Plumbing disasters are never convenient. Burst pipes lead to flooding and a ton of damage. Trying to find an emergency plumber on nights and weekends or holidays? Good luck.

Best way to avoid surprises is maintenance. But most folks ignore tiny leaks or warning signs. You think it’s just a little drip. Then BOOM, thousands down the drain for restoration because it got outta hand.

Having a go-to plumber makes handling surprises easier. This info will help you spot a pro ahead of time.

Hiring the Right Person Matters

Things break sometimes, that’s life. Few things suck more than sudden busted pipes or an overflowing toilet though. Always happens when it’s most annoying too. This often means calling in a pro even if you stop-gap it. Smart homeowners keep plumbers on speed dial. Separating the pros from rookies ain’t easy though.

The Sunset Plumbing guys handed over the inside scoop on finding reliable plumbers who got your back. This info will fill you in on red flags too so you dodge cowboys who botch jobs. Goal here is finding plumbers focused on communication and lifetime service no matter the problem.

What you’re looking for here is trustworthiness, honest pricing, and good response times. When you get the right plumber, you’ll stay with them for the long run. And get some peace of mind.

Choosing Who to Trust

Good plumbers answer ASAP when called. They check out emergencies thoroughly with cameras and experience. But it ain’t just about patching leaks – you need someone to handle routine stuff like seasonal drain cleanouts and installing new equipment like tankless heaters or filtered irrigation.

Ask if they tackle all kinds of jams, leaks, gas problems, backflows, floods. Get a feel for their experience overcoming whatever problem happens on the job.

You need a plumber who has seen it all. Experience and know-how are essential in this game. Effective scheduling and a well-stocked van with all the commonly used parts are essential too.

Check Their Papers

Licenses mean specialized training, passing exams, and continuing ed. Certifications are extra expertise like gas lines, industrial drain snake operation – stuff needs proper know-how. Licensed folks carry big liability insurance too – protects both sides if something goes really wrong. Steer clear of handypeople sans paperwork.

Too many people are operating side gigs in trades without licensing. Proper pros have the necessary papers and accreditations to carry out the work needed.

Always ask to see plumber’s licensing and other papers such as liability insurance. If something goes wrong, you may have no comeback to get work put right or damages paid for.

Experience and Services

Check years in business and all that they can do before deciding. You need depth from thousands of previous gigs wrangling weird clogs or finding buried pipes. But you also want wide familiarity installing and running new water filters etc. Ask about past emergencies successfully handled to confirm they can handle whatever curveballs arise.

Experience counts for a lot in this game. A plumber freshly certified may be perfectly capable. But a seasoned pro will be less surprised when coming across a less than usual problem. And, when things go wrong as they may, your plumber will be capable of fixing it. This could be fortuitous if you’re talking about a catastrophic flooding problem.

Read Reviews, Get Referrals

Used to be word-of-mouth was how plumbers got work. Phonebook ads too. Now it’s online reviews and sites building reputations. Mix of neighbor reviews and online feedback helps choose. Some reviews ain’t real though. Personal recs from colleagues confirm things.

Beware that fake reviews exist. Some are placed by service companies to boost their rep. While others may be from disgruntled clients. These are not always fair and accurate. Best to get a balance of these reviews and make a judgment call about the plumber’s real reputation. Often, these dodgy reviews are very easy to spot. Repetition in comments for instance is a sign to look for.

Fair Fees and Availability

Find plumbers with clear website pricing and services. Quotes should cover everything, no surprise add-ons later. For big stuff some do overall project rates rather than hourly. Make sure that includes off-hours, travel, all potential fees.

Should get clear answers about billing. Legit plumbers explain fees no problem. Dodgy responses about money are red flags. Asking questions of your potential plumber is perfectly acceptable. If you find the answers are evasive or questions skirted around, it’s another red flag.

Ask about emergency access and follow-up too. Compare care plans and warranties. Good work is vital, but after-care services are often needed to tidy up little repairs.

Signs of a True Professional

Few other things to watch for – do they return calls promptly? Fully licensed? Presentable? Clean up after themselves? Shows they respect clients, communicate clearly, and focus on quality.

This respect goes back to appearance and communication too. Gone are the days of scruffy contractors. Your plumber should be clean and presentable. They should clear up the mess after they finish work. Customer service is as important as the quality of work in many ways.

Solutions That Last

Shortcut repairs fall apart quickly.. Some cowboys are still slinging shoddy work out there though. True pros commit to quality, long-haul solutions. To stop recurring problems, they need to identify the root causes.

For example, recurring clogged drains seem temporarily fixed by a quick plunge. Check flow speed and direction changes, scan pipes for leaks and wear with cameras, repair damaged sections.

The Bottom Line

Once you’ve got a plumber you trust, you can hope for a long relationship. When you’ve got the right one you can keep plumbing running without issues. Preventative care and regular inspections help avoid those nasty surprises. This is what a good plumbing service brings to you.

And if the worst happens, you know you have a responsive plumber to hand. Hopefully this info has helped you locate the right service, and someone you can trust.