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Top 7 Questions to Ask Your Plumber in Dallas

Dallas weather presents particular challenges for residential and commercial plumbing. Cold weather in the winter can freeze pipes. The year-round high humidity encourages mold growth in HVAC and boiler systems. Foundational slab leaks are a common problem caused by a large amount of rainfall in the city.

Living in this large Texas city, you will find an abundance of plumbers ready to help. However, you may also hear horror stories from friends who hired a dishonest or unskilled contractor. How can you find the right plumber for your home or building?

Are you searching for a plumber in Dallas? We've created this handy guide to lead you through the process of finding, vetting, and hiring your new plumber.

Finding Recommendations

Search online for "Dallas plumber" and you'll get thousands of results. You'll only be able to interview 3-5 of these. Here are three ways to cut down on this list.

Word of Mouth

Ask your friends, neighbours, and relatives about who they use. This is a great way to start since you can get a sense of how the plumber operates from someone that you know and trust. Word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the best ways to narrow the list of potential candidates.

If you're coming up short of candidates from people you know, you'll need to turn to the internet.

Home Advisor, Yelp, Angie's List

There are quite a few sites online dedicated to reviewing contractors. One of these sites can help you choose a handful of plumbers that have received stellar customer feedback.

These sites do have a couple of downsides, however. It is not possible to certify that all of the reviews are from actual previous customers, so they might not be totally trustworthy. If a plumber has a lot of star-reviews that have no actual comments, they might not be valid.

Google

When you have a decent list of plumbers you'd like to interview, go back to Google to do some research. If they have no web presence, or a barebones website, cut them from your list. On their webpage, you should be able to find the list of services they provide as well as how long they've been in business.

Make a List of Candidates

After you've gotten good recommendations, depending on how much time you have, you should plan to interview at least three or up to six different plumbers. Call each one and make to ask the following seven important questions to ask of each candidate.

7 Questions to Ask a Potential Plumber

Whether or not you have hired a contractor before, the process can be intimidating. In addition, there are so many options. How are you supposed to make the exact right choice?

First, having options is a good thing. With so many choices, there will be more than one reliable plumber among them.

Second, there are certain things a good plumber (or any contractor) will have. The following seven questions will help you cut down the list to two or three plumbers to work with.

1. Are You Licensed and Insured?

Most states require professional plumbers to hold a license and insurance. Ask to see the license before hiring one! You can find out more information about state-by-state regulations here.

Becoming licensed shows that the worker is reliable, law-abiding, and detail-oriented. You might find that an unlicensed plumber will offer you a lower price, but that often comes with higher costs and headaches later on. Especially for big jobs, it is essential to find a credentialed plumber.

In addition to a license, a good plumber will carry business liability insurance. While we all hope no accidents happen, it is possible that a plumber could get hurt or cause damage to your home. Ask if the plumber is fully insured.

Finally, many plumbers will hold certifications or training through professional organizations. While not foolproof, these certifications do demonstrate advanced skills in certain types of plumbing. If it's not clearly marked on a plumber's website, ask if they have any certification or extra training.

2. Can I Have a Written Estimate?

A written estimate is an essential part of any home contracting job. An estimate is different from a quote in that it will break down the costs of materials, labor, and any taxes or licenses that will be charged. Any plumber worth their salt will create a written estimate for you.

After you review the estimate, query whether it is complete. Another good thing to ask is if the plumber has run into contingencies when doing this kind of job before. Inaccurate estimates are an unfortunate but not uncommon part of hiring a contractor.

One aspect of an estimate that can run over is labor charges. Does the plumber offer a flat rate to complete the job, or do they charge by the hour? This can affect the stated price.

Also, if it takes your potential plumber more than a few days (or email reminders from you) to provide the estimate, it probably means one of two things. First, the plumber may already be overscheduled and wouldn't be able to attend to your job in a timely manner. Second, the plumber may simply be forgetful or disorganized.

Either way, it is best to find a different plumber.

3. Can You Provide Customer Reviews and References?

Speaking with prior clients about the work the plumber has performed is a key part of the hiring process.

