How to Hire a Plumber?

March 20th, 2018

Get to know your professional plumber in Salt Lake City, Utah.

If you have a plumbing emergency, some annoying plumbing issues, or are considering an extensive plumbing project such as renovating your bathroom, you will want to hire a state certified and fully qualified professional plumber in Salt Lake City. There are several levels when being licensed as a plumber. Some certifications may include an apprentice level for a plumber in training, a journeyman level for someone who has fairly good experience or a master plumber level for someone with years of experience with several different types of plumbing scenarios. Depending on your plumbing problem, you will want to find a Salt Lake City plumber that is best for you.

Consider the different types of plumbers:

  • Apprentice
  • Journeyman
  • Master

Requirements for each level vary by state and may require additional training.

An apprenticeship plumber will likely receive the most comprehensive type of training for a novice plumber. An apprenticed plumber gains their experience from working with union locals and local affiliate companies including nonunion contractors and organizations. An apprentice is usually trained to the level of three to four years of paid, on-the-job experience in addition to classroom training.

A journeyman plumber is the next step up from an apprenticeship level. Once a plumber has finished their apprenticeship they can apply for a journeyman license. Most plumbers are journeyman. Obtaining a journeyman’s license requires a fee as well as successfully passing a comprehensive plumbing exam. Not all states require journeyman to be licensed. However, the amount of work a journeyman is able to perform can be limited. Journeyman plumbers can run their own trucks and must know plumbing codes so they can make plumbing repairs and installations up to code.

A master plumber supersedes the journeyman and the apprentice. To become a master plumber, a plumber must have a certain number of years of experience as a journeyman. In addition, a master plumber should have an Associate’s Degree or training at a Vocational or Technical School. A master plumber is required to pass a comprehensive exam that encompasses both written and practical knowledge. A master plumber must also complete continuing education units every year within their field. Most often, a master plumber is subject to inspection and must make sure that all journeyman who work under his or her company are in compliance with state plumbing regulations.

Now that you know a bit more about the types of plumbers, let’s learn a bit more about state licensing. Most states require a plumber to be licensed.

  1. The state of Utah does require professional licensing for all plumbers through the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. You can search state licensure through government websites. These online databases will assure you that your local Salt Lake City plumber is licensed to do plumbing work.
  2. The National Contractor License Service maintains a list of each states’ professional licensing agencies where you can search for an individual’s plumbing license.

After considering the type of license your professional plumber has, you may want to know the right questions to ask regarding your plumbing situation. If you have a plumbing emergency just before a dinner party you may be thankful just to find someone willing to fix it at the right price and in the knick of time. Be careful, though. A plumber who isn’t experienced can do more harm than good. On the contrary, if you’re planning a costly renovation to your house that includes kitchen or bathroom areas, take the time to find the best plumber for you.

When interviewing local Salt Lake City plumbers don’t forget these rules of the home:

  • An experienced plumbing company should be able to give you a list of references from recent work they have performed.
  • Get at least three written estimates from three different plumbers when considering a major renovation or attacking an extensive plumbing problem.
  • Check to make sure that your local Salt Lake City plumber is licensed, bonded and insured. The state of Utah requires your plumber to be licensed through a state professional licensing agency. Requirements vary on whether your plumber has the need for professional licensing bonds, but all plumbers are required to have insurance to cover accidents that may happen to themselves or to your property.
  • When considering your extensive plumbing project, discuss your payment schedule. You may be required to pay 10 to 15 percent as a down payment to plumbing services with at least 50 percent due at the time of completion. If you have any suspicions, contact your state’s professional licensing board or contracting board to ask about the local standards. Many states set limits on what is allowed to be paid as a down payment.
  • Consider where the company is located. Be cautious of any companies who give you a post office box with no proper street address or are only use an answering service. Never hire someone who comes unsolicited door-to-door. Never hire anyone who cannot prove their qualifications especially if he or she is requiring you to be pay cash up front. In case of future emergencies, it is best to find a plumber who lives close to you. Get to know your local Salt Lake City plumber and view recent testimonials here.

If you’re not considering a complete overhaul of your bathroom or kitchen requiring the help of a plumber, then maybe you are on the verge of a plumbing emergency. Oftentimes plumbing emergencies are not covered by your home insurance, especially if you have already attempted to fix the problem on your own. If you are in the midst of a plumbing emergency, what you need to know first and foremost is how to shut off your main water line.

If your home is supplied with city water, the water meter and main shutoff valve are often close to each other. First find the meter and consider where the meter leads directly into your house. The main shut off line is often on the first floor or in the basement or crawlspace if you have one. The valve within your house will be along the pathway of the main water line and on an outside bearing wall. You may find your water meter is an underground hatch near the street, alongside your house or between properties. Look along the edge of your property for a metal lid marked “water.” You can usually remove the water meter hatch with a single bolt.

Once you have located the rotating valve similar to an outdoor water line, use a wrench to turn the valve clockwise until it stops. This should shut down your water supply.

If your emergency allows time or if you are just testing in case of an emergency, first shut off the valves to any water appliances such as your water heater or sinks to ensure that you do not cause any additional water damage within your home.

Often times, in case of emergency, your local Salt Lake City plumber will have an emergency contact method so you can rest assured that your house is in the right hands with someone who will respond quickly to all of your plumbing needs.