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Hiring a Professional Plumber

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McMahon Plumbing + Heating Blog

What kind of tradesperson should you hire to help with plumbing problems? You might be tempted to do it yourself or ask a family member or friend.
How are plumbers licensed?

When you have a plumbing crisis in your home, you may be tempted to do it yourself, hire a handyman, or ask for help from a family member or friend.

Why DIY Isn’t Always the Answer

While there’s a temptation to roll up your sleeves and fix that dripping faucet or unclog the drain, the risks often outweigh the rewards. A small error can result in water damage, affecting your furniture, floors, and other valuables. More concerning is the potential for underlying issues that might not be visible immediately, such as a leak starting beneath your home, particularly in older properties.

A professional plumber brings more to the table than just stopping leaks. They come equipped with the expertise, training, and tools to address a range of issues:

  1. Leak Repairs: This includes addressing pipes that have burst or cracked, often due to aging or external factors like tree roots.
  2. Drainage and Sewer Issues: Over time, our drains can become clogged with dirt and sediments. Plumbers have the equipment to clear these blockages and service septic tanks and sump pits.
  3. Remodeling Services: A kitchen or bathroom remodel isn’t just about aesthetics. Plumbers can advise on the water supply and sewage systems, ensuring they align with your redesign.
  4. Water Heating Systems: From repairs to the introduction of more energy-efficient systems, plumbers ensure that your home has hot water throughout the year.

Choosing the Right Plumber

While there’s no shortage of plumbing contractors, it’s crucial to ensure you’re hiring the right one for the job. Here are things to consider:

  • Credentials: Ensure your chosen plumber is licensed. In Massachusetts, read “How To Check an Occupational License.” A background check with the Better Business Bureau (our listing is here!) can also shed light on concerns from past clients. Licensed plumbers are also bonded and insured and trained to comply with local building codes.
  • Experience and Training: Beyond licensing, the plumber’s education, training, and experience can give insight into their competence and expertise.
  • Pricing, Scope of Work and Warranties: Make sure you understand what your plumber’s price includes and does not include.

Here are some questions you can ask to help choose a plumber:

Questions for the Plumber

  • How long have you been a plumber?
  • Were you formally trained or did you learn through an apprenticeship?
  • Do you belong to any professional associations?
  • Are you licensed and registered with the state of Massachusetts?
  • Are you insured?
  • Do you have any references in Boston that I can contact?

Questions about Your Plumber’s Work

  • Do you give written warranties?
  • Will this project require a permit?
  • Can you estimate how long this will take?
  • Will you provide options for different materials?

Questions for References

  • Were you happy with the plumbing project?
  • Was the job completed on time?
  • Were there any unexpected expenses?
  • Would you use this plumber again?

A plumber has to go through extensive training to earn their license. This training can save you time and money in the long run!

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