What Qualities Help Define a Great Plumber?
Be honest. As a homeowner, how often do you think about plumbers and plumbing services? Thought so!
But there are times when homeowners such as yourself might find themselves in distressing, if not a traumatic condition, because of some severe problem such as a broken pipe or a failed hot water heater.
The fact is, plumbing is one of the most critical and significant assets of your home and provides services ranging from bathing and drinking water to sewage removal and everything in between.
Since plumbing systems are often complicated, installations and repairs can be costly and sometimes even extensive, and every homeowner wants to make sure that they hire a plumber who is trustworthy and proficient at in-home plumbing repairs or reconstructions.
That said, there are certain qualities that every plumber should possess which are just as important as their working tools.
#1: Proper licensing and certification
First off, every good plumber should be licensed and certified. A licensed plumber should always be your first choice. A professional license is actual proof that he/she is knowledgeable in this line of work. It also proves that the plumber has gone through the proper training, passed the necessary tests, and met certain requirements. By hiring a licensed plumber, you’re entrusting your plumbing system to someone who knows the industry inside and out.
Plumbers also earn a certification after undergoing a series of thorough tests. This ensures they have what it takes to solve even the toughest of plumbing problems. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your plumbing system is in the right hands when you hire a certified plumber.
A topnotch plumber should be willing and happy to show you their credentials.
Note: The State of Pennsylvania has no plumbing licensing requirement at this time. However, a journeyman plumber will still need a journeyman plumbing license in order to work legally. In Pennsylvania, counties, and cities issue journeyman plumbing licenses, and the requirements vary. In general, the journeyman plumber is required to have experience as an apprentice plumber working under the supervision of a licensed master plumber. Plus, they will need to continue working under a licensed plumber in order to pass the licensing exam set by your county or city. In Allegheny County, all master plumbers must be registered with the Allegheny County Health Department. Only Registered Master Plumbers who possess a current plumbing license or owner/occupant of an existing single-family dwelling may apply for a plumbing permit.
#2: Appropriately insured
Some plumbing tasks are risky and raise the odds of the plumber getting injured on the job. For this reason, you should insist on looking for a plumber that is insured. Again, this will give peace of mind since you won’t have to pay for any medical expenses should an accident occur. Stay away from uninsured plumbers as they will burn a hole in your pocket if they get injured in your home.
#3: Outstanding reputation
Apart from being licensed and insured, having an outstanding reputation is also necessary. People talk about experts in almost all fields, including plumbing. Topnotch plumbers get talked about and have a good standing reputation within their local communities. Their reputation encompasses the qualities we’re mentioning in this blog and is the reason why people hire them.
Make sure you verify the reputation of any plumber before engaging them. Today, with the internet, you can easily read reviews from people who have used the services of a particular company you’re considering. Past clients provide these reviews or ratings to help guide those who may need them. Not keen on the internet? You can also ask for a referral from friends and relatives. A topnotch plumber will always have plenty of happy clients who will gladly provide a reference.
#4: High level of experience
There is an old Latin phrase, “Experientia docet,” which means experience is the best teacher.
There is no substitute for experience when choosing a plumbing company. Experience tells you that the plumber has gained immense knowledge over the years and can perform the job without mistakes.
While young entrepreneurs should always be given an opportunity, when it comes to services like plumbing, experience is king. It’s safer and smarter to seek out a company that has years of experience in the plumbing industry and who hires experienced plumbers who exhibit know-how in all areas of plumbing. The experience plumbers get while on the job is priceless and goes well beyond what they will learn in training.
As a general rule of thumb, pick a company that’s been in business at least ten years as this is a good indicator of their level of experience and quality of service.
#5: Ability to fix all types of plumbing problems
A good plumber always knows how to fix a variety of plumbing problems. They may have to deal with a wide range of difficulties such as blocked drains, hot and cold-water renewals, general maintenance, stormwater drains, clogged sinks or basins, water leakage, toilets, showers and bathtubs, carbon monoxide testing, burst pipes and much more.
A topnotch plumber will assess and complete the job quickly without leaving possible future malfunctions and will also give suggestions for the best options for your plumbing system.
