How to Hire the Right Licensed Plumber near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Most of us don’t think about hiring an affordable plumber near Tuscaloosa AL until a water pipe starts leaking or a faucet stops working. By then it’s often an emergency situation and trying to find reliable plumbing services when water is pooling on the floor can be a chaotic task. You can search on the internet or check the listings in the yellow pages, but how do you make sure that you are hiring an experienced and licensed professional? After all, what you are really looking for is a skilled tradesman who can handle any plumbing job, from installing a hot water heater to repairing a water main. Oh, and don’t forget, all repairs and services should be completed for a reasonable price. And perhaps the most important qualification when searching for someone who works locally is that the contractor has an excellent reputation within the community. Not much to ask for, is it? Well actually, it’s not and if you know what to look for and ask the right questions, you can find a qualified plumber that’s a perfect fit for your job. But before we dive into how to hire a plumber, let’s take a look at what a plumber does and the reasons you should hire one.
Plumber Job Description
You are no doubt already aware that Tuscaloosa AL plumbers play a vital role in the installation and maintenance of water systems within residential and commercial buildings. Most of us, at one time or another, have called upon the services of a plumbing contractor when a pipe has burst or a sump pump needed to be replaced. As a general definition, a plumber is a skilled tradesman who repairs, installs or replaces pipes, water supplies and other components of a plumbing system. What you may not know is that a professional plumber typically goes through 3 phases during his or her career. They are:
- Apprentice plumbers. Most new plumbers start out their careers as an Apprentice. An Apprentice will typically work under the guidance of a licensed plumber during the day and may attend plumbing classes in the evening. Once the apprenticeship has been completed, the next phase can begin.
- Journeyman plumbers. With the completion of the Apprentice program and the required trade school or community college training, the Journeyman licensing can be applied for. Although more experienced and knowledgeable than an Apprentice, a Journeyman Plumber must still in most cases work under the supervision of a Master Plumber.
- Master Plumbers. Once the Journeyman Plumber has the work experience required in his or her state, as well as completed any additional education requirements, he or she can apply to become a Master Plumber. Master Plumbers enjoy the benefits of working without supervision and may start their own business and employ Apprentice and Journeyman plumbers.
Plumbing is a technical field that takes several years of training and experience to master. So be sure when interviewing Tuscaloosa AL plumbers for your job that you find out what phase of their careers they are in and who will ultimately be responsible for the supervision and completion of the work.
Plumbing Repairs or Replacement Services
As we have discussed, most Tuscaloosa AL plumbers offer a wide range of services. Following is a list of some of the services that you can expect a professional plumbing company to offer. Naturally the list is not all inclusive, nor does every contractor offer the same services. So be sure to inquire when soliciting plumbing proposals if the service you require is offered in your area.
- Boiler installation and repair
- Water heater installation and repair
- Clear drain clogs
- Repair or replace faucets and fixtures
- Leak detection and pipe repair
- Radiant floors installation and service
- Clear or repair sewer mains
- Sump pump installation
- Lawn and fire sprinkler installation and repair
- Water main repair or replacement
If it is not on the list and it has to do with water and piping, a plumber can probably handle it. Often they work with other skilled Tuscaloosa AL tradesmen, such as electricians or HVAC technicians when more complex systems are installed, such as during new construction projects. Some may specialize in either residential or commercial projects exclusively, so be sure to inquire before hiring.
Why Hire a Professional Plumbing Service
Plumbing is a trade that is licensed and regulated by each State or local municipality. It is probably not the type of work that you want to entrust to a handyman or a generalist. So if your water boiler is leaking or your lawn sprinklers need repair, it’s important to retain the services of a licensed Tuscaloosa AL plumber working in your area. Following are just some of the reasons why hiring a professional master plumber is recommended over hiring an unlicensed local handyman.
- They get the job done fast. When your kitchen is flooding because a pipe under your sink has sprung a leak, you want someone who can get there fast and get the job done right. Many professional plumbing services offer 24 Hour Emergency Service, so that a licensed Tuscaloosa AL plumber can be at your home during off-peak hours or whenever you need him (or her!). And not only will they get there fast, but they will do the job right the first time and guarantee their work.
- They have the expertise to get to the root of the problem. Sometimes an issue may seem very basic, such as fixing a leak. However, sometimes there may be a more complex issue involved that if not fixed immediately could result in more expensive repairs in the future. Licensed professional Tuscaloosa AL plumbers have the expertise and experience to find the root cause of your plumbing problem so it is fixed right and completely the first time.
- They have the resources to obtain the right parts. Many professional Tuscaloosa AL plumbers carry a wide assortment of parts right in their service vehicles. And if they don’t have the exact part they need for your job, they know where to get it fast, often while they’re still on your job. If larger items need to be replaced, such as a water heater or garbage disposal, they often have access to special deals that can save you money over buying retail.
