Standing ankle-deep in water is a bad time to begin investigating emergency plumbers. Knowing a good plumber is just like having a good homeowner's insurance policy. Now, while everything is in good working order, is the perfect time to prepare for emergency situations such as a plumbing leak. Follow the guidelines here and be prepared in advance when the worst happens.
First of all, have the name of a reliable emergency plumber with a good reputation readily available. Interviewing and screening a plumber beforehand could save you hundreds of dollars in damages. There are three main methods for getting good recommendations and reviews for emergency plumbers:
- Ask friends and family for their recommendations. Try to get first hand accounts of people who have actually used the plumber in question.
- Check with other trusted contractors that you've used.
- Check the internet for reviews. Make sure that you look at the balance of reviews. One or two disgruntled customers should not deter you, but look instead for patterns of good (or bad) experiences.
Once you have a list of a few good possibilities, it's time to make contact and get some more information. Ask these questions:
- Are you a licensed plumber? This information can verified by checking with the State board that oversees licensing requirements.
- Do you have a business license? If your city requires a business license and your plumber does not have one, you could be cited.
- Do you have insurance? Your plumber should have both Liability and Workman's Compensation Insurance.
- What is your response time? Note how far away the plumber is from your home and how fast he can reach you in an emergency.
If the worst happens and leak occurs, you will need to get that water shut off quickly. It is vital that you know the location of the main water shut-off valve, usually located near the water meter. While you are doing that, make sure that you know how to turn off your water heater, which is a frequent cause of plumbing emergencies.
Having a good emergency plumber lined up is a great way to make sure that any plumbing problems will be taken care of quickly. Plumbing emergencies are never any fun, but being prepared ahead of time by following the guidelines above will ensure a quick and efficient plan of action. A little prep work now could save you money and headaches down the road.