How to Choose the Right Plumber and Electrician

Household plumbing and electrical work can be technical in ways most people do not appreciate.

A plumber who tightens a nut a touch too far, or one who chooses the wrong wrench or washer out of dozens of different choices, can compromise the reliability of your plumbing.

It’s the same with electrical work. Using the wrong gauge of wire or fuse, not tightening or protecting joints well enough, overloading circuits, or not bringing the right tools to the job, all compromise your safety and the safety of your home.

Doing a competent job in these areas requires both excellent knowledge of the trade and a fundamental talent for critical thinking. To make sure that you find good talent, it’s important that you plan carefully when you pick a plumber or electrician. Here are electrician and plumber tips to keep in mind.

Always hire certified and insured tradesmen

Technical skills are important in electricians and plumbers. Electricians certified with the Electrical Safety Authority of the Authorized Contractor Program, for instance, are not only required to apprentice thousands of hours, they need to bring years of experience to the job, as well.

They are able to offer a warranty on their work, and, as a plus, licensed tradesmen are able to carry insurance. This means that should something go wrong with the work they do around your home, or should anyone sustain injury during the project, their insurance will pay.

How do you know if a plumber or electrician is certified?

Many people don’t realize this, but it’s not even legal to hire an electrician who isn’t licensed.

Licensed electricians or plumbers will put their license and insurance information on their quote submission. You should be able to check an electrician’s license number out on the website of the ESA.

It’s a good idea to bring up that you expect an ESA certification of inspection, once work is completed. If it’s a genuine tradesman, they should have no trouble obliging you. All of this is particularly important these days, because many fly-by-night operators run poor quality services or scams in every major town.

When it comes to plumbers, there are other signs of a shifty operator. If they show up in an unlabeled van or in one labeled with the name of a different business than you thought, for example, it’s a sign that you aren’t dealing with professionals.

If they accept only cash and offer no receipt, ask for anything more than a minimal down payment, ask clients to arrange for their own supplies, or permits, these are signs to watch out for. Some will even tell you how, when the authorities pay you a visit, you should tell them you did the work yourself. All of these are tip-offs that indicate you are dealing with the wrong kind of business.

Get quotes, references and submissions

Many everyday repair jobs can cost hundreds. It would be a good idea to get quotes from at least three different businesses. A couple of references from satisfied customers is always a good idea.

Since projects like drain replacement can be costly, it’s important to get a written contract that details what exactly will be done, along with a quote. These things should never be sealed on a handshake alone. The contract should detail the dates the work will start and end, the times that workers will work each day, and a detailed description of all their responsibilities, including those to do with the cleanup.

Getting a job done in a clean, competent way can be a pleasure. You do need to put in a little homework at first, however. If you’re willing to do that, you’re assured great value for your money.

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