There are over 26,000 plumbing businesses currently operating in Canada. When you have a job that involves the water system inside or outside of your home, you have a lot of potential options to choose from. So, how do you know how to choose the right sewer service in Edmonton?
First, you should understand what jobs require these professionals, regardless of how handy you might be. When it comes time to call in the professionals, there are some qualities you shouldn't compromise on as well as some specific steps to follow in making your choice.
We'll tell you all of that and more in this guide to choosing the right Edmonton sewer service. Keep reading before making any phone calls or signing any contracts.
When to Call For Sewer Service - Edmonton, Alberta
Some of the most common symptoms of sewer problem are:
- Backed-up toilets or pipes
- Foul odours
- Slow drainage in sinks and bathtubs
- Increasingly unleveled ground and dips in the front yard
- cracked driveways
These can be caused by anything from built-up organic material and flushed items, to tree roots in your pipes, or even tree roots in your sewer system. Regardless of the problem or its cause, these need to be dealt with immediately. Leaving any plumbing or sewer problem untreated can lead to more damage and a bigger bill when you finally do get around to fixing it.
While some basic plumbing jobs can be completed by a handy person, such as replacing a faucet or unclogging a superficial clog from a toilet, most sewer jobs require the know-how of a professional. Below, we've listed the types of sewer jobs that are best left to a professional Edmonton sewer service company.
Jobs That Require a Permit
In the Edmonton area, some sewer related work requires a plumbing permit while others don’t. It depends what you’re up to. You’ll definitely want to make sure you are playing by the rules though, because the inspector won’t sympathize with you if you didn’t get one. Beware of companies conducting work without permits, this is a big red flag and will likely cost you in the long run.
While there are some sewer and water jobs that homeowners can do under permit, others require the expertise of a sewer service company. Without a permit, you could end up paying heavy fines or having to redo the whole job under a permit.
Even if you get away with doing a job without a permit, it will likely become a problem if you ever want to sell your home. You'll likely be required to complete a home inspection to sell, and a home inspector is sure to find work that wasn't permitted.
Jobs That Require Special Tools
Many sewer jobs require special tools that you won't have on hand. Sure you might have wrenches and screws, but you're unlikely to have things like powered drain augers, or high-pressure jetters. Failing to use the proper tool, or using the proper tool incorrectly, can lead to more damage. Homeowners commonly try tofix a clog with a drain cleaner, which may not effectively fix the problem, ultimately wasting time and money, and possibly leading to even bigger issues down the line.
Some homeowners may decide to buy their own drain snake, which can lead to damaged pipes when used incorrectly. When a professional comes to clean up that mess, you might need to replace them altogether. You'll end up paying for a repair that could have been easily avoided by calling a sewer service from the beginning.
Some drain cleaning equipment is also very dangerous to use without the right experience. It is not uncommon to have serious injuries result from the use of drain augers when they catch on a hand or if they bind up and twist catching you in the cable. It is also very common to break the cable off in the drain because the operator put it down something it was not designed to cable through. Please use extreme caution if you are using a power auger on your own.
Jobs That Have Bigger Underlying Issues
You might think that a leak in your tub and shower is the result of a bad caulking job. In an effort to fix the issue, you remove the old caulk, purchase more, and redo the caulking job. However, once you’ve completed the repairs, the tub and shower continue to leak. It's likely that the leak is caused by a bigger problem, like a problem with your shower valve or your drain.Diagnosing plumbing problems isn't easy, and misdiagnosis can cause a bigger problem and potentially more serious damage. That's especially true if the leak starts to affect the subfloor or if it's causing mould inside your walls.
Jobs that Are Never DIY
There are some jobs that you should never attempt if you're not a professional. These include:
- Replacing a toilet
- Gas line repairs
- Replacing a water heater
- Clearing a clogged sewer
- Repairing burst pipes
- Working on sanitary drains or ground level traps
- Installing backflow prevention devices
- Installing garbage disposals
With that said, most plumbing jobs shouldn't be done by even the handiest of handy people if they don't have a license to do so. Even finishing touches can be difficult to get right, and the smallest leak can lead to big problems with water damage and mould.
Qualities of a Good Sewer Service in Edmonton
So you now know when to call a professional sewer service. Edmonton homeowners are now posed with the next question is - how do you pick the right one? Read on to learn more about the qualities you should be looking for in choosing the best professional plumbing service.
Experience is one of the most important things to take into account when looking for sewer service. Edmonton is no stranger to new companies popping up who lack experience and are looking to make a quick buck. Look for a company that's been in business for a long time. They'll have dealt with every plumbing and sewer issue out there and they'll have all the equipment they need to do the job right the first time.
The Right Licensing
Always check that the company has avalid business license with the City of Edmonton, or your local municipality. They should have a general contracting business license, which licenses businesses that provide services with respect to plumbing. Companies without a valid business licence will not be able to pull a plumbing permit for your work should it require one.
