What do you do when a pipe leaks or your toilet breaks?
Some situations just can't wait to be sorted out. If you have a plumbing problem that's affecting your day-to-day life or causing damage to your home, you need it fixed now!
This is the time to call an emergency plumber in Fort Worth. But, in an emergency, it's easy to pick the first Fort Worth plumbing company you see, which is a big mistake.
Instead, take a look at our guide to help you find a good plumber and avoid the cowboys.
Take Time Choosing an Emergency Plumber in Fort Worth
There's water on your floor or your taps are suddenly running empty; time to panic, right? Wrong.
Panicking when you've got an emergency plumbing problem is actually the worst thing you can do. It usually leads to ringing the first plumbing number you can find and making do with the guys that come along. But this could leave you with a botched job or excessively high fees, which nobody wants!
Instead, take a deep breath and stay calm. Make sure to do some research before picking a reputable plumber who isn't going to charge you an arm and a leg for their services. If you're clever, you'll find a company before disaster strikes and keep their number ready in case you ever need their help.
Whatever your situation, here are some top tips on how to find a plumber for your emergency.
If you're choosing a plumber for emergency situations, it makes sense to stay local. If you live in Fort Worth, try to find a nearby company who can be with you quickly. No one wants to wait for hours in an emergency as their plumber drives across the state!
When doing your search, add the name of your town or area to your query, like 'emergency plumber in Fort Worth. Or, you can use Google Maps to search for plumbers. Through their Google My Business program, a lot of local companies should have signed up to be shown on their online maps, making it easy to find a nearby plumber.
Ask Friends and Family
Another way to find a local, reliable plumbing service is by asking your friends, family, and neighbors. These people should all be unbiased and trustworthy, as well as have good insight into the plumbing companies they're using. Make sure they know you're looking for a local, emergency plumber and if you have a specific problem detail that too.
If you're looking for many opinions, send out a group message or share a post on social media. Facebook has a great feature where you can share that you're looking for recommendations, helping your post stand out.
Look for Reviews
It's always important to check online reviews before hiring a plumber — even if they've been recommended to you by a friend or family member. A quick search for the company should give you plenty of reviews from past clients, which you should definitely factor into your decision. Look for comments about professionalism, cost, and quality of service.
You can also find reviews on social media, including Facebook and LinkedIn. If they have a social media page that doesn't have an area for reviews, check the comments on their posts to see what their followers are saying.
Out of Hours Services
An emergency can happen at any time. A pipe can start to leak at 3 am or your shower can start blasting out hot water at 10 pm on a Sunday. You can never plan for an emergency, which is why you need to find a plumber who offers out of hour services.
While they may advertise 9-5 appointments, they should also make it clear that they have plumbers on-call 24/7. This means you're covered whenever something goes wrong, and you don't have to wait until the next day to get someone in. If you're hunting for an emergency plumber, this is essential!
If they don't advertise out of hours services on their website, you can always get in touch to see if they offer them. If you explain your emergency, they may be able to find a nearby plumber who can come and help.
Make Sure They're Licensed
Most US states require plumbers to be licensed, including Texas. If they don't have one, avoid them at all costs!
The Journeyman Plumber License means that they've passed a number of regulations to certify their skill and right to work, including:
Being a United States citizen
They have a high school diploma
They've worked over 8,000 hours under the supervision of a Master Plumber
The Master Plumber license also passes these criteria. By having a license, you have the peace of mind that your plumber is fully capable to carry out the work you need in a professional manner.
Make Sure They're Insured
Just like having a license, Texas plumbers must also be insured under US law. All plumbers should have general liability insurance that covers both bodily injury and property damage. If your plumber can't show you they have this, stay away from them!
Insurance is a way to protect both you and your plumber in case anything goes wrong. Even if the un-insured plumber is offering super cheap rates, don't go for them. It's better to pay a little more, making sure you're covered.
Are the Plumbers Background Checked?
When hiring a plumber, you're inviting someone you don't know into your home. This means you need to trust them to behave appropriately. But, the company you're using should also background check their staff to make sure they know of any prior convictions or problems.
