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Top 10 Standards & Expectations When You Hire A San Diego Plumber

Picking The Right Plumber

Many of us do not know what to expect when to call a plumber. In some industries, where there is little to no competition, it can be common for companies to be rude and have very poor customer service skills. In San Diego, there are many plumbing companies to chose from, so to stand out from the crowd, San Diego plumbers must find ways to stand out from the competition.

Below is two lists. The first list describes what should be standard from any San Diego plumbing company you hire, whether it is a one man shop or a large 150 employee operation. The second list is what a great plumbing company would have in addition to the standards. We will call them ‘extras’.

Standards:

1. They should be licensed. In the state of California a plumbing contractor is required to carry a C-36 plumbing license for jobs over $500

2. They should be bonded. California requires a minimum surety bond of $12,500. This bond protects the homeowner in case the contractor fails to fulfill his duties in the contract

3. General liability insurance. If you are a homeowner and have small repairs done, you should expect your local plumber to carry at least $500,000 in liability insurance. This will cover you incase the plumber accidentally catches your house on fire or causes a flood.

4. They should answer the phone immediately or call you back within 1 hour. Many small plumbing contractors cannot yet afford to hire office staff to answer the phone. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire them. Small contractors can often give you better service and lower rates because they are trying to grow their business. 

5. A minimum of a 1 year warranty on any repair or replacement that the plumber performs. 

6. The plumber should have a minimum of 4 years experience in the field. The state will not give out a license unless the plumber candidate can prove at least 4 years journeyman level experience. Obviously the more experience the better. However a plumber with 4 years of experience generally has a great deal of knowledge. It San Diego, plumbers with 2 years of experience and less are often seen working in homes all over the city. Don’t hesitate to ask the call taker how many years of experience the technician they are sending out has. 

7. You should be provided a written contract. Whether the company is charging flat rate prices, or time and material, everything must be in writing. 

8. There should be a local phone number that you call. If the plumber has an out of state or a different cities area code, there is a very small chance he won’t be around to honor his warranty if something were to happen to your plumbing after you left. 

9. The plumber should have all of his tools to do the job. He should not be asking you for wrenches, drop cloths or paper towels.

10. He should show up when he says he does. It is common for plumbing companies to schedule in windows due to the uncertainty of work during the day. Most companies will schedule in 4 hour windows. This give us plenty of breathing room to get to the next call in case we get stuck on a job. If the plumber is running behind it should be expected that you receive a phone call letting you know he will be late, and if service has to be re-scheduled for another day, a discount or coupon should be offered for the inconvenience. 

Extras: 

1. The plumbers will wear shoe covers into your home. This accomplishes two things. One, it is a sign of respect. If the plumber is willing to put on shoe cores to protect your flooring, then he is willing to do perform excellent work on your plumbing system. Two, it keeps your floor clean. You never know the last job your plumber was on.

2. The plumbing company should offer extended warranties. You will have to pay extra, but if your plumbing has high use, then the extra money is worth it. For example, the average life of a water heater is 6-8 years old. We offer lifetime warranties. So this could pay for itself very quickly.

3. You should look for a few internet reviews. Although there are still a lot of great plumbing companies out there that are old school and refuse to be on the internet, the majority have jumped on board and can be found on the internet. Not having any reviews is not necessarily a bad thing, however if there are good reviews, you can be a little more certain that you are hiring a good company.

4. Do they have discounts? You can check their website for coupons and ask if they have discounts if you are a: Senior Citizen, Military, Police, Firefighter, Teacher etc. Common discounts for these people is 5% off the total bill.

5. What brands does the company put in? If they say Glacier Bay or Pegasus, chances are, you don’t want to hire them. These two brands are very poorly made and often installed by shady contractors. Stick with the brands that have been around the longest. For example we install: TOTO, Grohe, Kohler and Moen

6. What trade organizations does your plumber belong to? The local chamber of commerce, PHCC and the BBB are all good examples. This shows that your plumber is actively trying to better his business by being a part of these organizations.

7. Your plumber accepting credit cards is a plus. There are many small shops that don’t accept credit cards because they can’t afford to pay the fee. A sign of a great plumbing company is that they will accept checks, credit cards and cash

8. The technicians are neatly groomed and well dressed. Everybody feels more comfortable around somebody that takes pride in their appearance. Chances are if your plumber dresses good and smells good, he will be a great plumbing technician for you

9. The plumbing company will have their plumbers drug tested and back ground checked. If you are a stay at home mom, this should be a top priority. Plumbing is the number one trade learned in the prison system, and the trade attracts a lot of knuckleheads. Make sure you know who is coning into your home

10. You should receive a courtesy phone call after the plumber leaves to see how his visit was. If there was an issue during your visit, it can be hard to confront the plumber. It is usually easier to let somebody else know what the problem was and how you would like it resolved. It is not uncommon to receive a small discount or a coupon for your next service call. 

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