In addition, employees should have a certificate recognized byAlberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training or be registered as an apprentice to fabricate, install, alter, maintain, or repair plumbing in Alberta.
Qualified individuals will be able to produce a pocket certificate when you ask. That certificate is issued by Alberta Advanced Education. You can contact the Alberta Advanced Education Apprenticeship and Industry Training Office to ensure that the certificate is valid.
An often overlooked quality is insurance. You need to be sure that the sewer service professionals you're working with insures contractors and tradespeople.
Insurance should cover both worker's compensation and liability insurance. Anyone can check a company’s WCB coverage in Alberta by visiting theRequest a Clearance section of the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board.
This is known as a clearance letter and will confirm if a company is in good standing with the Alberta Workers Compensation Board or not. You definitely do not want to hire a company that does not provide WCB coverage to their employees.
You can also ask to see an insurance certificate that covers public liability and property damage.
Without insurance, if something were to go horribly wrong during your job, there may not be any recourse to pay damages to you, your home, or anyone else affected by the incident. Insurance is an absolute must. Consider asking about safety training, too. Any good sewer service company provides and updates its workers on job safety consistently.
Tools and Equipment
The sewer service company you choose to work with should be using the best equipment for the job. For a sewer job, that means using trenchless technology.
Trenchless technology doesn't require pipes to be dugout. This leads to less property damage in the course of the work being done.
Because workers don't have to dig out pipes, this efficient technology is also faster and more affordable in terms of labour. It also results in a better quality job, where pipes are made seamless.
Any good company stands behind the work that they do. Find out what kind of guarantees the sewer service offers. If the company does not provide a guarantee, you might need to think about why they don’t guarantee their work.
How to Choose the Right Sewer Service
Now that you know what to look for, here are a few steps to follow when choosing your sewer service.
It's always a good idea to shop locally, and that concept extends to hiring sewer services. With anestablished local company that has a good reputation, you know that they've been working in the community for a long time. They'll also be more familiar with the local codes and regulations regarding sewer service in Edmonton.
First, you need to find out what's out there in terms of sewer service. Edmonton homeowners are encouraged to start by asking personal contacts such as family and friends. They might have recommendations based on the work they've already had done.
Online reviews are also a great source of information. Don't just look at the star rating of a company when searching online reviews, but also the number of people who have reviewed them. Take some time to read through the review so you know that you can trust the company, and to see which qualities past customers chose to write about. When past customers rave about above and beyond customer service, you know you’re in good hands.
Getting a Quote
What a company charges you will be based on their experience, the services they offer, and the quality of service they provide. When thinking about costs, you want to choose a business that provides great service at a fair price. To figure that out, you'll need to get some quotes.
It's recommended that you obtain at least two to three quotes before making any decisions. Any estimate from a contractor should be obtained in writing. Anestimate should include:
- A detailed description of the work involved
- The materials that will be used
- The start and finish date of the project
- An itemized cost
- The total price and how you will be expected to pay
- Any guarantees
When obtaining quotes, don't take over-the-phone quotes. It's hard to estimate the extent of a sewer job without actually seeing it.
But Don’t Choose On Price
Don't make your final decision based on price alone. All of the qualities we previously mentioned should be taken into account when choosing a dependable sewer service.
Costs that seem too good to be true, usually are. If a business is hiring trained professionals, paying for insurance, and using the best technology, they can't undercut the market price by too much. Choosing someone who does this kind of work as a side job can lead to bigger problems than you had to start with, which will cost you more time and money in the long run.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Ratings
If you're still unsure about the company you want to do the job, try looking them up on the BBB. Any company that you work with should be accredited and in good standing with the BBB. If they're not, this site will list any complaints or poor service that the company provided.
Who to Avoid When Hiring Sewer Service
You know who to look for, but you should also know who to avoid. These include contractors who:
- Give you a quote (and a good one) without ever seeing the job
- Knock on your door and offer a special price
- Give you a special discount for allowing them to advertise from your property
- Ask for a down payment to buy the materials needed to complete the job
- Won't commit to a start and finish date
- Provide a PO box as an address
If a contractor won't provide you with a contract that outlines the work and the final cost, chances are that you'll end up being charged more than your verbal agreement. This might require you to take legal action, which will cost you far more than the time it takes to find a reputable company.
Looking For Sewer Service, Edmonton?
Sewer service is a specialized job that requires specialized knowledge. Like most other plumbing jobs, hiring a professional from the beginning can save you both time and money. But choosing a professional takes a bit of know-how.
Always look for a licensed and experienced company that backs up their work and takes care of their employees. Before hiring anybody, check their references, get a quote, and make sure there's a written estimate to back up any verbal agreements.Better yet, call us - Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton at (780) 429-3600. We check all of the above boxes and provide in-person estimates for all of your sewer service needs.