- They keep up to date on the latest systems and techniques. As a professional, your licensed Tuscaloosa AL plumber keeps abreast of the latest developments in his profession. For example, the keep abreast of new tools and equipment and new ways of installing and repairing water systems in your home. Professionals take pride in their work and staying current on the latest trends in their industry. They may even be able to make recommendations that could save you money on your electric, gas or water bills.
Steps to Hiring a Plumbing Contractor
Finding a plumber is just the start of your hiring process to ensure you select the right professional for your job. There are steps you should take and questions you should ask to make sure that the Tuscaloosa AL contractor you hire is both qualified and reputable. Following are some of those questions and steps that you should consider taking before committing to hiring a plumbing specialist for any project large or small.
- Ask family and friends for referrals. Often the best source for finding a good plumbing contractor is by asking friends and family if they have used someone that they were happy with. When you receive a referral, ask what type of work the contractor did, if they were completely satisfied with the work, and if the price was fair and in line with other contractors. Another way to obtain referrals that is becoming more popular is to use a service that pre-screens contractors in Tuscaloosa AL that will provide no obligation quotes for plumbing services.
- Verify that the plumber has required licenses and insurance. Be sure to check that the Tuscaloosa AL contractor you are considering is in compliance with all local and Alabama licensing requirements and certifications. Also, be sure to ask for certificates of insurance for the contractor’s Worker’s Compensation and Liability Insurance in the event that there is an injury to an employee while working or damage to your property. As a precaution, contact the insurance companies to make sure that the coverages are all current.
- Find out How Long in Business. Many new Alabama companies fail within the first few years of business, making it difficult if not impossible for their former customers to receive any warranty work in the future. Also, some less scrupulous companies close down and reopen new businesses periodically when customer complaints mount. That is not to say that all newer companies are not reputable, just try to find out a little bit more about the background of the principals involved when evaluating a new enterprise.
- Check for customer complaints. Do some due diligence by checking with the Alabama Attorney General’s office and the Better Business Bureau for any complaints filed against the Tuscaloosa AL plumbing contractor you are considering. Online local rating services, such as those provided by Google and Yelp, can also provide some insight regarding the reputation of the contractor within your community.
- Ask for references. Talk with 2 or 3 past clients of the contractor to get some feedback on the quality of the work performed. Ask if they were completely satisfied with their experience, and if not, why not. Also, did the final bill come in as quoted, and if not, why not. Finally, ask them if they had a major plumbing project in the future, would they likely re-hire the same Tuscaloosa AL contractor.
- Obtain several bids before making your final choice. It is a good idea to get bids from at least 3 Tuscaloosa AL area contractors before selecting the plumbing specialist for the job. Overall cost is important, but be sure to also compare the quality of the components installed or replaced, including warranties. Keep in mind that always going for the cheapest proposal is not necessarily the best value in the long run.
- Get it all in writing. Once you have narrowed down your search to your final selection, ask the Tuscaloosa AL plumber to put it all in writing. Things that you want to see in writing are all of the costs and fees, start and completion dates, guarantees and warranties, and payment due dates. Most importantly, be sure that you receive a detailed summary of all work to be completed, and systems to be installed, including brand and model numbers. If permits are required, make sure that they will handle them as well. There should be no surprises or deviations from the written proposal without your approval.
A Little Bit About Tuscaloosa Alabama
If you live in Tuscaloosa AL and are looking for an affordable plumber that services your area, here is a little bit of background information that you may find interesting about your home town.
Tuscaloosa (/tʌskəˈluːsə/ TUS-kə-LOO-sə) is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama (in the southeastern United States). Located on the Black Warrior River at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the Piedmont, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 100,287 in 2017.
Incorporated as a town on December 13, 1819, it was named after Tuskaloosa, the chief of a band of Muskogean-speaking people. They battled and were defeated by forces of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mabila, thought to have been located in what is now central Alabama. Tuscaloosa served as Alabama's capital city from 1826 to 1846.
Tuscaloosa is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the area of west-central Alabama known as West Alabama. It is the principal city of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Hale and Pickens counties. In 2013 its estimated metro population was 235,628. Tuscaloosa is also the home of The University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College. While the city attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County, the University of Alabama remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city.
Home Plumbing Services Near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Finding and hiring the right Tuscaloosa AL plumbing service is not as hard as you thought. Just as long as you ask the right questions and follow the steps we have outlined in this article. You originally came to our website because you have an interest in Home Plumbing Services. So remember, there is no obligation to receive free proposals from some of the top Alabama plumbers servicing your area. So what are you waiting for? Find the right professional at the right price now!
More Plumbing Service Areas in Alabama