Michael Runk Blog

3 Questions to Ask When You Call for Plumbing Repairs

March 27, 2015

Plumbing issues can be different. There are emergency problems like a clogged drain or a backed-up sewer that have you calling the plumber right away. Then you have your non-emergency problems, such as a dripping faucet, that can wait a few days until you have time to deal with it. But regardless of how much of a rush you are in to have your plumbing repaired, don’t forget to interview your Maryland plumbing repair specialist before hiring them. Here are a few important questions to ask.

Are You Licensed?

Most of us assume that all plumbers are supposed to be licensed. Well, it’s true, they are “supposed to be,” but not all of them are. State licensing is the minimal requirement plumbers have to meet in order to sell their services. Plumbers’ licenses range from an apprentice to a Master Plumber, which is the highest rank a Maryland plumber can have after 7+ years of plumbing practice. In order to obtain a license, a plumber has to have a certain degree of training, experience, and be able to pass a test.

There may be great unlicensed plumbers out there, but you should never take this risk. A plumber without a license doesn’t have any responsibility before the State. So if any problems are to arise, you will have a hard time seeking a resolution. The work performed by an unlicensed plumber who didn’t pull appropriate permits may come back to “bite” you when it’s time to sell the house.

How Long Have You Been in Business?

A license alone doesn’t guarantee quality of workmanship. There are plenty of licensed plumbers who do a poor job. Talent and experience are the two things you should factor in when hiring a plumber. If it’s a larger company you are hiring, ask about the average experience level and qualifications of its employees. Some companies will answer the “years in business” question with the owner’s personal experience, so be sure to clarify what exactly they mean when they say they’ve been in business for 10 years.

Beware of plumbing companies that used to operate under different names. You can check the Better Business Bureau or do a Google search for this sort of information. It’s common for contractors (and many other businesses) to change names in order to escape a bad reputation. So if someone is doing business for 20 years but under 5 different names, that’s not a good sign.

What Are Your Fees?

Different plumbers and Maryland plumbing companies may use a different approach to pricing. Some will charge you by the hour. At Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating, we charge our customers by the job, as we think this is a fairer approach. While you are on the phone, also find out whether the estimates are free and whether there is a travel fee or emergency service fee. A reputable plumber will be happy to explain their fee structure to make sure you have an accurate idea of the total cost.

Since it was started in 1996 by a Master Plumber, Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating (MHIC license #9698) has quickly grown, and now has our own crew and trucks. We’ll be happy to assist you with any emergency or non-emergency plumbing repairs. Just give us a call or contact us online to schedule an appointment!

 


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