A plumber provides a variety of services to consumers. Indeed, plumbers generally are placed in two primary categories: residential and commercial. With that noted, within these two broad categories, similar types of services are offered by plumbers to residential and commercial property owners.
As an aside, as is the case with many professions, some plumbers have started to specialize in specific areas. Rather than providing a broad spectrum of services, some plumbing professionals zero in on particular types of services to their customers.
Generally speaking, the services provided by plumbers (residential and commercial, generalists and specialists) fall into five general categories.
Preventative Care Services
Plumbers are called upon to provide preventative care and maintenance services for their customers. This can include everything from checking water heaters to inspecting and cleaning drains and pipes on a scheduled basis.
Unfortunately, many consumers find themselves requiring the services of plumbers on an emergency basis. A plumber provides an array of different types of emergency services that includes everything from dealing with broken pipes to repairing (or replacing) a non-functioning hot water heater — and many other tasks in between.
Replacement and Upgrade Services
Plumbing equipment does not last forever. Moreover, new and better plumbing related products enter onto the marketplace with some degree of regularity. For these reasons, another type of service provided by a plumber involves the replacement or upgrade of existing plumbing equipment. For example, a consumer living in a residence build before 1960 may have iron cast pipes at the premises that have corroded or rusted and are in need of replacement.
New Construction Services
A plumber can be involved in providing new construction services. For example, a plumber may work with a developer on a large scale project. On the other hand, when an individual consumer elects to build his or her own residence, that consumer likely will spend time working with a contractor and an associated plumber.
Selecting a Qualified Plumber
When a consumer is need of a qualified plumber, he or she should consider a number of tips in the process of making a selection.
Certification: A consumer needs to verify whether or not a plumber maintains the proper certification to undertake a particular project. The local agency that oversees the building code in a community can assist a consumer in obtaining the information necessary to make this determination.
Experience: In addition, when in need of a plumber, a consumer needs to identify the specific experience of a plumber. For example, a plumber that historically has worked on residential properties may not be ideal for a commercial project — and vice versa.
Bond: A consumer should determine whether or not a plumber maintains a bond to cover liability if that professional causes damage to a consumer’s property or causes the consumer to sustain some other type of loss.
References: A consumer should obtain references from a plumber. In addition, a consumer needs to take the step of actually contacting references to get specific feedback from these individuals. (A surprising number of people do request references from service providers and then fail to make contact with these individuals.)
Consumer Complaints: Finally, before engaging the services of a plumber, a consumer should contact a reliable organization, like the Better Business Bureau, to ascertain if the plumber has had any serious, seemingly valid complaints.