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What to Look for in an Emergency Plumber

What to Look for in an Emergency Plumber
6th November 2012

A plumbing emergency can strike at any time, and often, it occurs when it's least convenient. Having an overflowing toilet in the middle of the night, running out of hot water on Christmas or dealing with a sink that refuses to drain on a Sunday morning can cause panic to set in quickly.

Unfortunately, the stress and urgency of a plumbing emergency leads many homeowners to make quick, hasty decisions about whom they hire to fix the problem. While you may get lucky just hiring the first person in the phone book or the first result that appears on an Internet search, you could also end up entrusting your plumbing to someone who will cause more harm than good or leave you with additional hassles and stress.

Even though you need your plumbing emergency handled quickly, it's important to still be choosy about your plumber. By following these tips, you can ensure that the plumber you select is a trusted professional and that you'll receive the best service possible.

Who answers the phone? If you call an emergency plumber and receive an answering machine, hang up. A true professional emergency plumbing service should greet you with a live person no matter what day or time it is. Having a live person answer shows that the company cares about service and that they want to help you as quickly as possible. Plus, while some plumbers may check their answering machine messages frequently, you always run the risk of your call not being returned until the next business day.

Does the company have the proper credentials and protection? Although you'd like to think that every emergency plumber who advertises their services online and in print is reputable, some unscrupulous individuals take advantage of 24/7 plumbing services. Knowing that homeowners are likely to make snap decisions to receive timely service, companies that are unlicensed and uninsured often advertise overnight, weekend and holiday services. Make sure you ask the plumbing service if they are licensed and fully insured before you let them come to your home. Without a license, there's no guarantee that the company has the requisite skills to handle your problem. With no insurance, you could find yourself footing the bill if the plumber's work inadvertently damages your home.

How quickly will the plumber arrive? An emergency service that won't visit your home until the following day is not truly offering 24/7 service; they simply answer their phone all day, every day. Look for a company that will handle your needs as soon as possible, no matter when you phone.

Are follow-up services available? Some 24/7 plumbers are limited service providers who perform only emergency repairs. Look for a company that can return to the scene if necessary in the future. Often times, there is an underlying cause for a plumbing problem that may need additional work to remedy. For example, a toilet may have a sudden clog in the pipes that needs removed but also have a weak flush due to tree roots in the pipes. Top emergency plumbers will provide you with a plumbing inspection report that will detail any other problems that are present in your home and can return to assist you with those in the future.

Remember: just because you're facing an emergency, you shouldn't be any less careful about whom you choose to make your plumbing repairs. The extra minutes that you spend in a crisis choosing the right professional can save you hours of hassle down the road.

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