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10 Things to Ask Your Calgary Plumbing Company

Calgary, Alberta aka Cowtown is the sunniest major city in all of Canada. That being said, sometimes dripping faucets, leaky pipes, and clogged drains can make things a little wet inside your home.

So what do you do when you have a major plumbing issue and have no idea how to fix it?

You need to hire a Calgary plumbing company quickly! Let's take a look at the questions you should ask your plumber.

Questions to Ask Your Calgary Plumbing Company

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the plumbing problems in your home that you don't understand. The internet is flooded with unreliable sources telling you all kinds of different things. 

Well, fear not because we put together the ultimate comprehensive list of questions you should be asking your plumbing company.

These questions will help you to understand exactly what is going on and exactly what it means for your home and wallet.

A Helpful Tip Before We Begin

Whether you are a seasoned Calgary resident or brand new to the area, familiarizing yourself with local businesses is always the best practice. You want to know who your local plumbing contractors are before a plumbing emergency occurs.

This way, you are not stuck scrambling last minute to find a reputable plumber or paying for unexpected emergency plumbing.

The following questions will help you find a plumbing company in Calgary that best fits your needs.

1. Are You Licensed?

This should be the very first question that you ask a prospective new plumber or plumbing company. Having a license ensures that your plumber can handle any task that may arise in your home.

Experienced plumbers are required to perform government tests. These tests certify them as either county, regional, or provincial contractors.

Each year licensed plumbing contractors must be re-certified to help them stay up to date with current building codes and practices.

When you hire a plumber, make sure that they're knowledgeable in regards to your building. This can be especially important if you live in an older home with older plumbing.

If the plumber that you hire doesn't have a license, many things can go wrong and complications can cause more issues. The jobs unlicensed plumbers perform might not be consistent with the proper codes and their work could even be considered illegal.

Unlicensed plumbing jobs run the risk of dangerous or slipshod repairs being done and also could lead to costly fines down the line.

2. Is Your Company Insured?

Proof of insurance is a huge factor in regards to your plumber's credentials. While you should never expect an accident or a mistake to occur, things like that do happen.

That's why it's paramount that your plumbing company has valid and up-to-date insurance. Plumbers who carry worker's compensation insurance and risk bonds insurance will be able to perform the job without you worrying about any unexpected problems or out-of-pocket expenses on your end.

3. Do You Have References?

Speaking to members of your community about who they have used and who they trust is a great way to get leads on prospective plumbers. Once you have decided on a company, ask for their professional references from customers.

A reputable plumber should have 3 to 5 clients that you are able to easily contact for feedback on their work. If they do not have the references, they might not be experienced or they could be hiding bad work.

Credentials are a formal type of reference. A company that is certified with the Better Business Bureau is a great sign.

Ask about other certifications or memberships that show the company's commitment to the trade and to the customer's satisfaction.

4. Who Will Be Doing the Work?

In many cases, professional plumbing contractors hire others to do the work for them. Ask the plumber giving you the quote if they will be doing the work or if someone else will be performing the job.

If they say that another worker will be doing the job you should ask for the worker's experience level and credentials.

If the plumber that is giving you the quote seems uneasy about the question or is unable to tell you the credentials of the subcontractor, you might want to keep looking for another plumber.

Asking for the credentials of everyone on the job will help provide you with peace of mind knowing that you will receive quality work from a reliable source.

5. What Are the Fees for Plumbing Services?

There are many different factors to consider when calculating the cost of plumbing services.

Depending on the type of work you're having done, the cost could be a lot more than originally anticipated.

Here are a few things to consider.

Service Fees: In many cases, a plumber will give a free estimate for a job. Sometimes, however, a company will charge a service fee just for the visit. In most cases, this fee is not negotiable.

Ask upfront about the service fee to avoid a surprise charge.

Travel Fees: Some plumbing companies will charge the client for the time it takes to travel to and from the job site. These charges can add up especially if you are not using a local plumber.

Hourly or Flat Rate: Another very important question to ask is whether or not the plumbing service rate will be on an hourly scale or one flat fee. The hourly rate will generally include the hourly rate plus the price of materials. The flat rate includes everything.

Parts Fee: Ask your plumber about the cost of materials before any work is done. Many plumbing companies will buy parts in bulk to get a better price. In other cases, a part might have to be special ordered which can be very costly.

