experience.

Should you call a licensed plumber or not?

Not all plumbing issues require servicing from a professional. Keep reading to find out which are the most common situations that require attention from a professional.

How to Choose the Best Licensed Plumber

The water is discolored

If you turn on the faucets and the water is brown, green, or yellow, the pipes could be corroded. Lines close to leaking and even bursting also give discolored water. Rust in the water pipes makes the water brown or yellow, whereas excessive corrosion in copper pipes leads to green-colored water.

There’s a bad smell in your house

A foul smell in your home is never a good sign, especially when it comes from faucets. Rotten eggs, sulfur, or human excrement smell are signs of a severe plumbing issue. The smell comes from sewer gas seeping into your home and that’s bad for your health if you breathe it in for too long.

A gas leak can also cause a rotten egg smell. To identify the source of smell, you will need to contact the plumber to identify the issue and repair it.

The plumbing pipes seem worn out

For many of us, it will be years until we check out the pipes under the sinks and pipes in the basement. However, we should be responsible and examine the pipes at least twice a year for discoloration. Copper water pipes with green/white discoloration around the seams and joints are corroded, explaining the slow leaking. Galvanized steel pipes and cast iron with red patches have rusted and are close to bursting.

The water has low pressure

Typically, a problem with the municipal water supply can lead to low water pressure. It can also indicate that a leak on the water main is present. Call the plumber if the low water pressure also comes with discolored water, high water bill, or damage on the walls.

Several drains in your home are slow

It’s not major if a pipe in your home is slow at draining. Hair may clog the drain, especially if the pipe is in the bathroom or shower. However, if most drains are slow in your home, you could be dealing with a partially blocked sewer line that requires professional cleaning.

There’s a puddle in your yard, and you have no explanation for it

If you wake up in the morning and see a puddle, sunken spot, or soft spot in your yard, even though it hasn’t rained in a while, a sewer pipe has partially/completely collapsed. Therefore, you need to call a plumber to replace the sewer pipe.

The water meter runs for no reason

You need to call professionals when you don’t have water running but the meter’s needle/digital output moves. A water leak in the system has occurred and only a licensed plumber will find it and fix the leak.

The floor/carpet is wet/sagging

If you notice wet spots in the carpet or the floor is sagging, even though nobody spilled water on the floor, a slab leak could be the reason for it. Homes with concrete slab foundations have drain lines and water pipes running under and through the slab. Should any pipes leak, the concrete absorbs the water and deposits it on the floors beneath the house. Mildew, mold, and severe flooding damage are some of the effects. If not addressed accordingly, the leak can affect your home’s foundation.

Paint and wallpapers’ colors are deteriorating

Don’t expect to see a gush of water happening in your home from a water leak. Most of the time, they don’t happen like this. On the contrary, the leaks are slow and water drips all the time onto the surfaces. Yellow and dark rings, brown/black spots on the ceilings and walls are all signs of water leaks. Peeling or bubbling paint/wallpaper are also signs that water leaks behind a wall.

The water bills are higher than usual

When your month-to-month water bills keep on growing and your water usage is the same as usual, a leak in the system could be the reason for it. Should that be the case for you, we recommend you call the professionals to look for other leaks that could explain the high water bill.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do licensed plumbers charge per hour?

Expect to pay anything from $20 to $150 per hour. The individual plumber’s expertise and location can also weigh in when it comes to pricing. You will most likely pay the local minimum wage for a new journeyman plumber. However, an experienced plumber familiar with the most challenging jobs will charge a much higher price.

Is it necessary to tip a plumber?

Most of the time, you don’t need to tip the plumber. After all, you hire him for plumbing work. If the plumber will spend more time than anticipated or manage another problem than the one you’ve hired him for, it’s nice to tip him. Make sure you tip him for more than $20.

Are plumbing licenses required in all states?

Some states don’t require licensing for the plumbers. Kansas, New York, Nebraska, Missouri, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania are states where licensing isn’t mandatory for plumbers.

Do plumbers have different levels?

Three stages of plumber licensing are available for most states: apprentice, journeyman, and master. An apprenticeship typically refers to a classroom component and also on-the-job training. The journeyman plumber is allowed to work independently and supervises the work of apprentices.

To become a master plumber, candidates need to meet experience and exam requirements. Licensed master plumbers will supervise the junior plumbers, get projects permits, and operate plumbing businesses.

What are specialty licensed plumbers?

Specialty licenses are available in some states. For instance, plumbers in Washington get specialties like domestic well, pump, irrigation, residential, and backflow. Specialty licenses don’t require experience like a full journeyman or master’s license.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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