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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber in 2024

Are you in Central Pennsylvania and need help from a local plumber? We understand that between upgrading or renovating your home and unexpected plumbing emergencies, there are few things as stressful as when you need a plumber and you need them fast. When choosing the right professionals to assist you with any plumbing difficulties you may face, there is no such thing as being too picky. 

While you can easily do an online search and find the nearest one to you, we recommend taking the time to ask prospective plumbers a few questions before inviting them to take on a critical home maintenance task. In over 72 years of business, the experts at WM Buffington have heard from thousands of customers and understand their most common questions. To help you in your own search, here are the top questions to ask before hiring a plumber in 2024. 

The Importance of Hiring a High-Quality Plumber 

While it may be tempting, especially in an emergency, to call the closest plumber, we cannot stress enough how important it is to ensure that you’re hiring one that is well-trained, certified, and professional. On one hand, hiring a high-quality plumber will ensure service-oriented results and guaranteed satisfaction - you’re hiring a stranger into your home, so it’s wise to choose a company that can be trusted with a kind and hassle-free experience. On the other hand, you need to ensure that you are getting the highest quality results. Plumbing, heating, and air conditioning emergencies can be a significant disruption in your life, so it’s important that a fix is quickly found and guaranteed to last with good workmanship. 

Asking the following questions will help you gauge the professionalism and suitability of a plumber for your home’s project. 

1. Do you have any references? 

Any plumber worth their salt should be able to provide you with at least a few references from clients, preferably from people who are also in the Central Pennsylvania area. Most companies have realized the importance of having an online presence in an increasingly digital world, and websites and social media pages that have an easy-to-find references section should give you a good indication of the quality of their work. If their references are hidden or look fake, this is an indication that they do not have many good references and should therefore be avoided. 

2. Are you fully qualified and licensed? 

Inquiring about whether a potential plumber is qualified and licensed is another way to gain perspective on the expected quality of their results. The plumbing team of any company should be fully certified and trained in order to carry out their work efficiently and effectively, while also being able to go a step further by helping identify any weaknesses in your home’s comfort system, whether it is plumbing, heating, or cooling. 

3. Do you have insurance? 

Like licensing, insurance is a vital component of quality plumbing, ensuring that both you and the plumber are covered in case of damage. Insurance should cover anything from accidents to mistakes, and even theft. Without insurance, a plumber is likely to be more selective about what type of job they are prepared to tackle.

4. How long have you been in business for? 

The years a company has been in business will tell you a few things. Firstly, it speaks to the integrity of management that ensures every customer is satisfied with the results and satisfied with their experience working with the plumbing company in general. It also speaks to the quality of plumbing services done - without happy customers with word-of-mouth references, it’s difficult for a plumbing company to stay in business. A long time in business, therefore, will be an indication that you’re working with a reputable and high-quality plumber, whereas a shorter time in business makes their quality less certain. 

5. Do you do the work yourself or subcontract? 

Understanding who does the work for a plumber directly relates to accountability and the expected results of a project. If a plumbing company does all the work themselves, you can be confident that they will stay true to all of their claims of quality and satisfaction. However, if a company uses subcontractors, they lose some if not all of the control of the end product as well as the associated customer-plumber interaction. It’s wise to hire a plumber that does all the work themself. 

6. What are your areas of expertise? 

Between plumbing, heating, and cooling, there’s a great variety of projects that you may need completed, each with its particular requirements of skill and experience. By asking a plumber what they specialize in, you can ensure that their experience aligns with the task you need help with. If you can help it, always hire a plumber who has experience or is even specialized in the skills needed for your project. 

7. Are your services available 24/7?

It’s sensible to differentiate between plumbers that offer around-the-clock emergency services and those that carry out non-emergency work only. The latter will usually not visit a property in an emergency, or be available 24/7, while the former will be. Plumbing emergencies can happen at any time so it is worth having the contact details of a plumbing company that offers their services, all day every day.

8. How quickly can a service be finished? 

It’s wise to have a firm expectation of when a service can be carried out as well as how long it will take to complete the task. The estimated time of completion is, of course, dependent upon the project in question, but a confident plumber who knows their team, skills, and capabilities along with having experience in similar projects will be able to offer a reasonably accurate estimate. 

9. What communities do you service? 

This vital question will ensure that the plumber in question will indeed be able to help you when you call upon them. While this may be obvious, we recommend only contacting plumbers who specialize in work within your community. 

Looking For a Plumber in Harrisburg?

If you’re in Harrisburg or another  Central Pennsylvania city and need plumbing support, don’t hesitate and contact the plumbers at WM Buffington today! With over 72 years of experience, we have the experience and reputation to ease all of your concerns, whatever the project you have planned or the emergency at hand. With a tailor-made plan for your household’s specific needs, anything from plumbing and insulation to heating and air conditioning is done right with WM Buffington.

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