crappy plumber spottedIn spite of the obvious joke, no one should have to live through an experience with a crappy plumber. While every professional plumber believes they’re the best in the industry, no two professionals are the same. Before you hire a plumber to do work in your house, you’ll need to evaluate several and determine the best person to help you. So how do you spot a crappy plumber and what do you do about it? Here are four things to look for.

Check their Reputation

You may have found your plumber using online reviews, such as Angie’s List. But there is more to it than that. You need to dig deeper to find out more about the reputation of the company and the people involved.

Don’t be afraid to spend a little more to go with a plumber who has the strongest reputation in your community. Talk to everyone in your network about their experiences and make an informed choice.

Also, always make sure you’re checking into their license and insurance. An unlicensed plumber can cause much more damage and you will have little recourse if there are problems down the line.

Elusive Estimations

Price is a good indicator of service, but not in the way you think. When you go with the lowest bid, you’re likely to get what you pay for. There are other red flags to look out for as well.

If a plumber offers an estimate without seeing the project, walk away. If the plumber makes a surprisingly cheap bid for the service, significantly lower than any other estimate, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the best service. There’s usually a reason when someone makes such a low-ball offer. The opposite is also true if you see items on the estimate that pad the number but don’t provide clear benefits.

Too Many Cooks

Every job is going to be different, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know what to expect. If a plumber is continuously bringing in new people, often under the guise that they’re completing apprenticeships, that may be a red flag. Apprenticeships are common in the industry, but they always have strict oversight.

Before they do the work, talk to your plumber about their subcontractors. Be aware of any additional hourly rates for more workers. If they refuse to provide this information, it’s time to walk away.

A good plumber will have a solid group of contractors they can count on. If the owner of the plumbing company isn’t the one doing all the work, you should be able to find out information on all of their employees before hiring them to conduct the job. If a job only requires one plumber but three people are on the scene, you may have a billing problem in the end.

Spotting a Scam

There are a number of common plumbing scams as well, and it’s helpful to be aware of them before you have a problem. Some of them include:

  • Bait and switch: They may quote you on higher quality material but install the cheap stuff. If you notice this happening, there may be a problem.
  • Rising costs for affluence: Some plumbers assume that if you live in a nice neighborhood or drive a nice car, you can afford higher rates. If their rates are not consistent for customers, that’s a problem.
  • More than 10% up front: A plumber who asks for 25% or 50% up front may not be reliable. Occasionally these scams take a turn for the worse and they never return to do the work at all. 10% is industry standard.

If you want to work with a highly rated plumber in Manteca, Modesto, Mountain House, Oakdale, Turlock or Tracy – call Simpson Plumbing today!