#6: Problem-solving skills
Another big difference among plumbers is their problem-solving skills. A topnotch plumber should be able to analyze the situation in detail and come up with an appropriate solution to most any plumbing problem. That means the plumber needs to gather all the requirements of the job at hand and offer the best solutions to meet them. In some cases, multiple options are available with a variety of pros and cons. A good plumber is capable of choosing the right option by first analyzing all the aspects.
At times, no clear information is available. For example, let’s say the connection of a pipeline cannot be located. In such a situation, the plumber has to trust his/her instinct to make the best of the circumstances.
#7: Technical skillset
One of the first things to look for in a topnotch plumber is a skillset. They should possess knowledge about every aspect of the job. They must be mindful of all the techniques used for performing plumbing tasks effectively.
Understanding the basic mechanics of what makes the water valve work, what type of tubing is most suitable for specific applications, and the like are just some of the many aspects of mechanics and technical concepts that plumbers need to know.
A topnotch plumber should also demonstrate expertise in handling and using all types of plumbing tools. They should also be adaptable. At times, plumbers are required to work in a confined and awkward space. He/she should be able to adjust accordingly and find a way to get the job done.
#8: Communication skills
Often, people disregard this quality when, in fact, it’s quite important. A plumber is not only identified by his technical skills but also by their ability to communicate with a client. Strong communication skills are a must. There is a lot to understand with plumbing, and a good plumber should be able to communicate all the possible solutions and list any future problems that might occur in plain language.
A topnotch plumber will also be empathetic and a good listener. Listening skills go hand-in-hand with communication skills. A plumber needs to be able to listen to the client to understand the problem fully. It’s also a great way to make a client feel comfortable.
#9: Organization skills
Plumbers that don’t get the job right the first time are usually not well organized. It’s worth noting that plumbing jobs require multiple details, such as the right tools and necessary permits, among others. If your plumber is not organized, for example, they might not get the necessary documents or keep them safe and sound. Furthermore, unorganized plumbers won’t use their time well to maximize their efforts.
#10: Safety a priority
Every professional plumber ought to prioritize safety. Plumbing problems will always be handled capably with good plumbers that use safe practices and also follow safety procedures to the letter.
#11: Respect your time
A plumber may give a “ballpark” estimate for when they will arrive at your home, but true professionals often provide a more precise estimated time of arrival. If the plumber you’ve hired calls when he/she is running late or will be arriving early – even by just a few minutes – it’s a sure sign they respect your time as well as their work.
#12: Respect your home
A plumber might spend six or eight hours a day working in your home, but you’re the one who has to live there. A professional will respect your home by putting plastic booties over their work boots before walking over your carpet. They will also take care to protect any of your property that could be damaged by their work, or they will ask you to move it. In addition, a true pro tidies up their work area at the end of the day, even if the homeowner won’t be using the space. This kind of care bodes well for the quality of the work.
#13: Answers your questions
Whether it’s a full bathroom remodel or a simple leak fix, chances are you’ll have questions about the project. A professional plumber should be willing to provide an answer, but the mark of a true pro is the ability to take complex concepts and communicate them in layman’s terms.
They should also be able to explain why they’re choosing a particular method of repair. In essence, this is especially important in a world where many homeowners choose do-it-yourself plumbing and have some knowledge of the industry. Your plumber should always be open to discussing repair options.
#14: Go out of their way for you
What exactly does it mean to go out of the way? It involves the willingness to do something that might be beyond the job description. A topnotch plumber is prepared to do more than the job requires. For instance, apart from fixing the plumbing issues, they might also mentor about how a client can keep their plumbing system in good shape. They are also ready to answer inquiries even long after the fixing’s done. They could also give free consultations.
Indeed, a highly qualified plumber goes beyond the technical skills required to fix plumbing issues. They have the quality of valuing customers’ welfare above all.
#15: Offer a service warranty
Another trait possessed by expert plumbers is a service warranty. Not all plumbers are willing to stand behind their work with an extended warranty. If you experience issues with your plumbing system shortly after repair and the plumbers you picked doesn’t offer a warranty, you might have to dig deeper into your pocket for the repairs. That’s why you should make sure you avoid plumbers that don’t provide an extended warranty for their work.
To be honest, this list of qualities is not complete. You might add punctuality, dedication, trustworthiness, a commitment to the environment, professional memberships, and interpersonal skills, among other qualities to this list.