6. What Is the Response Time?

If time is of the essence, you want to make sure you have a plumbing contractor that you can count on.

Plumbing leaks can destroy a home if not taken care of quickly. Water leaks can lead to damaged interiors and cause dangerous mould in your home.

Ask your plumber if there are any days of the week or times of the day that the company or their staff is unavailable.

Knowing upfront what to expect from your plumbing company can make a big difference. A contractor that is on-call 24/7 could save you from thousands in property damage in the event of an emergency.

7. Are You Specialized?

This question can help you find the absolute best plumber for your needs. Many plumbing contractors will specialize in certain areas giving them a leg up on their competition.

You might find a plumber that has a special focus that can help you in your home. Some of the areas of focus for many plumbing contractors are:

  • Sewer line repair and replacement
  • Sump pump maintenance
  • Remodelling
  • Leak detection
  • Water heater repair or replacement

These are a few of the many specialized areas of plumbing expertise. Getting an understanding of what the plumbing contractor's capabilities are will help you make an informed decision if and when the time comes to hire.

8. Do You Do the Cleanup?

It might sound like something that you don't need to worry about but you do. Some contractors charge extra fees for cleanup after a job.

In many cases, the homeowner is left with parts, old materials, boxes, and even chemicals to dispose of after the job is over.

Ask beforehand if cleanup is included in the total price. If it is not included, be sure to get the added cost in writing.

9. What If Something Breaks During the Job?

Before a job ever starts, you need to have a contract with your plumber. Make sure that in the contract there is a guarantee or a warranty on the work.

The warranty should give details concerning materials and labour. The guarantee should list the company as a financially responsible party in the event of damage.

Pay attention to the fine print of the contract. In some cases, there can be clauses in the contract that alleviate the company of any responsibility for broken items.

If you do not see anything indicating the company's responsibility, you should ask about this before the job starts.

10. How Do You Expect Payment for the Job?

You should always ask when they expect payment for the job. Sometimes a plumbing contractor will defer receiving any payments until the job is totally complete.

If a plumber ever asks you for 100% of the payment upfront before the work even starts, find a new plumber.

This can be a sign of a person who is scamming you or someone who is underqualified looking for guaranteed payment regardless of the quality of work.

In most cases, you will find that plumbing contractors will work on a milestone system in regards to payments. After a certain amount of the job is complete, you will pay them for what they have done so far and then the work continues.

In other cases, they may go by hours spent on the job. After a certain amount of time, you will pay them and then they will continue their work.

For most jobs, the milestone payment system is the better route. With the milestone payment option, you are literally paying for what you get as you get it.

The problem with using hourly payments is that sometimes a contractor might be working slowly taking an exceedingly long to finish a job.

Getting an estimate on how long a job should take will help you get an idea of what to expect and hold the plumber to their promise.

Also remember that in special cases, like an emergency event, the payment may be due upfront due to the rushed service call. If you are ever in doubt, just communicate with your plumbing company.

Some Pro Tips for You to Consider

The above questions are all here to help put you at ease when hiring a plumbing contractor. Below are a few extra things to consider before making the final call on which plumbing company is right for you.

  • Are the employees of the company given a background check?
  • How long has the business been up and running?
  • What are the online reviews of the company?
  • How is the customer service on the first call?

These extra questions can help you to make the best decision for your plumbing needs.

Hiring a Plumbing Company for Your Needs

Finding a reputable Calgary plumbing company doesn't have to be stressful.

Consider what you're looking for and what you may need to ask beforehand. Take your time when asking questions and listen carefully to your plumbers.

Keep in mind that you want to have a good relationship with the person doing the work. They are working hard to fix issues in your home.

Finding someone you trust and can rely on is a necessity when you own a home and need plumbing repairs. Take your time in doing your research before you fully commit to a company.

Getting feedback from other people in your community about trusted workers and doing online research of reviews is a must. Always be sure that you have a plan in case a plumbing emergency occurs in your home.

Don't wait until the last minute and scramble to find unqualified plumbers. Use the tips and questions we provided to hire a plumbing company that you can trust for years to come.

We Made It Easy - Choose Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary!

We are a licensed, bonded, and insured Calgary plumbing company that covers all topics above! If you would like to learn more about our services or hire a Calgary plumber for your home, contact us today!