Always ask upfront if your plumber is background checked. If they're not, you do have the option to hire them anyway and trust that the plumber will be safe based on past reviews. Or, if you're not happy, you can simply walk away and find someone else.
Look for Upfront Flat-Rate Pricing
It can be tricky to provide quotes for emergency plumbing as it's likely your plumber doesn't know the extent of the problem. But with a flat-rate fee, you can have the peace of mind that you know what the job will cost, regardless of the work involved.
Of course, this is only the case if they give you a flat-rate fee up-front. Never let your plumber start working without asking for an upfront cost, or at least a quote! The affordability of the company should factor into your decision, so this is important.
If you've compared prices of various companies, it should become easier to find a middle-ground fee. You don't want to go too cheap and risk getting a dodgy company, but you don't want to pay too much for the job at hand. Find that happy medium and go with it.
Contact the Company
Once you've found a company that seems to be legitimate, reliable, and is in your local area, it's time to get in touch! You should never hire a company without talking to them directly. This gives you the chance to explain more about your problem and make sure they can deal with it, and also lets you work out whether they really are the right company.
Make sure you give them plenty of details about your emergency. They'll be better prepared when they arrive and will be more able to give you an accurate quote over the phone.
You can also start to judge their professionalism. Make sure you know whether you're talking to a plumber or a receptionist — it's best to talk to the plumber directly. Take note of whether they sound friendly, confident, and professional.
If they're rude or don't really sound like they know what they're doing, it might be best to keep looking. But, hopefully, your research has paid off and you've hit the jackpot!
Ask the Right Questions
Before hiring your plumber, make sure to ask them some questions. These can help gauge their professionalism and enable you to decide if they're the right fit for you. Here are some questions that are always good to ask.
Have You got References?
If you're thinking of hiring a company, ask them if they have references from past customers. If they don't, then chances are they haven't left many clients happy! They'll probably direct you to testimonials on their website, but they may prefer to send them to you directly.
Do You Provide Guarantees?
It's always good to get a guarantee on the work done by your plumber, so ask ahead if they offer them. Make sure to find out how long the guarantee lasts, if it covers all parts they may replace or put in, and if there are any conditions that could void the guarantee.
Most reputable plumbers will come back if something breaks within around six months to a year, fixing the problem for free. Make sure to get any guarantee in writing and if you're not happy with the guarantee they're offering, walk away.
What Experience Do Your Plumbers Have?
There are two types of experience the company can tell you about; the general experience of the whole business, and the experience of individual plumbers. Be sure to find out both.
In terms of the business, find out how long it's been running and what kind of jobs they're used to. Then, ask about the experience of the plumber who's coming to work on your problem. Have they worked on many jobs or are they newer?
If you have a complicated emergency issue, it's usually best if your plumber has plenty of experience. They'll be able to get the job done quicker and provide an efficient fix.
Will I Have to Pay for Parts?
When the company gives you a quote or a flat-rate fee, it doesn't always include parts. Make sure to ask whether you'll have to pay extra if they need to replace any fittings or mechanisms in your system, as this could bump the price up. While it's not bad to pay for parts, it's still good to be aware if you have to.
What Happens if They Can't Fix the Problem?
Not all jobs can be fixed straight away. Make sure you know what will happen if your plumber can't fix the problem then and there. Will they patch it up with a temporary fix, call in another plumber, or reschedule for another day? If they'll reschedule, make sure you know roughly how quickly they'll be back.
When Do You Want Payment?
Never hire a plumber who asks for the total cost of the job to be paid upfront — this is very dodgy! Instead, look for someone who asks for a percentage upfront.
Make sure you know whether they'll require payment straight away after the work is finished, or if you'll have some time before you have to pay. The second option is particularly good if you don't have the money to fix the emergency problem right now.
Take Your Time
It's so easy to rush when you're panicking and pick the first emergency plumber in Fort Worth that you see, but don't! It's a recipe for disaster and one that could so easily be avoided. Though you don't have to go through all of these steps if you lack time, at least check their reviews, licenses, and insurance before you let them start work on your home.
If you want to make the process much easier, simply get in touch with us at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Fort Worth. We're a friendly, professional company made up of experienced plumbers, and you can count on us to help you whenever you need it.