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Many homeowners feel comfortable tackling small plumbing issues such as minor clogs and leaks and do a good job of resolving them. Larger problems, installation and inspections, however, require the services of a professional plumber. When you hire a plumber, you want to know that you are getting quality work at a fair price. Though the services of a reputable plumber do cost money, there are ways to protect your pocketbook by hiring an experienced professional who addresses plumbing issues correctly the first time.

Educate yourself
If you do not know much about plumbing basics, look online or check out a plumbing how-to book from the library. You will learn something about the major plumbing components and feel more comfortable talking to a professional about your plumbing problem.

You should also get a rough idea of the costs of various plumbing fixes. A reputable plumber will appreciate your knowledge and should be happy to answer any questions you have about your plumbing issue. You, in turn, will feel more comfortable that you are getting value for your money. If you should disagree with the plumber’s assessment of the issue and proposed course of action, feel free to say so or consult another company.

Ask family and friends
There is nothing like a referral from someone you trust. One of your family members, friends or coworkers has probably had a plumbing issue and will share their experience with you. They can let you know how satisfied they were with the work and how much they paid. This can make a great starting place in your search for a plumber, but you will want to consider more than one bid.

Ask for a written quote
Request bids in writing from three to five plumbers. If one is more expensive than the others, ask for an explanation. Avoid companies that offer minimum service for the lowest price. You will spend more in the long run than if you had chosen a well-qualified plumber at the start. Your aim is to save money, but not at the expense of quality work.

Stay local
You will probably pay for the plumber’s travel time, so save money by choosing a Raleigh plumber. Savings can add up when a job requires more than one day of work.

Plan ahead before you require plumbing service. Cost is important, but it is not the only issue to consider. Take into account the importance of experience, reputation and the availability of 24-hour emergency service. Consider that you are likely to experience more than one plumbing issue over time. Establishing a relationship with a qualified plumber who offers good value will pay off financially and in peace of mind.

snow-frezzing-pipes-raleigh-plumber

Even if you live in an area in which freezing temperatures are rare, freezing pipes can be a big concern when cold weather arrives.

Freezing weather can cause ice to form in a pipe, which leads to an increase in water pressure downstream from the ice blockage. This surge in water pressure leads to pipe failure, which often results in the pipe bursting at a different location from the ice blockage. For this reason, homeowners should be sure that the entire length of their pipe is sufficiently protected.

Experts have determined that homes in southern states and warmer climates are particularly susceptible to pipe failure when temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit, although pipes can freeze and burst at warmer temperatures as well.

As a homeowner, there are a number of precautions you can take to protect your pipes from freezing conditions.

If a pipe feels warm to your touch, it is a candidate to be insulated to protect it from freezing. Use pre-fit foam rubber cut to size to insulate your pipes, using duct tape to fasten it. Be sure that the pipes are clean and dry before covering them with the insulation. Call a plumber to perform this task if you would rather not do it yourself.

Another tip is to allow the taps of your outside faucets to drip during abnormally cold weather. It is fine if the water freezes, because this action will still relieve water pressure in the pipes and prevent them from bursting.

You should also leave the cabinet doors open under the sinks in your bathrooms and kitchen. This permits warmer air to circulate around the pipes, which helps provide protection for them.

It is important to use caulk to seal any gaps or cracks in your home’s foundation or the outside walls of your house. This will prevent cold air from reaching your pipes.

If you are going to be away from your home, you can drain your pipes to prevent them from bursting. Close the main valve, turn on the taps and let them run until the pipes are empty of water.

know-your-plumber

Before you settle on a new plumber, be sure that the company you are calling is not only efficient at fixing problems, but operates in a professional and legal manner, providing you, the customer, a fair and honest price.

When hiring a new plumber, there are several questions you want to ask. First, and most importantly, are they a licensed plumber. While this may seem like a given, asking this will ensure that your plumber is not only a skilled professional, but they are also up to date and current with the latest building codes and practices. Secondly, is your plumber insured. As explained at handyman.com, “Insurance provides the stability needed when mistakes and accidents occur.” Hiring a plumber with builder’s risk, bonds, and worker’s compensation insurance, eliminates the worry about unforeseen costs due to risks involved with certain plumbing work. Credentials and references should also be asked for, as a company that has a proven track record of quality work and satisfied customers, is one that you can trust. With plumbing outfits specializing in different areas, it is always a good idea to find out which areas the company you are going to hire, specialize in. This will ensure you are finding the “right guy” for the “right job”. Additionally, asking about a plumber’s typical response time, and whether or not they offer after hours or 24 hour emergency services, are important, as plumbing issues can spring up at any time; it is best to have a dependable professional you can call on at any time to rectify your problem.

Fees and costs will weigh into your decision making process when hiring a plumber. Asking up front about labor fees, whether or not they charge travel time to get to your place, and about prices on parts and materials, is always a good idea. This will allow you to compare plumbers, and get the best deal possible.

Asking questions such as these in a courteous and respectful manner is commonplace when searching for a new plumber. Keep in mind, a professional plumber will be proud of the quality work they do, and happy to answer your questions. A satisfied customer is a life-long customer!