Sure, it can feel awkward and intrusive to call up strangers to ask them questions. Without their feedback, it will be hard to gauge the skill of the plumber.

If you're not sure what to ask, we've got you covered. Here are a few questions to ask the previous clients, or details to find when browsing online reviews:

  • Would you hire this plumber again?
  • What were you not happy with about the job?
  • Did the plumber complete the job on time?
  • Did they haul away any debris left from the job?
  • Were there extra charges not included in the estimate?
  • Have you recommended this plumber to friends or family?

A trusted professional will be able to provide at least five previous clients. You should aim to look into at least two of these. If the plumber cannot give you references to call, it's a definite red flag.

4. Do You Handle Emergencies?

Unfortunately, most homeowners will face an urgent need for plumbing service at some point. If you're hiring a plumber, find out whether they also handle emergencies.

Plumbing emergencies include burst or frozen pipes, flooding, or clogs. Will your plumber show up at all hours of the night or work on weekends? Also, will they charge extra for this time or a flat rate?

If your plumber offers emergency service at a very low price, make sure to inquire about any hidden fees that may come up.

5. Do You Offer Warranties or Guarantee Your Work?

Unfortunately, plumbing jobs don't always go as planned. Sometimes the parts fail or maybe were incompletely installed. In this case, it's good to know that the work is guaranteed.

Most plumbers will offer some kind of warranty. They might guarantee the workmanship or parts, or both. Guarantees will vary from plumber to plumber in what they cover and for how long.

Ask for clear and direct language around the type of warranty or guarantee offered by the plumber. If they can't provide you information on exactly what is covered, move on to the next plumber on your list.

6. Who Is Doing the Work?

Many plumbing companies employ a number of plumbers or subcontractors. Even small firms will sometimes need to hire extra labor on a short-term basis. Always ask the person providing the estimate who will be performing the work.

If the answer is them, great. You can vet the plumber as they are inspecting your job and getting information for the estimate. You can ask them all of these important questions in person!

If they tell you a different plumber will be doing the work, ask for the credentials and if all of the guarantees still apply. Is the plumber a contract or full-time employee?

If they cannot answer the question, that may be a red flag. They should at least be able to assure you that their plumber is well-known and backed by the company.

7. How Far Out are You Scheduling?

Reliable plumbers are in high demand. While this does mean that the plumber is probably a fine choice, it also means you might have to wait. With urgent plumbing jobs, that is not always an option.

Ask the plumber how far out in the calendar they are currently scheduling jobs. If they seem like the right choice and you can wait for the job, that might be the right professional for you. However, if you need service right away, that might also make your decision.

Make the Final Decision

You've asked all of the right questions and spoken to the references. Now you need to make that final decision!

Sometimes the right person rises to the top. They have experience doing the job you need, they have impeccable references, and they can get your job done right away. There's no deliberation needed!

Many times, though, there won't be a perfect choice staring you in the face. Multiple plumbers may check off lots of boxes. How do you decide then?

Sit down and make a list of your priorities. Is the cost your top factor? Or do you need a plumber who can start right away?

This list will guide you in making the choice that is right for you. If the plumber answers most of your questions adequately, they will most likely be a fine choice.

Just remember that your choice is not set in stone. Dallas has plenty of plumbers. If the first one isn't right for you, move on to the next person on your list.

Find the Right Plumber in Dallas...

There are many options for Dallas's plumbing needs. Some companies service only residential areas while others focus solely on commercial buildings. It can be overwhelming to try to find the right plumber for your needs.

These seven questions will help you get started. Whether you have word-of-mouth references or are going straight to Google, it's critical to properly vet the person who will be working on your home.

...Or Maybe You Already Have!

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Dallas has been serving local homeowners for decades. We set high standards for our work and our customer service. If you have a plumbing issue, we won't rest until it's solved.

We serve business and residential customers in a wide range of plumbing needs. If you're looking for a plumber in Dallas, be sure to contact us or call us at (214) 838-8232 today!